Enabling safe & reliable utility delivery – Utilities run from the utility source to points of delivery or usage. Over time, vegetation that adjoins a utility right of way becomes overgrown, restricting access to the utility lines that need occasional maintenance. Right of way maintenance is the term used to describe the process of keeping a right of way open and the utility lines accessible.
Ground to Sky Clearing
Smith Excavating performs right of way maintenance for all types of utilities. We recently performed some right of way maintenance on a 3 mile stretch of utility right of way in Northwest North Carolina. This was a “ground to sky” clearing maintenance designed to provide unrestricted access to utility lines. Ground to sky clearing removes trees and other vegetation from the right of way border at ground level all the way to the open sky.
The right of way maintenance process begins with surveyors marking right of way boundaries. Smith Excavating crews then enter the right of way and begin the clearing process from edge to edge along the path of the right of way.
This particular ground to sky clearing involved mowing the main right of way and side clearing the edges of the right of way. Debris from the side-clearing operation was either mulched, becoming part of the ground cover, or hauled off. In this particular maintenance, we did a little bit of both.
The right of way maintenance for this project had only one small creek crossing. For this creek crossing we used rip rap, large stones that are used to line creek-beds. The rip rap allows equipment to cross the creek without damaging habitats and maintaining the natural boundary of the creek-bed.
Mulching of Debris Often Preferred
One of the land owners on this job who initially requested chipping and hauling of debris changed his mind and requested mulching after seeing the results of the mulching process. The mulching process eliminates the need to haul off the debris while allowing the natural material to be retained and worked in to the surrounding soil with the mulching machine.
To the land owners and home owners, land agents and surveyors, safety inspectors, environmental agents and other service providers, Thank You! It was a pleasure to be part of the team.