Horizontal Directional Drilling: Utility and Pipeline Applications

Chapter 2: Installation and Feasibility Considerations

Overview

A HDD project can be a major event, such as a significant water crossing, or a relatively minor one, such as a driveway or road crossing. Regardless of the nature of the HDD project, potential risks and problems should be identified early in the process. Many projects require extensive surface and subsurface investigations by qualified engineers to determine the feasibility and to assist the owner in preparation, planning, and design. The level of design-engineering effort for a HDD project is affected by many site factors including soil formations, terrain, existing utilities, and equipment setup restraints. Regardless of the upfront engineering effort, it is not unusual for the final bore path to change from the original design because of actual drilling conditions encountered.

When first considering a HDD crossing, there are many factors to evaluate before deciding if HDD is the best installation method for a pipeline or utility conduit. Economics or cost is always a primary factor. A HDD crossing is economically feasible if the project cost is less than or comparable to the cost of alternative construction methods. In many instances HDD provides the most economical choice, and in others it does not. While cost is important, determining if the potential application is technically feasible is usually the key factor when deciding if HDD is appropriate. A HDD project is considered technically feasible if it can be performed with existing equipment, tools, and techniques regardless of uncertainties surrounding the cost of installation. With the capabilities of today s HDD...

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