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Arizona Specifications & Guidelines

Arizona Department of Transportation

ADOT Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction, 2021

104.15 (A) Providing Magnetic Detection for Underground Facilities, General

"All new underground utility facilities, including service connections, placed within ADOT right-of way by the contractor must be magnetically detectable with standard locating instruments. The contractor shall place continuous detectable tracer wire with all those underground utility facilities that lack a continuous and integral metallic component capable of detection by standard locating instruments.

Tracer wire will not be required for power cables and wires, telephonic or electronic communications (other than fiber optic lines), or for landscape irrigation lines smaller than 2 inches in diameter. For Salt River Valley Water Users Association (S.R.V.W.U.A.) irrigation facilities, no tracer wire will be required if Salt River Project provides their own tracer system.

Tracer wire will be required for non-metallic pipe such as corrugated high density polyethylene plastic pipe (HDPE), steel reinforced high density thermoplastic ribbed pipe, corrugated polyethylene plastic pipe (PP), vitrified clay pipe (VCP), and for polyvinyl chloride pipe (PVC) 2 inches in diameter and larger. Tracer wire will be required where the metallic component is encased within the pipe, such as reinforced concrete pipe (RCP), rubber gasket reinforced concrete pipe (RGRCP), and steel cylinder concrete pipe.

Tracer wire will also be required for non-metallic cable, service connections, and other utility lines; fiber optic lines; empty duct banks and duct banks containing a utility that is not magnetically detectable, either before or after backfilling; and other facilities as determined by the Engineer.

Cast iron and ductile iron pipes may be non-conductive because of site-specific soil conditions or construction configuration; as a consequence all new installations of cast iron and ductile iron pipes shall also be made detectable with tracer wire.

For all other underground facilities, should the magnetic characteristics be unknown, the contractor shall perform sufficient tests with standard locating instruments to determine whether tracer wire will be necessary, and provide the results to the Engineer. Such tests shall be performed prior to construction.

The contractor shall also provide access points, as specified below, for all facilities that will receive tracer wire."

> Open Specification Document

104.15 (B) Providing Magnetic Detection for Underground Facilities, Materials

"Tracer wire shall be solid copper wire, America Wire Gauge (AWG) No. 12 or larger. Tracer wire shall be coated with a minimum 30 mil polyethylene jacket designed specifically for buried use. Tracer wire shall conform to the specifications of the NEC, UL, and other applicable industry standards. Splices as required to promote continuity shall utilize sealed water tight connections.

New access boxes shall be concrete pull boxes in accordance with Subsection 732-2.03 of the specifications (Number 5 Pull Box, Traffic Standard T.S. 1-1), except that the cover shall be marked with the name of the utility or type of facility."

> Open Specification Document

104.15 (C) Providing Magnetic Detection for Underground Facilities, Construction Requirements

"The contractor shall install tracer wire along the top of the entire length of the underground facilities. The tracer wire shall be attached to the facility at minimum intervals of not more than 20 feet, and shall be secured in such a manner that the wire remains firmly attached throughout the construction period.

Tracer wire shall be made accessible along the facility through appropriate pull boxes or other means as approved by the Engineer. New or existing junction boxes or pull boxes included in the construction of conduit or other transmission facilities shall be utilized as access structures wherever possible. For sanitary and storm sewer pipe, tracer wire shall be constructed into the manhole at the pipe entry point, secured to the inside wall along the full length, and be accessible from above upon removal of the manhole cover. For water lines requiring tracer wire, the contractor shall provide access to the wire within the valve boxes. The contractor shall provide and install new access boxes for all tracer wire which cannot be terminated in a new or existing junction or pull box, or new manhole or valve box.

Pull boxes shall be installed flush with the finished grade.

Tracer wire shall be securely attached to the facility at each access point and extended vertically to the access box. The tracer wire shall be terminated with a minimum of 12 inches of slack above the bottom of the pull box.

