City of Charlotte Streetcar

Subsurface Utility Engineering vacuum excavation in progress with traffic control around job site

Despite a history of costly utility conflicts in the City of Charlotte, Cardno was able to provide accurate utility location data and conflicts to ensure the streetcar project was delivered both within budget and the tight construction schedule.

The City of Charlotte’s streetcar project is a key component of the City’s area transit system, designed to serve Charlotte’s central business district and provide connectivity to surrounding communities.  

Previously, projects that presented utility conflicts had resulted in significant unbudgeted construction costs for the City, along with unexpected project delays. With that in mind, the City sought a dependable subsurface utility engineering provider for the streetcar project to pre-empt and plan for any such issues.

Based on our strong track record in the field and reputation as an industry leader, the City engaged Cardno to undertake this critical work.

The extremely tight timeline within which the project would need to be completed also demanded a provider with sufficient resources and expertise to complete the subsurface utility engineering on a fast-tracked schedule. Our team mobilised accordingly, using up to six field crews simultaneously to complete the necessary fieldwork.  

Cardno provided designating (CI/ASCE 38-02 Quality Level B) subsurface utility engineering services to map the horizontal position of underground utilities within the proposed 10-mile corridor for a streetcar track.  

Due to the high number of potential conflicts posed by the unique catenary system that would power the streetcar, we also identified all overhead utilities.  

At the City’s request, we located portions of an abandoned, early 1900s rail system that had been paved over along the project corridor. This was beneficial to the design team in determining the final location of the new rail system. Our team also analysed potential utility conflicts, which enabled the designer to resolve possible issues prior to construction.