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Survey Scope Of Work

Survey Scope Of Work

Survey Scope Of Work

I just got a general question from an issue we just went through and am interested to hear feedback on this. I have done work in at least 20 states and 5 countries in my career and have never seen this happen before. We scoped for a surveyor to do a topographic survey, including potholing (air excavation), for a 30ac site with roadway frontage. The surveyor came back to us and said we would need to call utility locates for them and acquire all utility asbuilt information to relay to them. They also mentioned they would not be dipping any storm manholes and would instead use asbuilt information. Has anyone every seen a survey ask for this information and act like this? This is so ridiculously abnormal I initially thought he was kidding.

Normally when a survey is tasked with performing a topographic survey they are given a boundary in which to do so. Within that boundary it is their responsibility to call utility locates and obtain asbuilts in order to map underground utilities as accurately as possible. When potholing comes into play they pothole at their discretion to best map these utility lines. It just shocked me a 25 year surveyor would ask for this information.

RE: Survey Scope Of Work

Sounds like they want you to do their job. That's what a topo survey does.....it tells YOU what is there, otherwise why would you need a surveyor? Furthermore, they should not rely solely on as builts. As builts should be used to supplement or verify actual conditions. Who knows if the "as-built" condition from 5 years ago is the same "as built" condition today. I would find a new surveyor.

RE: Survey Scope Of Work

It might be a liability issue for utilities...


RE: Survey Scope Of Work

I agree MotorCity, the asbuilts are simply supplemental information to help them get an understanding of what might be out there. By no mean held to a level of accuracy and I think most surveyors understand that. He also asked us to bring control into the site for him - Kidding. Yea, I will never use these guys again.

RE: Survey Scope Of Work

I haven't seen potholing being part off surveyor's requirements. How would they estimate a fee? Do you stipulate maximum number & depth? There is also a concern with backfilling, restoring the surface, etc. In the area I practice (Alaska, and US military bases around the world), potholing is rare, and if it occurs, it is done by the earthwork contractor.

RE: Survey Scope Of Work

Agree with CarlB (mostly).

The detailed utility locating would fall under Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE), see https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/sueindex.cfm. The survey crews I've worked with over the last 25 years would typically use the utility one call for topside locates and plot 2D utilities using historical paper maps. Essentially a Class C to B level SUE. Class A is potholing for 3D locating and is typically only done when there is a design clearance conflict concern.

In fact SUE is a separate prequalification category apart from Land Surveying with our State DOT. Given that you stated that this would be part of their proposal on the front end, then they should have sub'd this portion out. If that wasn't the case and you are assuming that it be part a basic boundary and pickup topo, then I would have to agree with them on their position on potholing.

Either way though, a One Call / Miss DIG / JULIE has to be requested by the firm doing the work. Surveyors drive stakes & control pins in the ground, so the locate request is always theirs, at least its State Law here. At the end of the day, what did their proposal say on manhole inverts and plotting of the as-builts?


RE: Survey Scope Of Work

Yes, potholing is always subcontracted out and not part of the survey scope, I misstated it in my original comments. However a surveyors job is to research parcel maps and asbuilt information along with picking up utility structures (IE. Manholes) in order to create a base map that is accurate for use in design. In this case I got him back on track.

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