Work Continues on Final Section of I-69 Project

McLaughlin Mole Map Helps Lockey Burrow Under Busy Street in Texas

Sat January 13, 2001 - West Edition

Anyone familiar with Houston, TX, knows that Westheimer Street is one of its busiest thoroughfares. Kent Gore of Lockey Industrial Services, Beaumont, TX, was awarded a contract which included running an 8.5-in. (21.6 cm) diameter bore to a distance of 360 ft. (109.7 m) along the Westheimer Street right-of-way and under four adjoining railroad tracks.

In addition, the bore would encounter three fiber-optic cables which, if damaged, would leave much of the city without phone service, so tracking the location and depth of the bore became extremely critical. To further complicate the job, it would be necessary to close one lane of busy Westheimer Street for a short period of time, so it became essential to complete the bore both accurately and in the shortest time possible.

Under these demanding circumstances, Gore consulted with Jeff Ballard of Vermeer Sales in Houston, TX. The McLaughlin Spot D Tex IV Directional Tracking & Locating System, and companion McLaughlin Mole Map IV Remote Monitor, were chosen for tracking the bore which was performed by a 24 by 240 Vermeer directional drill.

The Westheimer Street lane was closed to traffic at 7:00 p.m., equipment moved into place, and the bore was under way by 7:45 p.m. The Spot D Tek IV calculated and displayed the precise location and depth of the bore-in-progress. This information was conveyed to the Mole Map IV, which was attached to the directional drill in clear view of the operator, enabling him to guide the drill path and to see the upcoming utilities in real time. The fiber-optic cables were calculated to be a varying depths of 4 ft. 2 in. , 4 ft. and 5 ft. 1 in. (1.27, 1.22 and 1.55 m), so the depth of the bore was determined accordingly.

The bore was performed without interference and completed on target at 8:42 p.m. The busy traffic lane was reopened in less than two hours. The contractor, Lockey Industrial Services, elected to purchase the McLaughlin Spot D Tek IV and Mole Map IV, plus a Vermeer directional drill.

For more information, call 800/435-9340.