Recently a well-known energy infrastructure company was required to perform integrity digs to an existing 30-inch gas pipeline. The pipeline technicians would conduct a total of 9 digs and perform integrity inspections to scan for rust and corrosion. The energy company is a continuous advocate for safety and required that all 9 digs would be performed via hydro excavation. Hydro excavation is a non-destructive method of excavation normally used to locate underground utilities. All 9 digs would require an excavation cut 16-ft in length, a width 12-ft, and a depth of 10-ft. The Competent Person on-site classified the soil as C-80.
The pipeline company would require a protective device that could provide pro-active soil support, work well with crossing lines, have a lean footprint approach, and could provide protection all around the excavation. It was determined that a manhole brace paired with steel sheeting would be the best option for the project. The Hydraulic manhole brace is composed of hydraulic cylinders with steel over-sleeves that provide four-sided soil support during an excavation. The hydraulic manhole brace comes in an array of sizes for different types of applications. For this project, the hydraulic brace was paired with steel sheets which provided support along the excavation depth. The pipe maintenance technicians were very pleased with the overall performance of the excavation brace on all 9 digs. The technicians performed all tests in a timely matter with no interruptions thanks to manholes brace modular design which allows for an easy installation and removal process.