HDD Guidance in Extremely Energized Ground

A handful of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) specialists had failed to complete a scheduled installation of fiber optics in a Greenville, S.C., project that was now more than a year overdue. Bore-path complications included two heavily vegetated ravines, a road, two restrictive railroad right-of-ways and a reinforced concrete parking lot.

In addition, the path ran between two abandoned and filled underground gasoline storage tanks and alongside a mismarked fiber-optics line that remained up and running. Magnetic field anomalies confounded utility locators and HDD guidance systems. Regional contractors either refused to take the job or begged off after beginning it.

These are exactly the types of jobs Atlas Group’s HDD division pursues. “We are called in to finish jobs other contractors can’t finish. You could say that’s our niche, drilling in hard rock, doing the most difficult jobs,” said KJ Woody, president of Atlas Group.

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