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Safe & Sound Bridge Program

Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
Client: Design/Build Team KTU Constructors
Location: Northwest Missouri
Services: Geophysics, Drilling

Geotechnology was contracted by the Design/Build Team to provide Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) Quality Level B, drilling and lab testing services in support of construction of 479 of State’s 554 bridges in the Safe and Sound program. SUE services included utility drawings and supporting field notes for 226 bridges within 20 counties due 70 days from Notice to Proceed.

The team designed and executed a precise and thorough protocol to rapidly accomplish site research, SUE Quality Level B geophysical surveying, land surveying, and plan preparation for each of the remote and widely scattered bridge locations during inclement winter weather.

Prior to performing SUE work at each of the 226 sites, a Missouri One-Call was initiated by the team at headquarters. Known utilities were then marked by One-Call personnel to be later verified by our personnel. Despite challenges with One-Call, our crews were able to survey four or more bridges on most days both swiftly and accurately, which exceeded the scheduled two per day. Field work was completed in 12 days.

To accomplish the SUE surveying, Geotechnology organized six, two-person, SUE survey crews headed by a senior geophysicist who supervised the field activities to ensure consistency and quality control amongst all the crews and to assist with large and complex bridge sites. The crews developed efficient methods of locating bridge sites using hand-held GPS units (for which each bridge location was pre-programmed) and identifying the locations of known and unknown utilities using an RD-400/4000 radio detection meter and an EM31 terrain conductivity meter. Each crew prepared site sketches that depicted the relative locations of each identified underground or aboveground utility.

Each geophysics crew was followed by a survey crew from one of three survey companies contracted to Geotechnology for this effort. Each of Geotechnology’s crews were responsible for coordinating with their corresponding survey crew and providing them with copies of their site sketches. The surveyors prepared the final utility drawings for our review and ultimately for our submission to MoDOT. The Geotechnology Team was requested to perform the same services for a second phase of an additional 80+bridges throughout the state the following year.


  • 226 Bridges
  • 20 Counties
  • 6 SUE Geophysical crews 2012 – 2013 Website Updates Page 4 of 11
  • 226 Utility maps developed
  • 24% Under budget
  • Completed ahead of schedule
  • 115 Utility companies contacted
  • 3 Survey companies

The fast-track drilling portion of this program began in late September 2009 and concluded at the end of March 2010. At any given time eight drill rig crews, three laboratories and a number of support staff were engaged to meet this aggressive schedule. A number of the drill crews utilized PLog to electronically log the information acquired during drilling directly into drilling log software to shorten the time needed to produce the final boring logs.

Winner of the 2008 ACEC Missouri Grand Award for engineering excellence.