Evaluating the Use of Subsurface Utility Engineering in Canada

The market for Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) in Canada is slowly following its U.S. counterpart. In Ontario, the market for SUE has seen rapid growth especially on large-scale municipal projects. This paper presents the results of a 12-month study that investigated the challenges and opportunities facing SUE in Ontario. The study took an in-depth look at 9 large municipal and highway reconstruction projects that utilized SUE to provide an enhanced depiction of buried utilities. Based on this analysis, a cost model for SUE utilization was proposed that takes into account both tangible and intangible benefits. This model was applied to gauge the expected cost savings due to SUE utilization on these 9 projects. All projects showed a positive return-on-investment (ROI) that ranged from $2.05 to $6.59 for every dollar spent on SUE. Although these ROI figures should not be considered universal, they indicate that with careful scoping of SUE services, project risks can be appropriately reduced at reasonable cost. The paper concludes with a set of lessons learned by various project participants from the SUE experience in Ontario.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046208
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-0307
  • Files: PRP, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 4:51PM