SUE investigation at Ft. Bragg
Ft Bragg, NC
As part of the planned construction of the MEDCOM and COSCOM Barracks Complexes at the Fort Bragg Army Base
in Fayetteville, North Carolina, our client was contracted to provide survey support. The survey support was to
include determining the horizontal and vertical positions of subsurface utilities and other buried features which
could pose a conflict with planned construction activities.
The area of proposed construction was a heavily utilized, industrial area during the history of the base.
The proposed area for SUE investigations was approximately 3 acres. When accounting for accessibility and utility
congestion, CART is not always the best tool for the job. Considering the utility congestion and accessibility
of this site, it was determined to be cost-effective to collect CART data in only one half of this area.
GEL Geophysics completed a Quality Level D through Quality Level B SUE investigation of the entire site. This
includes a historical search of utility records, a visual inventory of utility appurtenances on the surface, and
the use of geophysical methods to locate subsurface utilities. All of the geophysical and surveying data were
collected in 3 days. A 3-D AutoCAD product was delivered to the client in 2 weeks following the completion of
Numerous subsurface utilities were mapped at this 3-acre site. Some of these utilities were indicated on
historical utility maps, but most were not. Of those that did exist on as-built maps, several of the "as-built"
locations were up to 50 feet off from their true locations. Numerous unknown utilities were only identified in
the CART data. These utilities did not exist on any as-builts nor were they found with any traditional utility
Without a SUE investigation, negative consequences could have occurred as a result of encountering previously
unknown utilities, and without incorporating CART into the SUE investigation, deep, large unknown utilities (likely
steam lines) could have been hit during construction, causing major delays in construction, significant cost
increases, and, most important, safety incidents.