Underground Damages Case Study: Use of Comprehensive Data Analysis

Louis Panzer, North Carolina 811 & Dr. Ahmed Al-Bayati, Lawrence Technical University

Underground Damages Case Study: Use of Comprehensive Data Analysis

Reducing damages to underground utilities is one of the primary goals of construction stakeholders. The societal and economic impacts of such damages are substantial. To minimize potential damages to underground utilities, one-call notification programs have been created to coordinate efforts that aim to locate utilities before excavating. One-call centers are distributed throughout the United States and have been collecting damages data for years. However, few, if any, studies have evaluated the overall process of one-call centers and whether their services are adequately designed and efficiently delivered to utility owners and excavators. Thus, the present study aims to fill this gap in practice by investigating underground utility damages and evaluating the overall process. To achieve the aim of the study, two methods of data collection were adopted. Damage data from the state of North Carolina in 2017 were obtained to examine trends and frequencies of damages. In addition, a survey was developed and used to evaluate the overall process of one-call centers and identify deficiencies. Among other findings, the results suggest that damages to telecommunication and television (Tele/TV) lines are more frequent than other types of damages and that, overall, Tele/TV contractors are the primary contributors to most damages. The study also reveals that locate time is the most deficient component in the locating process. Findings from the present study are expected to help construction stakeholders and state agencies improve the locating process and management of underground utilities.

Date: Thursday, March 3

Start Time:  2:30 pm

End Time:  3:15 pm

Track(s): Electric, Excavator, Locate, Notification Center, Oil & Gas, Water & Sewer, Telecom, Public Works


Louis Panzer has served as Executive Director at NC 811 since August of 2012. He has been recognized as 2013 CGA Member of the Year and has been an active CGA participant for over 16 years. Louis is active with an alphabet soup of associations and lives sleeps and breathes the concept of shared responsibility.



Read articles by Louis in dp-PRO magazine by clicking here.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Bayati is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). Before joining LTU, Dr. Al-Bayati was an assistant professor in the Kimmel School of Construction Management at Western Carolina University (WCU). He earned his Ph.D. in Construction Engineering from Western Michigan University in 2017. His dissertation focused on managing workforce diversity at construction sites to improve safety, quality, and teamwork. He also received a master’s degree in construction management from East Carolina University (ECU) in 2013, and a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Babylon University in 2003. He actively conducts research in the field of construction safety, specializing in safety climate and safety culture, safety training, safety management, and overall process optimization. Dr. Al-Bayati also conducts research on various topics of civil engineering, such as infrastructure damage prevention process and construction material. He used a variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection, data analysis, and data mining methods.

Dr. Al-Bayati research findings have been published in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE’s Journal of Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, and National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research. Dr. Al-Bayati actively serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Construction Safety Committee and International Damage Incident Group (IDIP). IDIP aim is to share ideas on how to develop an international exchange standard for underground utilities’ damage prevention and reporting.