INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--USIC, the leader in underground infrastructure damage prevention, is reaching out to the excavation community to ensure the level of partnership needed to protect the nation’s 20 million miles of underground utilities that provide the power, water, and communication services for our homes and businesses and keep excavators and our communities safe.
The law requires that prior to digging, a utility locate request must be submitted by calling 811 or online at www.811beforeyoudig.com, creating a ticket to have underground utilities in a defined area marked to prevent damage from excavation and mitigate safety hazards. Most states’ 811 systems and dig safe laws were designed for single-address or small-scope project tickets.
With the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021, locate tickets for large-scope projects, such as fiber overbuilds, broadband installation, and clean energy infrastructure construction, have increased nearly 80% nationwide. These large-scope project tickets require significantly more time and resources to complete, creating challenges for utility locators and excavators.
USIC is taking measures to ensure timely locates and safe digging in this rapidly evolving operating environment. In addition to increasing staffing and enhancing training for its field workforce, USIC is collaborating with the utilities it serves to educate legislators on the changes needed to dig safe laws and to provide guidance to excavators on submitting locate requests to eliminate the need for unnecessary marking by utility locators and enable them to focus on the timely completion of the locates excavators require to keep their projects on schedule.
“In response to the challenges presented by the significant increase in large-scope project tickets nationwide, USIC is investing in and restructuring our workforce and operations and collaborating with our customers on solutions which ensure our ability to continue to provide the highest quality, on-time locating services,” USIC President and CEO Mike Ryan commented. “We are committed to protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure, keeping excavators and our communities safe, and ensuring uninterrupted utility services. During National Safe Digging Month and on behalf of the entire USIC team, I want to thank our partners - the utilities we serve and the excavation community we support - for sharing our commitment. We each have an important role to play in ensuring safe digging as our country continues to grow and advance.”
Excavators can find USIC’s guidance on submitting utility locate requests online at Groundwork – Guidance for Submitting Utility Locate Requests.
USIC is America’s largest provider of utility damage prevention services with operations in 48 states and corporate headquarters located in Indianapolis, IN. The Company, which currently serves over 1,400 customers across the cable, telecommunications, electric, gas, water, and sewer utility markets, performs over 84 million locates each year. Additionally, the Company provides a range of advanced utility solutions and services offered by its affiliates, Blood Hound, Reconn Utility Services, and On Target Utility Services.