Avoiding time and cost blowouts on pipeline projects

Time and costs pressures are at the forefront of the minds of project managers, playing a key role when deciding the method of construction, and the contractor and materials selected. However, when something goes wrong delays can occur, causing time and cost blowouts. Here, Stuart Harrison, Managing Director at Edge Underground, looks at some of the common causes of delays on pipeline installation projects and how to avoid them. Mr Harrison the biggest causes of delays are poor planning and lacking the right information from the start of the project. “In the past, I have been contracted to complete numerous...

Read More
Microtunnelling through limestone

How does microtunnelling differ from other trenchless installation methods?

Trying to research and compare various methods of trenchless installation can raise more questions than it answers. What’s the difference between thrust boring and bed boring? Which trenchless techniques use guidance systems? And how big of a margin of error can I expect with each method? We’ll address each of these questions and more in a comparison of some of the most common trenchless methods in use today. Two categories of techniques A comparison of different trenchless methods starts with a distinction between two technology categories: shaft-launched and surface-launched. Shaft-launched approaches call for a large rectangular pit to be dug...

Read More
Microtunnelling under railways

48 hour railway crossing – can it be done?

Installing a sewer line under a railway is no simple task at the best of times. What if you had just two days to complete it? Edge Underground found itself in such a position when the Gold Coast City Council asked for a gravity sewer line to be installed via trenchless technology along the Old Pacific Highway in Pimpama, with a section of the sewer line needing to be installed beneath a section of the Queensland Railway. There was one major condition with the project: the railway had to be reopened within 48 hours, ‘no ifs, no buts’. Steve Mitchell,...

Read More
Microtunnelling project in Portland, US

Microtunnelling and HDD – what’s the difference?

All too often, project managers will choose a pipeline installation method simply because they’ve used it more often in the past or it’s cheaper, when in reality a different approach could be far better suited for the job. Both microtunnelling and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) are trenchless installation methods used in a wide variety of projects. Choosing the best one for your project could be the difference between a painless, streamlined installation, and a job that drags over-budget and time, and is more likely to have problems in the future. Identifying the ideal method can be as simple as remembering...

Read More
Installing a pipe

What are the main benefits of using a laser guided tunnel boring machine over other microtunnelling machines?

Stuart Harrison caused a stir in the microtunnelling industry when the Vermeer AXIS laser guided boring system was officially launched in 2009. Since then, laser-guided machinery has been used to install hundreds of thousands of metres of sewer and water pipelines around the world, and has changed the game for pipeline projects in Australia. So what makes laser guided microtunnelling a standout in the crowded field of trenchless pipeline installation methods? Apart from the science fiction appeal, laser guided systems offer a number of real advantages that all serious pipeline project managers should be aware of. Accuracy Precision is always...

Read More

How can contractors mitigate risk on trenchless pipeline projects?

Time and cost are among the top driving factors of trenchless pipeline installations; they are also among the first to be blown out if something goes wrong during an installation. This is why risk mitigation is extremely important. By managing the risks that could cause a problem to a project, a contractor will have a higher chance of avoiding any problems, or being able to deal with them quickly and efficiently, so that the project remains on time and on budget. So what can contractors do to mitigate risks, and what should project managers look for in a contractor? What...

Read More

Mitigating the challenges of installing pipeline under railways

Installing a pipeline under a railway poses a number of challenges to contractors, and if any problems are encountered, the project could experience lengthy delays and extra costs. Here, microtunnelling expert Stuart Harrison looks at some of the key challenges and how these can be mitigated by selecting a microtunnelling contractor with the right equipment. Changing ground conditions Understanding the prevailing ground conditions is key to achieving a successful microtunnelling installation, as this will determine the tooling used and help the contractor plan. “The more that the contractor knows about the ground conditions at and around the site, the less...

Read More