Michigan Gas Utilities

At Wightman, we support the field and administrative needs of companies that provide and deliver required utility resources in the areas of land acquisition and easements, engineering and environmental planning and permitting, as well as compliance monitoring. Michigan Gas Utilities (MGU) is one such company, and Wightman was pleased to partner with them on projects located in Dorr Township (MI).

The scope of work for each of the jobs is:

  • Collect topographic data and prepare a base map that is used by MGU to determine the running line of a directional bore to install a 4-inch gas main at the railroad or highway crossing.
  • Once the running line is determined by MGU, Wightman prepares a full plan and profile set for the purpose of obtaining a crossing permit for the railroad or highway.

144th Avenue / Grand Elk Railroad Crossing

During the permitting review process for the railroad crossing on 144th Avenue, Grand Elk Railroad was concerned that multiple fiber optic lines running along the railroad corridor were at a similar bury depth of 15’ and would conflict with the proposed gas line. Both AT&T and Sprint were contacted to locate their fiber lines. A local hydro excavation company, Plummer Environmental was hired to pothole the fiber lines. The potholing determined that the fiber lines were at a 4' and 6' depth, respectively, ensuring there is no conflict between the proposed gas line and existing fiber lines.

142nd Avenue / Grand Elk Railroad Crossing

After the initial running line was determined by MGU on 142nd Avenue, a site investigation revealed that two 24” culverts were running across 142nd Avenue and conflicted with the proposed gas line. Additional topographic data was collected to increase the length of the running line to dive the proposed gas pipeline a minimum of 3' below the culverts. The new design utilized an allowable pipe deflection of a 400’ radius on vertical bends to minimize the length of the pipe run. Grand Elk Railroad has approved this designed crossing.

142nd Avenue / US-131 Crossing

The first running line from MGU ran along the 142nd Avenue right-of-way. A plan and profile set was completed with the US-131 crossing being directly under the 142nd Avenue overpass. MDOT returned the initial plans back to the team advising the gas line must maintain a minimum 50’ separation from any bridge abutment. An onsite meeting occurred with MGU engineers, Wightman, and Hydaker Wheatlake (the directional bore contractor), to determine the best solution to move forward. It was initially thought additional easements would need to be acquired from adjacent private property owners to accomplish the crossing and maintain the 50’ distance from the bridge abutments. Wightman’s solution was to utilize the allowable pipe deflection of a 400’ radius and create a series of horizontal reverse curves around the abutments while keeping the alignment completely within the 142nd Avenue/US-131 right-of-way. The directional bore contractor at the onsite meeting confirmed that Wightman’s design was feasible to construct. 

With a team of professionals licensed in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, our survey team goes above and beyond in designing feasible, forward-thinking solutions for our Clients. That's who we are. That's what we do.

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