In the last few years, wireless data traffic has increased exponentially. People are no longer only accessing the Internet at home or in the office, they are doing it wherever they are from their mobile device. Telecommunication carriers have come up with innovative ways to increase their network capacity. One solution is through the use of small cells. Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are another solution used to address the need for increased coverage and capacity of wireless networks.
G2 Consulting Group – Chicagoland has provided its telecommunication clients regulatory compliance services for over 15 years. Over the past several years, G2 Consulting has seen increased opportunities in the small cell sector of the telecommunications market as carriers attempt to keep up with the need for increased network capacity brought on by consumers’ ever-increasing demand for data on their mobile devices.
This is a dynamic area of the telecommunications business given that the deployment of small cell networks is a relatively recent development and we do anticipate carriers devoting more of their resources to expanding their small cell networks going forward. Further, the regulatory framework (National Environmental Policy Act) in place for years to address new cell tower development must also be applied to the small cells and it isn’t always a perfect fit. To that end, we have seen the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) working to streamline the regulatory process to fit the generally lower-impact of small cells with respect to NEPA concerns. G2 is currently working with our clients and awaiting interpretations from the carrier’s legal and regulatory departments to address the most recent attempts to streamline the regulatory process offered for small cell facilities as put forth by the FCC in August.
G2 always stays in front of new developments in the small cell sector. To that end, we are looking forward to attending the upcoming Above Ground Level conference in Chicago on October 4th. We hope to hear thoughts from the speakers as to where this sector is headed, as well as, their perceptions with respect to the recent regulatory changes and how the industry may incorporate these changes. G2 is always interested in bringing back information we can provide to our clients so they can make well-informed decisions on their projects.
As available tower space becomes more limited, it becomes imperative to tower owners and carriers to make the most of the existing space that is available. Oftentimes, this involves performing a structural analysis of the tower to determine its load carrying capacity and ability to support additional antenna structures. The existing foundation must be evaluated as part of this structural analysis.
What happens when the original foundation plans, geotechnical report, or as-built plans are not available? At this point it becomes necessary to perform an investigation to determine the subsurface conditions at the site and foundation type and dimensions. G2 has performed hundreds of such investigations across the United States for numerous clients including Semaan Engineering, Fullerton Engineering, Terra Consulting Group, W-T Communication Group, and all the major telecommunication tower owners and carriers.
G2 has the ability and network of drillers across the country to perform geotechnical investigations almost anywhere. Typically, our foundation investigations utilize low-strain pile integrity test methods to evaluate drilled piers. We also utilize excavation methods, as necessary, to determine foundation information. Our past investigations have also included evaluation of guyed anchor bars for corrosion below grade.
We also maintain a database of the thousands of tower sites we have worked on over the past 20 years and may be able to locate previous geotechnical reports or foundation designs, potentially saving a substantial amount of time and money required for new investigations.
Efficient Process Saves Time and Reduces Costs
Addressing soil characterization during the Geotechnical Investigation phase saves our clients time and money by certifying the soils during the early stages of the planning process. G2 recommends Clean Construction and Demolition Debris (CCDD) services to minimize additional expenses. CCDD is defined by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as ”uncontaminated broken concrete without protruding metal bars, bricks, rock, stone, reclaimed asphalt, and soil generated from construction and demolition activities.”
Disposal of soils that cannot be utilized on site during grading is significantly less expensive at a clean fill facility. Analyzing soil and having certification forms in place early in the project stage helps remove potential delays and unplanned costs. Once site development begins, potential costs arise from stockpiling soils on site while waiting for lab results. These soils may then need to be disposed of at a regulated landfill. Further, owners can utilize this information to obtain favorable pricing from contractors when their projects bid.
G2 Consulting Group reviews available environmental reports, as well as readily available information within the Illinois EPA’s databases to determine if there are significant environmental issues associated with the subject property or immediate adjoining properties. Based on our review, we determine an appropriate number of soil samples and locations, as well as a scope for analytical testing parameters.
