There Is Nothing Boring About Precision Drilling

The Boring Company LLC measures up with MOB.  

Traffic delineators (signs, cones, barriers) are common in Las Vegas. Some residents even joke that orange traffic cones have eclipsed the bristlecone pine as Nevada’s state tree, so much so that some people assume the abundance is ambiguous. It’s not.

“When it’s done right, there is a precision to construction safety plans and proper traffic management,” says Trevor Pritchett, planning supervisor for Masters of Barricades (MOB). “To truly appreciate it, you have to look at construction contracts that require precision work, like directional drilling. Everything has to be perfect.”

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is generally used to describe any boring that isn’t vertical, a technique originally developed to avoid geological formations and then refined to minimize surface disturbances, existing infrastructure, and environmental impacts. For example, HDD is especially important anytime conduits are installed underneath a structure, street, or roadway without having to close the road. 

The partners and cofounders of The Boring Company LLC, Brian Kelly and Jeffrey Hallden, will tell you: Street crossings are especially technical because they require a lot of utility potholing.  

“This means potholes need to be drilled and remain open, outside lane closures need to be set for any bore pits, and pedestrian detours need to ensure safe passage,” said Kelly. 

The Boring Company LLC, which is the largest, most experienced driller in Nevada, typically meets MOB on site to measure the area and plan every aspect of the project: the bore profile, bore route, and traffic and pedestrian control plans. Depending on which drills are deployed, it’s not uncommon for Kelly to consider drill staging angles to minimize the project’s impact and maximize traffic flow.

“We have to measure every aspect of the site to make sure we can complete the project in a safe, timely manner and with the least amount of disruption possible,” he said. “It also means I rely on MOB to create my plans by design and set them up to specification.”

According to Kelly, he appreciates working with MOB because he knows that the company owners are very involved in the day-to-day operations, just like the partners at The Boring Company LLC. They are involved in every aspect of the company inside the office and at every construction site.

“It’s very important to us because we started this company on our own in 2006,” says Kelly. “By delivering quality work and earning a reputation for excellence, The Boring Company LLC has grown from a two-man, one-drill company into the largest directional drilling company in Nevada, with six drills and 40 employees.” 

While the scope of the contracts vary, much of the work performed by The Boring Company LLC includes conduit installation for fiber optic and telecommunications. This includes work from AT&T, Cox, MCI, Verizon, NV Energy, Clark County, and others. They were also contracted for the installation of all conduits underneath Interstate 15.

“One of our upcoming projects includes all of the new conduits for the Switch Data Center,” said Kelly. “I’m hopeful the continued growth of 5G technology will keep us busy, and we’ll continue our growth by serving our existing and future customers in a way they’ve come to expect.” 

While directional drilling or horizontal drilling has a history that predates the 1920s, the technique wasn’t adapted for utility conduit installations until the 1990s. The benefit of horizontal drilling allows for conduit placements underneath obstacles such as roadways or existing infrastructure. Since the technique affords more protection for the conduits than excavation and minimizes maintenance costs, it has become recognized as a best practice.

Generally, mid-sized drill rigs are used to install conduits for utilities to avoid disrupting traffic and closing roads and highways. It is also useful near streams, wetlands, and other environmentally sensitive areas. The technique also requires some specialization as soil conditions will factor in the drill’s push/pull capacity. 

“When you have people who are willing to go a step further, work harder to meet requests, and offer immediate assistance whenever it’s needed, it gives you real peace of mind,” said Kelly. “It allows our company to do what’s best because we know they are looking to do their best too.” 

The Boring Company LLC has more than 20 years of experience in horizontal directional drilling (HHD), trenching, and hydro excavation techniques. The partners have 27 years in the cable business throughout southern Nevada.

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