ASE performs Utility Engineering that includes Utility Corridor Planning, Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE), Contract Locates, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and other professional services incidental to the construction, maintenance, and protection of new and existing utilities.

Utility Corridor Planning involves mapping the new or existing corridor, establishing new or existing parcels or easements, preparing parcel plats and descriptions, performing appraisals and negotiations, locating existing utilities that might conflict with new utilities and coordinating construction activities with contractors and land owners.


Contract Locates are performed prior to construction to physically mark, flag, or paint utility locations in the field to avoid damage.


Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This nondestructive method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band (UHF/VHF frequencies) of the radio spectrum, and detects the reflected signals from the subsurface structures. 

SUE is a standalone professional service, but also a subset of Corridor Planning. Generally, SUE is performed when new or changes to existing highways, streets, railroads, airports or site development is anticipated. The goal of SUE is to protect existing utility infrastructure and reduce or eliminate conflicts during construction by identifying conflicts during the design of new facilities.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed an important standard of care guideline, Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data, CI/ASCE 38-02. Utility data is collected an portrayed on existing plans characterized by four different Quality Levels. ASE is the only Illinois based firm prequalified by IDOT and offering the full complement of Quality Level A through D of SUE services.


We have performed extensive Subsurface Utility Engineering work on these selected projects:

More examples of SUE projects are available upon request.

  • Iowa DOT SUE Services
  • Replacement of Dubuque NICOR Line
  • SUE QL A & B at Ameren Sites
  • City of Chicago Utility Locates
  • Study for New Alignment for I-74 Bridge
Iowa Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) Services 
The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Traffic and Safety contracted with ASE to provide Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) investigations and detailed survey results. The contract included projects in each district of the state of Iowa. ASE was selected to perform both the designating and locating phases of SUE. ASE crews provided the Iowa DOT with survey services to accurately map all locatable utilities within designated limits. We transmitted the subsurface utility data in a format compatible with the Iowa DOT computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) system (in MicroStation) in the state plane coordinate system.  ASE completed the following levels of subsurface utility engineering based on the ASCE Standard CI/ASCE 38-02: Level B and Level A.
SUE Services in Support of Replacement of Dubuque NICOR Line

The project consisted of the replacement of approximately 8.1 miles of existing 22” steel transmission pipeline with proposed 30” steel transmission pipeline.  The project began near Ketchum Road at Nicor Station 95A and headed southeast  to the project end point at Nicor Station 319 near Madeline Lane.  The 22” steel transmission main was located in a combination of existing easement Nicor owned property. 

ASE performed a Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) study to identify all existing utilities along the proposed running line. The SUE study covered the extents of the existing Nicor easement and Nicor fee owned property along with all roadway and railroad crossings.

Subsurface utility information was gathered and presented in accordance with the American Society of Civil Engineers Standard ASCE 38-02 – Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data.  Quality level B was required where proposed construction did not directly impact adjacent utilities.

ASE performed SUE tasks to quality level A for proposed crossings of significant infrastructure including Nicor Gas pipelines, foreign pipelines, storm water facilities, sanitary facilities, fiber optic lines, communication lines, electrical lines, water mains, etc. Where pipe was to be installed using trenchless methods, all affected utilities were located following quality Level A requirements. Significant crossings were shown in profile view with elevations noted.

ASE created a base map of existing utilities indicating type, alignment, size, and significant physical features (manholes, valve boxes, hydrants, utility poles, etc.).  The location and depth of all utilities at all major crossings (road, railroad, etc.) were shown and noted on the base map.

SUE Levels A & B Ameren Line Replacement or Relocation Sites

ASE provided Subsurface Utility Engineering Level A and Level B services at Ameren sites in Illinois. ASE’s provided the following at each site: SUE Level B for the length of the proposed improvement, and SUE Level A expsoures where foreign utilities crossed the line being replaced.

City of Chicago Underground Utility Locates, Various Sites throughout the City of Chicago

ASE performed daily scheduled and 24/7 on-call utility locates for one-quarter of the City of Chicago for the City of Chicago Bureau of Electric, Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Water.  ASE performed these services using Subsurface Utility Engineering surface geo-physical methods of interpreting the presence of underground utilities.  Any utility which is present is then marked on the surface according to standards which comply with ASCE Standard 38-02. Each locate was data-based virtually with geo-reference information, pictures of the site, and details of the locate.

Phase I Study for New Alignment of I-74 Bridge over the Mississippi River, Iowa/Illinois

ASE performed on a joint project for the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Phase I Study of new alignment of the I -74 bridge over the Mississippi River.  ASE performed utility designation and location on the entire I-74 corridor for the new bridge over the Mississippi River on both the Illinois and Iowa side.  This project covered over seven miles and was performed jointly between Illinois DOT and the Iowa DOT.  All utilities in the affected area were designated (located) using SUE Level B techniques and tied into the project datum by use of GPS and conventional surveying techniques. We performed an extensive CADD analysis of the different SUE Levels of location information for each utility.  Additionally, several conflicts were identified for further study, and we performed SUE Level A excavations to obtain more precise locations of the exposed utilities. Also Geotechnical surveys included borings done from a barge into the bottom of the Mississippi River.  ASE provided land acquisition and Right of Way services that included real estate and appraisal services for parcels affected by new alignment.


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American Surveying & Engineering, P.C. (ASE)  offers a variety of professional services. Please contact us with any question you may have and one of our representatives will get back to you shortly.


American Surveying & Engineering, Ltd. (ASE) offers a variety of professional services. ASE, which was established in 1978 as American Surveying Consultants, has its corporate office in Chicago and branch offices in Naperville and Dixon, Illinois.

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