Guide for Subsurface Utility Engineering and Digital As-Built Data Management

Traditionally, state departments of transportation (DOTs) and utility companies have not shared data due to limited technology to allow subsurface utility engineering (SUE) and digital as-built (DAB) data captured from conventional project plans and stored in computer-aided design (CAD) files to be easily exchanged. The risks and concerns about the liability of sharing SUE and DAB data that may not be accurate and/or may change in the future were also a factor. New geospatial technologies are being implemented by state DOTs and utility companies for internal purposes, but these technologies have not been utilized to address SUE and DAB data exchange. Additionally, utility companies have expressed concerns about controlling access to their location data relating to security and exposure to competitors. Preserving project information in a digital format provides the ability for continuous integration with other project data for developing a living record for DABs and building information modeling (BIM) files throughout a project’s lifecycle. Research findings in the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) report S2-R15B-RW-1, Identification of Utility Conflicts and Solutions, documented and quantified the negative impact and costs, which results from utility conflicts and limited data sharing between state DOTs and utility companies. However, a knowledge gap exists to support a partnership between state DOTs and utility companies to provide a mutually beneficial data exchange that promotes state DOTs interests (e.g., improved design, reduced project schedules, and public safety). Additionally, state DOTs must overcome barriers (e.g., data accuracy responsibility, reliability and accuracy of data visualizations, long-term storage and maintenance of electronic data, data accessibility, and homeland security issues) to improve utility data management with utility companies. Research is needed to examine and assess the utility companies’ perspective (e.g., perceived risks and liability), and develop strategies to communicate the potential benefits of a data sharing partnership between state DOTs and the utility companies. The objective of this research is to develop a guide and framework for collecting, storing, and exchanging SUE and DAB data between utility companies and state DOTs.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 10-135

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    McKenney, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20240404
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01883935
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 10-135
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 30 2023 7:48PM