#Subsurface Utility Engineering



Last week I asked for information from anyone that worked for a provider or knew of a provider that offered Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) services during the 1990s. We will begin looking at responses to that request in a few weeks.

We’re now moved in the history of SUE from 1981 to 1991. Lots of things happened in 1991. For example:

(1) Jerry Poston (Chief of FHWA’s Railroad, Utilities, and Programs Branch in the Office of Engineering) visited the Florida DOT and several conferences and made presentations.

(2) Janet Coleman (Chief of FHWA’s State and Local Programs Branch in the Office of Technical Applications) began helping us look for opportunities to promote SUE.

(3) FHWA became aware of four providers other than So-Deep:

(A) Geotrack was begun by Jonathan Tan in 1987. John Krause, Faith Welling, Bob Mullin, Paul Cravotta, and others were important members of the team.

(B) Accurate (now InfraMap) was begun by Paul Hayes in 1987. John Midyette was an important part of the early team.

(C) Underground Services (SoftDig), was begun in 1959 as a company that installed anodes on pipelines with vacuum equipment. In 1986 SoftDig began providing test holes and later full SUE. Ed Hilbush, Bob Milliken and others were important members of the team.

(D) Tampa Bay Engineering (later TBE Group), begun by Nick Zembillas in 1991. Gary Frazho (see picture) was the first of many important hires.

(4) FHWA also became aware of several State DOTs using or considering using SUE. These DOT efforts were led by:

(A) Stuart Waymack and Richard Bennett in Virginia.

(B) Chuck Workman, Neil Moore and Mike Stayton in Delaware.

(C) Bill Pickering, Bob Limbaugh, and Lynn Schell in Pennsylvania.

(D) Adrian Flowers and Robert Memory in North Carolina.

(E) Nick Zembillas in Florida.

(F) Dudley Ellis in Georgia.

(G) John Campbell, Randy Anderson, and John Breed in Texas.

 The above providers, State DOTs, and individuals are all true SUE pioneers. Without their efforts SUE would never have become what it is today. There will be lots more about all of them in future posts.

This is just what I remember now some 31 years later. I know I have missed some providers, State DOTs, and especially some of the important people leading the charge.  If you are aware of companies, DOTs, and/or individuals than I can add, please let me know. There will be lots more about this in future posts, beginning next week with a look at Jonathan Tan and Geotrack and their contributions.

Locating 1980