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The Need For Post-Construction Inspections

Updated: Jan 4

With new funding flooding the industry and third-party attachers electing for one-touch make ready across the country, pole owners have less time and fewer resources to manage more attachments than ever before.



The FCC Orders for utilities are a huge opportunity for broadband and small cell deployment, but they also remove some control that pole owners have traditionally had over the process. While restricting that control can lead to faster deployment, there is more opportunity for injury and outages due to poor make ready engineering or construction.

One way to remedy this is with post-construction pole inspections (PCI). Reviewing make ready construction will be an instrumental tool for pole owners, as it allows them to hold contractors and attachers accountable and remove bad actors from the OTMR process.

Post-construction inspections also allow engineering contractors to get feedback and adjust the types of CUs they call out for construction crews to use for various make ready moves. While engineering contractors rely mostly on experience and a thorough understanding of pole owner standards, construction crews are out in the field actively performing the work and seeing how things are built on a regular basis. Post-construction inspections facilitate better communication between engineering and construction contractors so that both are performing their work in the most efficient way.

Unfortunately, using traditional methods, PCI can be costly and time-consuming. Because they require a rideout and new measurements to be taken, they are only marginally less expensive than the original engineering survey.

Using Katapult Pro, field crews can use existing measurements to calibrate a post-construction photo. Instead of completing a full set of new measurements, the pre- and post-construction photos can be placed side-by-side to review the construction work. In my example below, there was no actual construction that occurred between the photos, but I was able to snap a photo with an uncalibrated tablet and use measured heights from the first photo to calibrate the photo accurately instead.



This workflow doesn't work if the pole is replaced, but it will drastically reduce time and costs associated with post-construction inspections for a majority of poles. The flexibility of cameras used would allow construction crews to upload photos immediately after the work for review, without sending an additional crew at a later time.

Thanks for reading! We're excited to see how post-construction pole inspections are used to assist pole owners, attachers, and engineering contractors in the coming months. Questions? Shoot me an email at aschmehl@katapultengineering.com!

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