Underground Utilities Survey
Thurrock Retail Park

Driving efficiency: Survey Solutions’ utilities survey success

As part of an ongoing planning application to develop the Lakeside Retail Park in Thurrock for a multi million pound warehouse and distribution centre, our client required utilities surveys to be conducted on the roads and footpaths surrounding the site and these were procured via construction consultancy Rex Proctor and Partners. The survey data will be used to inform the prospective design.

As an approved supplier, we were one of three surveying firms asked to provide a fee proposal and were delighted to be awarded the project.

Utilities surveys trace and map underground utilities services and are conducted by our specialist underground surveying team. Our first job was to send a team to complete this. A ‘topo survey’ provides accurate detail regarding the area to be surveyed including any restrictions and imitations that might affect the utilities survey, and provides a detailed overground plan of the area that we can overlay the utility data on.

Conducting the utilities survey was not without its challenges. The roads that needed surveying were multi-lane with heavy traffic. Stopping the traffic around the busy retail park was not a viable option, so rather than impose a traffic management system we used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology mounted on a vehicle.

This enabled us to survey the roads whilst driving, which we did at night to reduce disruption. Using the vehicle also enabled us to cover
the entire area in one go and ensured the safety of our team.

Whilst conducting the GPR survey, the existence of rebar mesh under the tarmac was discovered. The site had previously been a quarry and the roads were reinforced with rebar. Because it is made of metal, rebar creates signal interference that affects the GPR data.

Discovering that the mesh was under the road surface will be useful information for the design and wider project teams during any potential excavation work. Despite the mesh making services undetectable by radar, we were able to obtain record information relating to existing services under the road surface. These were overlaid on our CAD drawings to provide our client with as much
information as possible.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Survey Solutions. Not only were they incredibly responsive, getting back to me by telephone and email to help define the project’s requirements, they also offered the most favourable lead times. Their ability to use a vehicle to conduct the surveys on the roads, meant we didn’t have to go to the trouble and expense of implementing a traffic management system, which was a huge relief.”
Charlotte King, Senior Project Manager, Rex Proctor and Partners

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