By Mike Kynett, PE

Crossing existing roads, utilities, waterways, or other infrastructure with new utility installations can be challenging to permit. And in many cases, open-cut trenching may not be an option when crossing busy roadways.

However, once that process is complete, municipalities face another challenge: selecting the most cost-effective way to install the crossings—and one that also complies with your project’s permit.

A project’s schedule also may not fall into the timeframe required by the permit to perform an open-cut excavation across a waterway. Right-of-way or utility owners may not allow open-cut crossings at all and may require only a trenchless crossing option.

While it seems like there are many obstacles to installing new utilities, there are several installation methods available using trenchless techniques to cross existing infrastructure in a cost-effective manner. Here are three options to consider when evaluating the feasibility of a trenchless crossing. Each variation has its pros and cons along with its own unique requirements and considerations.