By Tanya Kanczuzewski, Dura-Line -- Although the construction technique of microtrenching has been in practice for over a decade, there’s still a lot to learn about best practices. Two hundred industry professionals gathered on May 1 in Austin, Texas, at Dura-Line’s Technology Summit 2019: MicroTrenching. The event was the first large-scale one-day conference Dura-Line has ever sponsored. It was hosted at the Corbel Communications facility, where after a warm welcome from mayors of the City of Austin, Mayor Steve Adler, and the City of Mount Vernon, N.Y., Mayor Richard Thomas, a series of high-profile speakers shared their expertise on microtrenching.
Guest speakers at the one-day conference included:
• Tim Grimsley, Vice President of Global Customer Engagement, Dura-Line
• Dan Urban, Vice President, Corbel Communications
• Chris Levendos, Vice President - Network Engineering and Operations, Crown Castle
• Christina Bassett, Sr. Manager-ODN/xHaul Network Planning Team, Verizon
• Jed Zook, Communications Engineer, Douglas County PUD, Wash.
The microtrenching construction technique has had success in several cities around the country, including Austin, New York, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Charlotte. Cities are growing, and their infrastructure networks have to grow too. Right-of-ways housing the existing infrastructure now have to provide more services to meet the demands of the growing population. And with the construction method of microtrenching, city planners and engineers can best leverage overcrowded utility corridors in right-of-ways.
Dura-Line invited potential and existing customers and key vendor partners to hear the special guest speakers and to see a live demonstration of microtrenching. Tim Grimsley, Dura-Line’s Vice President of Global Customer Engagement said, “Dura-Line truly has a lot of friends in the industry, both those that manufacture products and the end-users that set the trends for how essential infrastructure is built. Everyone at the event benefitted from sharing information, asking questions, and interacting with peers.”
Vendor partners, specifically related to microtrenching construction techniques, participated in a mini-trade show and had products on display:
• Corning Optical Communications
• Ditch Witch
• GCP Applied Technologies
• Sparta Co/Jameson
Grimsley said, “We even had several people already asking about next year’s topic and location. Our goal for each Dura-Line Technology Summit is to educate people on the benefits, techniques, and best practices of a focused topic. We look forward to providing this new annual event because ultimately the services we provide as an industry help advance communication around the world.”
In today’s economy, living without a high-speed broadband connection is rapidly leading to a substandard life. With the global trend of urbanization, populations continue to densify, impacting the underground and aerial utility connections. Having a flexible, easily upgradable fiber-optic network is a must and only a conduit system prevents the hassle of new construction costs. Residents want to live a connected life in a “smart” city, where they are always informed and able to communicate, whether they are at work, home, or play. In some dense urban construction zones, microtrenching may just be the best construction technique.
Tanya Kanczuzewski is Sr. Marketing and Communications Manager at Dura-Line, a TL-9000 and ISO-9001 rated manufacturer of HDPE conduits serving the telecommunications, enterprise, and electrical markets.