Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) was pretty well established in the United States by 2000. Not all the State DOTs were using it but all had been made aware of it by Jim Anspach, Nick Zembillas, and Paul Scott.  So, it was no surprise when other countries started using SUE, beginning with Canada. For about the next five weeks we are going to be looking at the history of SUE in Canada, as provided by Lawrence Arcand, P.Eng, P.E., the President of 4Sight Utility Engineers. 

The First true SUE project, following the ASCE 38-02 standard, completed in Canada was in 2002 for the Region of Durham. It involved a road reconstruction of Harmony Road in Oshawa, Ontario. The work was done by a joint venture created by Tampa Bay Engineering (TBE) and Totten Sims Hubicki (TSH). Key players for TBE were Nick Zembillas and John Harter, PE. For TSH it was Brian Ruck, P.Eng. and Bruce Miller, P.Eng. 

Based on the success of that project both firms decided to formalize their arrangement and form – TSH/TBE Joint Venture. TBE and TSH made their initial connection during a conference in Florida. TBE was interested in learning more about TSH’s road safety capabilities, and TSH was interested in learning more about this new idea of SUE. It also corresponded with the initial publication of ASCE 38-02 when SUE finally started to formalize as a sub-discipline of Civil Engineering.

In 2003 TSH/TBE JV got its second project in Canada for the Region of Niagara. Lawrence was hired as the first employee of the Joint Venture to run the project. The primary client contact was Kyle Moate and they also worked closely with Greg Epp, the Region’s GIS specialist. The project involved the mapping of non-conductive watermains for the purpose of updating the Region’s GIS database, which at the time was not spatially accurate enough for them to reliably use. As an outcome of the project the GIS was updated with accurate information and metadata was added to indicate the quality level of each section of watermain in their database. Numerous sections were found large distances away from where they had originally been thought to be located, in one instance it was on a different road.  The majority of field work was completed by TBE US crews who came up to work on the project. Jamie Bradburn was soon brought on board to work with Lawrence as a SUE field lead for TSH/TBE JV so that there was field capabilities north of the border.

(Lawrence Arcand’s History of SUE in Canada will be continued next week)