• Utility Mapping Services, Inc.

    SR-510 H.P. Gas Main

    Lacey, Washington, United States

Project Summary


As part of a USD 4 million project which involved the installation of a Puget Sound Energy 8-inch, high-pressure natural gas main along a 1-mile stretch of SR 510 in Lacey, Washington, Utility Mapping Services was tasked with identifying a construction route that would least impact the local community. The gas main was a necessary upgrade that would add capacity to the existing system and increase reliability for customers. The project corridor included complex, existing utility infrastructure woven through dense commercial and residential areas, which had limited right-of-way and heavy traffic congestion.


Utility Mapping Services created a 3D model of the existing utility infrastructure along the project corridor to identify a route for the new gas main that would minimize construction impacts to the local community and businesses. Bentley’s Power GEOPAK Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) software helped visualize and resolve utility-related conflicts, allowing the team to perform permitting, design development, construction planning, and bidding support.


The 3D utility model created with Bentley's SUE application helped identify an alignment that reduced the costs associated with unnecessary utility relocations, avoidable construction delays, and contractor change orders. The model enabled engineers to value engineer design alternatives and obtain the necessary variances from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), resulting in shortened construction time, lower construction bids, and reduced impact on motorists.


Utility Mapping Services used GEOPAK and MicroStation to identify and model the utility infrastructure and evaluate alternative alignments. Utility data gathered through records research and field investigations was combined into one MicroStation utility reference DGN file. Power GEOPAK’s SUE application was used to create the 3D model and a virtual reality rendering of the existing utility configuration, which helped the project stakeholders identify the best route for the new gas main.
  • The 3D utility model and data were delivered to contractors for clearance measurements, construction planning, value engineering, and bid preparation, resulting in tighter bid estimates.
  • The collaborative design review process enabled the design team to secure approval of the preferred route along with the necessary variances from WSDOT.
  • Resolving utility conflicts during design allowed the contractor to more accurately plan the construction schedule and allocate resources, reducing project delivery time and costs.
  • “With the Bentley SUE application, the benefit and value of our services have increased tenfold because we can now very clearly convey to our clients the issues they face with the existing infrastructure, and work with the design and construction teams and utility infrastructure owners to develop value engineered solutions that feature minimal utility relocations, minimal surprises from buried unknowns, and precise, expedited construction delivery methods.”

    Philip J. Meis P.E., principal engineer Utility Mapping Services, Inc.