Soil samples are obtained during drilling operations performed in conjunction with our Geotechnical Investigation using proper environmental sampling protocol. Soil at the project site is visually assessed and screened in the field using a photo ionization detector (PID). Soil samples are selected for analytical testing based on visual observations, PID screenings, or using other pertinent data from our review. Representative samples are selected and submitted to an accredited laboratory for analysis and comparison with the Illinois EPA’s “Maximum Allowable Concentrations of Chemical Constituents in Uncontaminated Soil Used as Fill Material”. This analysis is used to determine if soils at the site meet the Illinois EPA’s criteria for disposal at a CCDD facility. Provided the material is determined to be non-impacted, a licensed Professional Engineer completes the Illinois EPA Form LPC-663 certifying that the soils are non-impacted. It should be noted that final acceptance of the material is up to the individual landfill facility.
Smart. Results. Fast.
G2 Consulting Group’s Chicagoland office performs soil testing in conjunction with Geotechnical Investigations saving time and reducing costs.
G2 Consulting continues to recruit new talent to serve our clients and our growing business. We will be hosting an informal networking event on January 5, 2016 from 12- 3 pm at our Troy office for students who are currently looking for full time or internship positions.
This event will help prepare students for spring career fairs by providing some one-on-one time with new and experienced engineers who can share resume and interview tips.
Click here to let us know you’re coming and send a resume. We’ll have some feedback ready for you when you arrive.
Visit our website to learn more about G2 Consulting and open positions.
Chicago Department of Water Management constructed a relief sewer, including a series of drop shafts, drain connections, catch basins and inlets along North Lavergne Avenue. This $20 million project replaced a 100-year-old sewer, preventing flooding in neighborhood homes. Jay Dee Contractors performed this work, which included installation of over 2,600 feet of reinforced concrete pipe sewer in a shallow tunnel (about 60 feet below the ground), five drop shafts connecting to the shallow sewer tunnel or to the existing deep tunnel (over 200 feet below grade), and connection structures to join the two tunnels. G2 Consulting Group assisted Jay Dee by evaluating subsurface conditions to guide construction techniques.
Chicago Department of Water Management
G2 identified dewatering requirements for construction of the drop shafts, providing shaft designs through both soft ground and underlying rock leading to the deep tunnel, and evaluating design alternatives to meet requirements for constructing the shallow tunnel under an existing railroad line. In addition, G2 assisted Jay Dee Contractors during tunnel construction when the tunnel boring machine unexpectedly encountered saturated soils.
G2 Services Provided
Geotechnical Investigation and Design
- Tunnel shafts were drilled through soft soils which overlay a deeper rock layer. Limited data was available to define the interface of these two layers. G2 conducted a geotechnical investigation to characterize existing conditions and evaluate dewatering techniques for construction of the shafts.
- One of the shafts extends over 230 feet, connecting the new shallow collector tunnel to the existing deep tunnel. G2 developed shaft construction designs to provide stability in the soft soil conditions and in the rock.
- As the tunnel was being constructed, saturated soils halted work. G2 assisted Jay Dee by designing an approach using grouting and dewatering techniques to enable work to continue.
- An existing railroad line crosses over the alignment of the new tunnel. G2 assisted Jay Dee Contractors as they analyzed design alternatives to meet the railroad’s requirements.
Smart. Results. Fast. G2’s geotechnical solutions facilitated an expedited construction schedule for this highly visible project by simplifying excavation of the tunnel drop shafts and addressing construction challenges during tunnel boring.
Coming off our third consecutive year of increasing project activity and strong revenue growth, G2 Consulting Group has hired 12 new environmental scientists and geotechnical engineers in the past six months and is looking to hire up to five additional professionals. Our current full time professional staff includes 49, plus six interns.
We are continuing to add talent to better serve our clients. With the construction business gaining traction, both here in the metro Detroit area and in other markets we serve, we have a number of projects underway and a strong book of business going forward. G2’s recent projects include work on last summer’s I-96 reconstruction in Wayne County, Michigan, Field & Stream’s first Michigan location in Troy and several senior living developments. The company is currently involved in the I-75/University Drive interchange Design/Build project in Auburn Hills, telecommunications projects throughout the United States, and the Lavergne Avenue Sewer Improvement Project (part of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan for the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago).
G2 completed a record 2,700 projects last year in highway and roadway construction, water and wastewater treatment, telecommunications, commercial development and education. With the current focus on improving roads in Michigan and the increase in development activity throughout the geographic areas we serve, we want to be ready to dive in wherever we have an opportunity to do so. We’ve been fortunate to win a number of marquee projects and we continue to add qualified professionals to handle the steady volume of work we have on hand.