Trenching for Oil & Gas Pipelines
Although trenching is one of the least-appreciated parts of pipeline construction to the uninitiated, it is nevertheless one of the most important aspects of ensuring the pipeline’s structural integrity lasts for decades to come. Melgaard Construction has offered unsurpassed pipeline trenching for all types of pipe and in all types of terrain for over 30 years. The longevity and quality of our pipeline projects are highly respected in Wyoming, Colorado, and North Dakota, from both an engineering and a construction standpoint.
Although at first a pipeline trench may look like just a long hole, there is a significant amount of engineering that must take place to determine the optimum trench design before construction begins. The depth of the trench, the type and amount of bedding, the trench right-of-way, and any additional stabilization needed to secure the pipe are determined in advance by our team of engineers based on federal regulations and geographical considerations.
Melgaard Construction is proud to provide trench construction in even the most challenging environments. In addition to traditional excavation with a wheel trencher or backhoe, we also have the ability to trench through mountainous and rocky terrain using chain trenchers and, when necessary, explosives.
For situations when open trenching is either not possible or not desirable, we have horizontal drilling capacities. We commonly use horizontal drilling to pass pipelines beneath rivers, wetlands, highways, and other sensitive areas.
Trench Completion – Backfilling
Multiple types of trenches are appropriate in different contexts, and throughout our more than 30 years of experience, we’ve experienced all of them. All our trenches start with a granular bedding that will support the pipe and maximize it’s load bearing capacity. Sand or clean soil, free from rocks, clay, and organic matter is the bedding of choice, and we can both create and transport our own aggregate to the site if none is available.
After laying the bedding, we often dump the subsoil that was removed from the trench back in around the pipe, followed by the topsoil. In this way, all the earth that was removed is replaced into its original location. For extra support, we may also compact the subsoil around the pipe, along with additional subsoil transported to the location for this purpose. For distribution and service pipelines in urban areas, we commonly mix cement in with the soil for maximum support, either up to the midline or completely covering the pipe.
In all situations, we carefully evaluate all in-situ soil before backfilling to verify its composition. If the soil is overly rocky, contains too much organic matter, or has a high clay composition, it is unfit for backfill. Instead, Melgaard Construction can truck in our own soil for backfilling, which is mixed to the exact needs of the areas being filled.
Melgaard Construction – Over 30 Years of Excellence
Whether engineering the trenching plans or executing their construction, Melgaard Construction is the best choice for pipeline trenching in Wyoming, Colorado, or North Dakota. Our commitment to excellence and safety paired with over three decades of pipelaying experience combine to make us leaders in the industry and an exceptional choice for your project. For more information, call us at (307) 687-1600.