COVID-19 challenges

Men wearing face masks

During the first week of March 2020, Pennsylvania University announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their New College House West construction project would be delayed by at least seven weeks, costing approximately $50 million. This is just an example of one out of countless cases that occurred in the past twelve months in the construction industry across the globe. Projects have been delayed or shut down far & wide, as a result of workers testing positive for COVID-19, being quarantined,or as a result of general lockdowns.

According to a report released by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association in August 2020, in the United States alone, infrastructure projects that were delayed or canceled are totaling unexpected costs at more than $9.6 billion. As construction projects are highly dependent on human workers on site, this does not come as a surprise. It has become quite apparent that in this climate, the larger the human workforce, the higher the risk of a project being delayed.

 

The field of subsurface utility engineering is no different and has taken a significant hit, as most mapping activities in this field are dependent on human workers. Teams of field investigators, teams using Ground Penetrating Radars, and teams carrying out hand digging or using hydro-vacuums, are all in danger of being limited due to the pandemic. On top of which, subsurface mapping is one of the most preliminary stages of the construction project cycle, and so any delay in its activities could potentially result in the delay of the entire project. At the end of the day,this has become an extremely risky field.

 

Fortunately, one of 4M’s major advantages is its ability to cover many aspects of subsurface utility locating, and minimize the need for ‘boots on the ground’ workers. The company’s platform makesmanual records – redundant, field investigations – automated, geophysical locating – scalable, and the need for utility exposing – minimized. 4M takes the human factor out of the equation. In other words, it gives the construction industry, and the subsurface locating industry specifically, a tool that is able to de-risk their operations in the current climate.

 

Yes, the construction industry has experienced higher levels of project delays and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread restrictions on the movement of people and enforcement of complete or partial lockdowns from mid-March 2020, have made it very difficult to generate progression, but this is not a given – certainly not with 4M’s unique ability to map the subsurface with no ‘boots on the ground’.

Like this article? Share it.

Recent blog posts

Go to Blog

4M Utility Strategy Podcast Episode 6: Geoff Zeiss

Geoff Zeiss on the state of utility locating and the future of utility mapping around the world

Team 4M
January 13, 2022
Read more
Podcast Episode 5: Gary Huffman

4M Utility Strategy Podcast Episode 5: Gary Huffman

Gary Huffman on how utilities can serve customers smarter, cheaper, and more reliably

Team 4M
December 14, 2021
Read more
Podcast Episode 2: Steaphan MacAulay

4M Utility Strategy Podcast Episode 2: Steaphan MacAulay

We talk surveying and advanced technology with Steaphan MacAulay on our second episode

Team 4M
December 5, 2021
Read more
Think we can help you?

Let's talk

and see how we can shine some light on your utility strategy.

Company

About Us

Team

Key Benefits

Data Partnership Manager
Office Admin
Data Engineering Team Lead
Brand Marketing Designer
Full Stack Team Lead
Data Engineer
Geodata Analyst
Geo Analyst
Remote Sensing Researcher
Business Analyst
Backend Tech Lead
Senior DevOps Engineer
Product Manager
Computer Vision Deep Learning Expert
USA Account Executive