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We can put all this speculation to bed as soon as I hear from brokeda and he explains what I need to buy.


Arthur P. Bloom
"30 years of faithful service...15 years on hold"

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Art, forgive me for sticking my nose into this, but I just want to give everyone an idea of what it actually costs to trench a cable across a 100 foot wide state highway. I can't speak for New York, but in Pennsylvania we have "PennDOT", aka the PA Department Of Transportation

My qualifications to express this opinion: Utility line installation, including crossing state highways, is what I work on every day [please kill me].

To get a permit from PennDOT to cross a 100 foot state highway will require going through the permitting process. This starts with a full on-the-ground physical survey, and a complete CAD plan of the existing conditions and the proposed design. Then the initial "permit application package" will be submitted by the engineer along with the required fees, provided there are no "PNDI hits" or other snags [environmental issues]. You may also need to submit an erosion and sedimentation control plan to the County Conservation District office, along with the required application package and fees.

Total engineering, surveying, and application fees thus far: Minimum 10K, or more depending on the site.

Now the review process begins. Count on about 18-24 months total, with the plans typically being revised and re-submitted to PennDOT 3 times and, if needed, the Conservation District at least twice. Final approval will then [hopefully] by granted, and now you will receive your permit, as soon as you pay the permit fee, which is entirely separate from the application and review fees.

Total engineering, review and permit costs for this phase: Another 10K or more, depending on the site.

Now you are finally ready to hire guys with backhoes. Keep in mind there are two ways to do a job like this:

1. Actually trenching across the road and directly burying the conduit. This requires temporary traffic diversion and control, which means a more complex and expensive permitting process. It also involves pavement restoration over the trench, which can be quite time consuming and expensive. It is therefore unlikely to be approved by PennDOT, unless there is a really compelling reason to do it this way.

2. If the soil conditions permit it, and there is enough room to dig large pits on either side of the road, a conduit can be installed under the road using horizontal boring. The pits may require temporary easements from property owners, which could involve hiring lawyers and thus extend the permitting phase even longer. Also, going 100 feet may require an intermediate pit or two, so now we are back to traffic diversion and pavement restoration. Don't forget that we will have to bore under/over/around any existing utilities under the road, so add "accurate" underground locating [a fantasy] to the surveying costs.

Both options rule out using any contractor other than the "Big Boys" who do State Highway work all the time, because the small independents simply don't carry enough insurance and bonding for a job like this.

Actual cost for the physical construction: You don't want to know.

Just my opinion, based on years of actually doing it. YMMV and all other disclaimers apply.

Jim
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Ouch. That seems like an overly painful way to occupy state owned ROW. Here in Nebraska, whenever we need to occupy or cross state ROW, there is an application permit describing the work to be done along w/ all the legal descriptions, etc., and a drawn up map of the proposed work area. It gets turned in to the local district engineer for approval along w/ a $500 fee (if I remember correctly). Normally, the work is approved within a week or two. Once the work is completed, the state is notified and they either sign off on the project or their concerns are addressed and remedied.

Also, boring 100 feet shouldn't require an intermediate pit of any kind. That is a fairly simple bore job around here, at least for the boring machines and crews that I have worked with. IMO.

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ffej010,

You are 100% correct, horizontal boring 100 feet can easily be done in one shot. I was thinking of a worst-case situation where there might be obstructions [like a huge pipe] that couldn't be gotten around [I was in "worst case mode" when I wrote that].

Also, I should mention that public utility companies [water, electric, etc.] around here don't usually have to go through the brutal approval process I described. That only applies to a private entity seeking to dig up a highway.

Jim
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That makes more sense to me now. Thanks for the clarification.

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For what Arthur wants micro-trenching with vertical inlaid conduit might have been an option.

The city I live in has done this for its fiber optic network instead of leasing duct or aerial space from the telco or cable companies.

They went across 6 lanes of traffic downtown and if you did not know who the contractor was you would have thought it was just normal joint renewal work.

I am sure the fees and installation would be less than trenching as all that is getting done is a saw cut a few inches deep.

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Micro-trenching in a street definitely is cheaper, but would make me very nervous about pot-holes, concrete buckling and the constant vibration of heavy traffic on top of it.

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Well so far since the installation in 2007,I have not heard of any city network outages due to street crossing failures.

We have a population of 750,000 so the major streets that get crossed get a pounding from traffic including a crossing of a crosstown transit bus corridor.



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Originally Posted by EV607797
I thought the same thing, but I get the impression that they are implying that it would cost $3.5K to mobilize such a project and then $200/hr. for the work to be done. Granted, that sounds a bit steep, but not entirely unrealistic based upon project conditions. There's likely a bit of a sales spin on this, as I'm sure that you can imagine.
They fail to mention that their idea of "a fraction" is close to 50/100. Their prices are steep if one is only interested in transporting one POTS line. The savings accrue, apparently, when many lines are sent over many miles.

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You might see if one of the DECT based POTS extenders will work, such as the ones used for Dish/DirectTV boxes..

https://www.rtx.dk/Wireless_PHONEjack-2715.aspx

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