Tracer wire installed for each segment of underground utility shall be terminated at each access point within the pull box, junction box, manhole, or valve box. The contractor shall make no connections or splices of tracer wire across access points.

New pull boxes installed exclusively for tracer wire shall be placed directly above the utility line in easily reachable areas.

For facilities that cross ADOT right-of-way, tracer wire shall be made accessible at the right-of-way line at approved access points.

For facilities placed longitudinally in ADOT right-of-way, access points shall be located between the right-of-way line and the outside edge of the shoulder or grader ditch, or back of sidewalk or curb and gutter as applicable. Access boxes installed exclusively for tracer wire shall be provided at intervals no greater than 2,000 feet or, as a minimum, at the point each line crosses ADOT right of way. If the utility line is placed outside the preferred location of the access box as described above, the box shall be located in the preferred location and tracer wire shall be installed in a suitable conduit and brought up to the pull box.

For jacking and boring, tracer wire shall be placed inside the jacked sleeve and attached to the utility facility

Empty conduits and duct banks shall have a tracer wire attached to the outside of the facility.

When sanitary sewer force mains are installed in ADOT right-of-way, tracer wire access shall be accomplished by attaching the wire to the outside of wet wells and terminating the wire in pull boxes (Number 5, Traffic Standard T.S. 1-1) placed adjacent to the wet well. " 

> Open Specification Document

104.15 (D) Providing Magnetic Detection for Underground Facilities, Testing

"The contractor shall test all installed tracer wire, and all those facilities determined to be magnetically detectable without tracer wire, with standard locating instruments to verify conductivity, both before and after backfilling, and provide the results to the Engineer. The contractor shall install new tracer wire for those newly installed utilities that fail to be detectable, at no additional cost to the Department. Tracer wires that fail to test properly shall also be replaced at no additional cost to the Department."

> Open Specification Document

501-3.03 (G) Thermoplastic Pipe

"Tracer wire or tape for magnetic detection shall be placed in accordance with the requirements of Subsection 104.15 of the specifications."

> Open Specification Document

732-2.02 Electrical Conduit and Warning Tape

"... Conduit warning tape shall be a 4-mil inert plastic film specially formulated for prolonged use underground. All tape shall be highly resistant to alkalis, acids, and other destructive agents found in the soil.

ape shall have a continuous printed message warning of the location of underground conduits. The message shall be in permanent ink specifically formulated for prolonged underground use and shall bear the words, “CAUTION - ELECTRIC LINE BURIED BELOW” in black letters on a red background."

> Open Specification Document

732-3.01 Installation of Electrical Conduit and Pull Boxes

"... Conduits in protected areas such as behind curbs, in sidewalks, etc., that are not subject to any vehicular traffic shall be at a minimum depth of 18 inches. Conduits installed under roadways, driveways or any open areas where it is possible for vehicles to drive and conduits with conductors that have voltages over 250 volts, shall be at a minimum depth of 30 inches. When conduit in protected and open areas cannot be installed at the minimum depths, it shall be encased in concrete.

Where specified due to shallow trenching depths, the conduit shall be encased in a minimum of 3 inches of concrete. The conduit shall be supported with masonry block or brick on 10-foot centers, during encasement, so that the conduit will be completely encased.

Installation of conduit for underground primary service shall conform to the utility company requirements, local codes and the Special Provisions. Conduit installed in railroad right-of-way shall be to the depth specified by the railroad company. ...

The contractor shall place warning tape in all trenches in which new conduit is placed. All warning tape shall be buried at a depth of 6 to 8inches below the finished grade. ..."

> Open Specification Document

1010-8 Thermoplastic Pipe

"... Tracer wire or tape, which is to be placed in the trench with the corrugated high density polyethylene plastic pipe, or corrugated polypropylene plastic pipe as an aid in location after burial, shall conform to the requirements of Subsection 104.15(B) of the specifications."

> Open Specification Document

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