Multi-Year Investment Facilitates SUE Practice Growth

KCI’s Utilities Market is experiencing a rapid expansion, both in terms of new geographies and within the group’s original footprint. A large part of this growth is related to the firm’s Subsurface Utility Engineering Practice (SUE), which has made numerous key hires, added six new offices and doubled its fleet of vehicles and equipment.

We believe utilities is a vibrant market for KCI, and there is a tremendous amount of growth open to us via a strategy to leverage our core services and expand our geographic reach.

D. Scott RiddleVice President, Utilities Discipline Manager

D. Scott Riddle

First established in 2000, the firm’s SUE Practice utilizes various techniques and equipment to accurately locate, assess and document utility systems. Federal, state and local government agencies, design consultants, and utility firms regularly call for these capabilities as part of larger infrastructure improvement projects. KCI’s team offers expertise in all four quality levels of subsurface utility engineering and identification.

SUE Quality Levels

Employing SUE techniques early in the project development process can result in improved design and impact mitigation as well as damage prevention for nearby utilities, a safer work environment for contractors and the public, and fewer broken lines or pipes, which can create hazardous environments along with service interruptions, unexpected costs, and construction schedule delays. A Federal Highway Administration study estimated that each $1.00 spent on performing various SUE services related to state and federal transportation projects created an overall savings of $4.62.

SUE-Vac-Truck
KCI’s equipment arsenal includes a fleet of vacuum excavation trucks and a full complement of geophysical and electromagnetic equipment needed to fulfill the services detailed in the ASCE 38-02 Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data.

KEY HIRES AND GEOGRAPHIC GROWTH

New team members have joined the firm in many offices, in some cases opening new locations. Key hires have included:

  • Scott Stockburger, PE, and Mike Allen in Irving
  • Gary Frazho and Bob Clemens in Tampa
  • Vince Reger and Richard Torrens Jr. in Las Vegas [new office]
  • Elisha Ritchie in Salt Lake City [new office]
  • Stephen Brothers in Chicago [new office]
  • Randy Seaver, Brian MacVean and Andrew Clevenger in Syracuse [new office]
  • Lomes Petty, III in Houston

SUE Expansion Group Photo

EQUIPMENT UPGRADE

In 2012, when the targeted expansion began, KCI’s fleet of vacuum (vac) trucks numbered only six, with the newest purchased more than five years prior. Since that time, the company has replaced all of the aging vehicles while adding three new trucks within the firm’s existing footprint and three more in Texas, a major growth area. Riddle’s goal is to add three more vehicles before the end of 2017.

Crash-Attenuator-Truck
Several of the older trucks, those that had been purchased in 2001 and whose excavation equipment was past its lifecycle, were converted into crash attenuators. With a small investment, these vehicles were repurposed to protect the firm’s communication infrastructure crews as they install conduit and fiber optic cable along interstates and other high-speed roadways.

In addition to vac excavation trucks, KCI’s crews use a host of equipment for identifying, designating, locating and mapping existing and abandoned utility infrastructure. Techniques include magnetic, sonic and acoustic technologies; ground penetrating radar; and radio frequency detection.

Designating-Executive-Airport-Drive
Crews use geophysical locating equipment to map underground utilities along Executive Airport Drive in Henderson, Nevada.

NEW CLIENTS

The expansion has already led to a host of new clients, including contracts with the city of Las Vegas, Nevada Department of Transportation, Binghamton University, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Dominion Questar, and Morrisville State College. KCI also secured two-year, $1 million agreements with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Vermont Agency of Transportation to provide subsurface utility engineering and surveying services throughout each state. With new contracts, new equipment and new team leaders, KCI’s Utilities Market is poised to spread nationwide.