Current trends in pipe bursting for renewal of underground infrastructure systems in North America

Samuel Ariaratnam, Jason S. Lueke, John K. Michael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


As municipalities seek innovative technologies that can provide cost savings in addressing their underground infrastructure needs, trenchless pipe replacement, or pipe bursting, has become a viable option. Pipe bursting is a construction method used for replacing existing underground water, sewer, or gas infrastructure with a new line of equal or larger diameter. It is the only construction option capable of replacing a pipeline along the same alignment without physically removing the existing line. This provides the advantage of not having to secure additional right-of-way to facilitate installation of a new pipeline. Since its origins during the 1980s, the use of pipe bursting has grown significantly in North America. This paper provides discussion on current trends in trenchless pipe replacement including results captured from a survey questionnaire examining 886 projects from 2007 to 2010 in Canada and the United States. The results examined various factors including equipment utilized, procurement and payment structures, pipe upsizing limits, and construction risks in pipe bursting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Pipe bursting
  • Renewal
  • Underground infrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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