Open Cut

Published: | Updated: January 25, 2021

Definition - What does Open Cut mean?

Open cut is a method of pipeline installation that requires opening up the surface of the ground to the required depth for installing a pipeline. It is a traditional method that is still popular and is used widely for installation of sewer laterals and also for repair or replacement of main and lateral sewer lines.

Open cut excavations are cumbersome compared to open trenching methods, but in some cases, it becomes essential to open up the ground for repair as in the case of a line belly.

Trenchlesspedia explains Open Cut

In the open cut method of pipeline installation, a trench has to be excavated for installing each piece of pipe. This method can be used for installation as well as the rehabilitation of pipeline and requires digging up the ground surface to the required depth (in case) of installation or digging up to pipeline depth (in case of rehabilitation) to expose the pipe. Once the work is complete, the dug out area is backfilled and the surface restored to the original condition as far as possible.

However, when the pipeline project is under a road or pavement, the open cut method can become a problem because the road will have to be cut open to gain access. This will, in turn, require closing the road to traffic and pedestrians until the work is complete.

Trenchless methods of construction such as directional drilling, pipe ramming, auger boring etc. and trenchless rehabilitation methods such as pipe bursting, thermoformed pipe, mechanical spot repair etc. do not require excavation except at the entry and exit points. This does not affect traffic and pedestrians because most of the work is carried out underground.

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