#Subsurface Utility Engineering



I have been telling the SUE story from my FHWA perspective. All SUE practitioners have stories to tell. The following three stories probably tell more about the growth of SUE than all the words I could put together.

DAVE COLE has promoted SUE for almost 30 years. This is what he has to say: “It’s interesting how the Ohio DOT came to adopt SUE some 27 years ago. There was a project in Mentor on the Lake called Lost Nation Road where a contractor kept hitting utilities. It became a big item with the Cleveland press. Anyway, I understand So-Deep was contacted, and mobilized to Ohio with a crew using vacuum excavation only 50 to 100 feet ahead of construction clearing utilities. From there, ODOT put out an RFP for SUE and we won a contract. ODOT insisted we must have an office in Ohio. That’s when I came onboard opening an office in Tallmadge.”

MARK WARDEN has promoted SUE for more than 30 years. He remembers: “In 1987, Delaware DOT became S0-Deep’s second state DOT to contract for SUE services and has used SUE continuously to this day. Chuck Workman, Neil Moore, and Mike Stayton of DelDOT’s Utility Section were instrumental in getting this contract started and keeping it going. Bill Pickering, Right-of-Way and Utilities Chief, and Lynn Schell, State Utilities Director, of the Pennsylvania DOT introduced SUE services to the eleven PennDOT Districts in the early 1990’s. PennDOT Districts 6 (Philadelphia), 5 (Allentown), and 11 (Pittsburgh) were the test grounds for SUE in the Commonwealth.”

NICK ZEMBILLAS tells a fascinating story about a true SUE pioneer working in an area that I have overlooked to date in my posts. Nick says:  “Let me tell you a SUE STORY of a true Pioneer of SUE whose career started as a locator for CLS, locating for Sunshine One Call locate tickets. This young person, became a regional manager for CLS and was responsible for training his team of locators in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. In the late 80’s this young person, would attend our FDOT D7 Utility Coordination events to learn about our district proposed work program and new Utility coordination and emerging new best practices. At one D7 Utility event, I had a presentation on SUE and showed the FHWA SUE video with follow up Q&A. This young man sat in the front row, eye’s wide open and ears, attentive. On that day, he drank the SUE coolaide. This young man was GARY FRAZHO, who was a talented Locator, who became the most AMAZING TRUE SUE Pioneer, GLOBALLY. Gary, far exceed ALL expectations, I could ever imagine.”

Dave, Mark, and Nick made numerous cold calls, knocks on doors, presentations and more. Gary has had a hall-of-fame career teaching field personnel the proper way to use the SUE locating and designating equipment. All three are still working at it today.


More stories next week!

Post 5 - HIstory of SUE 1980's pic 2