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Monday, March 7, 2011

Street Markings – What do they mean???

Street Markings – What do they mean???

It probably wasn’t until I was in New York a few months ago that I started to take more notice of my urban surroundings. I shot a series of street markings around the rebuild of the World Trade Center for a possible book, including a few Survey plates. They are everywhere if you stop to take a look. What do they mean and why are they everywhere? The primary reason is that our cities are in a state of flux. Repairs, diggings, installations and upgrades means that the utility companies are constantly doing work to the infrastructure underneath or streets and sidewalks.
These water-based fluorescent taggings have a meaning and a color code of importance. Basically each colour represents a different utility and it assists the workers in knowing what work is needed to be done. It also insures that workers don’t accidently damage any infrastructure underneath the ground. How many times have we heard of a fibre cut and a the telecom network is down. Obviously someone while fixing a water pipe probably cut through the fibre duct with his industrial cutting saw by mistake. So as we hustle and bustle around looking straight ahead, it may pay to look down once in a while and see what is going on underneath your feet.
The American Public Works Association (APWA) Uniform Color Codes for temporary marking of underground utilities are listed below:
Red electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables

Orange telecommunication, alarm or signal lines, cables, or conduit

Yellow natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or other gaseous or flammable material

Green sewers and drain lines
Blue drinking water
Violet reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines

Pink temporary survey markings, unknown/unidentified facilities
White proposed excavation limits or route

John Leonardelli
Senior Unified Communications Consultant

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