What are Multi Utility Tunnels (MUTs) or UTILIDORS or Utility Corridors?
A utility tunnel is “any system of underground structure containing one or more utility service which permits the placement, renewal, maintenance, repair or revision of the service without the necessity of making excavation; this implies that the structure is traversable by people and, in some cases, traversable by some sort of vehicle as well” (APWA 1997).
Internationally there are many names given to MUTs, such as;
Underground utilities include storm sewer, electric, sanitary sewer, gas, water, telephone and cable. Utility conflicts are typically avoided during the design process. However, in some cases, existing utilities are not properly identified or located during the design process. In other instances, the location of the utility is known, but adequate construction controls are not in place. Both can result in a negative impact to an existing utility when installing a new utility. A utility tunnel is considered an optimal solution to avoid underground crowding of utilities in narrow lanes. Shared infrastructure can save significant costs, especially when provision is made for maintenance, upgrade and growth over the lifecycle. It mainly requires cooperation among stakeholders.
The Necessity of Utilidors
At the start of the 21 st century, ‘quality of life’ is considered to be strongly dependent on an invisible utility infrastructure (i.e. electricity, gas, communications, water and wastewater) and a visible transport infrastructure (i.e. that which facilitates worker migration and passage of goods). When roads are resurfaced they are inevitably dug up too soon by utility companies and when utilities are maintained they consequently interrupt traffic flow; in short the maintenance provision for each clearly conflicts. Traditional methods are becoming un-economical, socially disruptive and environmentally damaging, or in broad terms unsustainable. A sustainable approach is much required to utility installation through the use of multi-utility tunnels (MUTs), which are “smart” (facilitating utility installation, maintenance, renewal, condition monitoring, asset location and leak detection) and open-ended (allowing for additions).
The following attributes can serve as an example which emphasizes on the development of Utility Corridor Systems.
BENEFITS of UTILIDORS
IN SHORT IT IS A MULTI PURPOSE-SINGLE SOLUTION
Source: Sustainable Utility Infrastructure via Multi-Utility Tunnels (D.V.L Hunt and Chris David Foss Rogers – May 2006)