Roadworks and Cable Detailing: What is it all about?

February 22, 2017


Roadwork projects look dirty and disorganised. Wash away that dirt, though, and there's order below the grime. That's because industrious roadwork ventures are arranged in layers. There's the labour up top, the methodical addition of traffic signals, utility lines, and numerous infrastructure extensions. Meanwhile, below the gravel and tar, a trench worker is using a cable detailing strategy to maintain order.

Roadwork and Cable Detailing

Construction commences on a new road. An accompanying trench moves forward while hooking land parcels into the power grid. A hookup from a nearby transformer crosses the road, and a trench opens up to bridge the roadway. These are two common instances where utility trenches pursue roadwork activity. Again, on the surface, order gradually rises from the grimy chaos. Underneath the expanding road, the same principles are being applied to the cables that route their way through the ground channels. This work practice prevents nasty cable nests by adopting cable detailing know-how.

What is Cable Detailing?

Imagine the actions of a thoughtless wiring operative if he considered this subsurface task a trivial venture. The power linkages would be dropped down any old way, probably because this incautious individual believed the utility line was about to be buried and forgotten. Civil works professionals do not sanction this haphazard work practice. Instead, these VEDN accredited individuals use procedural methodologies. That means every cable in the trench must satisfy a higher authority. In achieving this mandate, the cable runs are properly accommodated in plastic conduits, cable trays, and concrete channels. In other words, the insulated wire runs follow a standardised layout. This work practice certainly looks appealing, perhaps even austere, but the tightly disciplined utility runs actually employ this configuration for a number of practical reasons.

Detailing Advantages

When fault-finding an electrical line, detailed cable runs simplify the troubleshooting process. Furthermore, additional wires are easy to incorporate over time, with the tidied wiring easily accommodating new sub-branches. After all, infrastructural resources are practically living things. They grow and change, so the cable layout must comply with this assumption.

A look inside a building's plant room reveals a fine example of this cable detailing technique. The wires move in an orderly fashion while following machine conduits and support trays. Roadwork operations have simply adopted this same model of structured line transportation. The exposed lines are either insulated or armoured, so they're exposed but arranged in well-organised groups. Conversely, mechanically fragile communication wires and non-armoured cables are intelligently run through metal and plastic conduits, so that the earthen channels are trench-tidy.

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