Understanding Civil Work in Cable Detailing

April 18, 2018

Familiarity with the discipline known as civil engineering is handy when the cable detailing phase of a project is reached. A competent person with this knowledge looks beyond trenches and boreholes. He's assessing the local infrastructure, all underground assets, and lot boundaries. To put it another way, that civil works savvy tech sees the full picture, not just the cables.

A No-Fuss Trench Plotting Service

On the one hand, a trenching service is responsible for laying cables. The large electrical conduits travel securely in their ground furrows. Special backfill and bedding guidelines control the work. They follow prescribed bend radii, never rise above code-ordained depths, and they're expertly placed. Identified and detailed as they're installed, there's a second stage to consider during the installation work. We're talking about civil work, about underground asset auditing and permanent reference points.

Underground Asset Auditing

When a cable is run from someone's backyard to their tool shed, a handful of reference marks are used. The cable crosses a driveway, so a mark goes on the plan. It turns to follow a fence, so another mark is assigned to the plan. In this manner, the location of the cable is known, and no one's going to damage that conduit when a home extension goes up the following year. Beyond that garden, the infrastructure of an entire street creates more problems. Cable detailing technicians work first in the trench. They plan the cable routes, make sure they're assigned labels and colour codes, and finish by adding the results to the project report.

Above Ground References

The plans come out, then the pen and ruler follow. Basic ground surveying tools are on the ground. The tech is already busy. He's walking the ground with a pedometer and tape measure. The cable detailing phase has been initiated. The techs are looking at permanent reference points and associating them with the trench route. The coordinates of existing water pits, pipes, and building perimeters are currently marked on the plan. The lot boundaries are there, too. This is the site infrastructure, and this is where the trench pathway is being plotted.

Of course, the bulk of the cable detailing work is done before the physical phase gets underway. The team supervisor has all of the necessary site drawings rolled up under one arm. Cables and pipes have been traced, that pedometer has already been out on the ground, and the infrastructure has been tagged by wooden posts and string, plus a can of spray paint. Still, these plans are in flux, so civil works techs hang around to occasionally throw in a pathway correction.

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