Giordano Construction Completes Tricky Utility Installation Project at Yale University Using Pilot Tube Guided Auger Boring Technology

New Haven, Connecticut – Giordano Construction Co. Inc., of Branford, CT has successfully completed their first utility installation project using trenchless technology with the help of ICON.

Giordano has been in business since 1925, and focuses on construction management, design/build, turnkey development, general contracting and site work. Recently, Giordano has been working at Yale University on a number of projects. The latest project consisted of installing utilities across Whitney Avenue, a busy state road that runs through Yale University. The utilities consisted of data communications, high pressure fire and power utilities that would run from the Peabody Museum and Kline Geology laboratory buildings across Whitney Avenue. These will feed an existing building that will soon be retrofitted for Yale University’s Human Resources (HR) services.

Prior to construction, Giordano investigated various methods for installing the utilities across Whitney Ave. “We investigated four methods for the utility installation,” says Vincent Giordano, Jr., Vice President of Giordano Construction. “The first was the open cut method, but we came to a quick conclusion that this method would not work because Whitney Ave. is a state road set in an urban environment that has heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic. There are also a number of existing utilities, some of which are over 100 years old. The open cut method would make us responsible for re-routing the utilities in order to keep them running during the construction process. This presented us with more risk and extend time on the project, which would lead to increasing the project costs.”

Giordano-Icon-3Giordano then looked into the next alternative to open cut, which is trenchless technology. “We explored directional drilling and pipe jacking but neither of these methods would work for various reasons,” says Giordano. “We then researched the pilot tube guided auger boring technology. This technology presented us with the best possible chance of success due to its proven accuracy.”

Trenchless pipe installation such as pilot tube guided auger boring is fast becoming a popular way to install pipe as an open cut alternative. This method minimizes disruptions and costs, while proving to be an effective way to install pipe.

Giordano met with ICON, the New Jersey-based slide rail system manufacturer and Bohrtec pilot tube distributor to develop a plan and site-specific engineering designs using ICON’s slide rail systems and a Bohrtec BM400L guided auger boring machine. ICON provided engineering designs, drawings and calculation sheets that all had CT P.E. stamps of approval on them. The project plans were presented to Yale University, city engineers and the water pollution engineers by Giordano and approved by all parties.

The engineering plans for this project required that Giordano place five, 16” O.D. steel pipe, 6” apart, side by side. Giordano would only have 24” above and below the new utility lines to work within.

“We had very little room for error on this project,” says Giordano. “The accuracy had to be precise.”
Giordano excavated two pits and shored them with ICON’s slide rail system. A 32’ long x 16.4’ wide x 16’ deep jacking pit was constructed where the Bohrtec guided auger boring machine would be placed. They also built a receiving pit across Whitney Ave. that was 11.48’ long x 16.4’ wide x 16’ deep in size. The slide rail system also features temporary sheeting, which allowed Giordano to extract small sheeting panels rather than large shoring panels to create an opening for the pipe installation.

“The side rail systems were chosen for a few reasons on this project,” says Giordano. “We had very limited space. The overhead wires would not allow us to use the standard steel sheeting to shore the jacking and receiving pits. The slide rail systems proved to overcome this obstacle and also proved to be very easy to install, which saved us time on the project,” he continues. “They also provided us with the strength to handle the Bohrtec pilot tube machine’s jacking forces and keeping our guys safe at the same time.”

Giordano performed a three-step method pipe installation, which consisted of first, driving the pilot tube rods through the soil to start a small tunnel while achieving line and grade. Next, the Bohrtec guided auger boring machine was fitted with 16” O.D. augers and 6.56’ long steel casings which are jacked into the ground following the pilot tube rods, then pushing them out into the receiving pit. Finally, once the augers and 6.56’ long steel casings reach the receiving pit, the 16” O.D. steel casing pipe was jacked into place directly behind the 6.56’ long steel casings and augers. The steel casing pipe was installed in 20’ long sections to limit the amount of welding time required by the contractor.

The Bohrtec BM400L guided auger boring machine was able to achieve the line and grade accuracy required on this project due to its special camera guidance system. This accurate guidance system consists of a digital camera-mounted theodolite, LED target in the pilot tube head and a CCTV monitor screen to constantly maintain and ensure a high accuracy of the line and grade during the installation.

“The accuracy of the Bohrtec machine is what made this project a success as well as ICON’s assistance throughout the project,” says Giordano. “ICON provided an operator with the Bohrtec machine who worked alongside our crew step by step during the process.”

Giordano also had to reline the storm pipe and 100-year-old clay sewer pipe during this project. This process cleans the sewer and adds a lining to ensure stability and longevity during continued use. Giordano also took pre and post-construction pipe video to ensure that old pipes were not damaged during the construction process.

“The slide rail systems and guide auger boring machine provided minimal disruption during the entire process,” continues Giordano. “The 100-year-old pipes were not damaged and pedestrians and motorists didn’t even know we were there. This successful guided auger boring project saved a significant amount of money on the project and has expanded our range of services and I look forward to working with ICON on our next project.”

For more information on Giordano Construction Co. Inc., please call (203) 488-7264 or visit

Since 1982, ICON has steadily grown in technology and expertise to become a full-service trench shoring and pilot tube guided boring company and industry-leader in underground construction projects. ICON has the in-house resources to handle projects of any size in any location and provides a comprehensive line of services that include consulting, design, engineering, manufacturing and distribution, leasing and equipment rentals.