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  • Tellus Underground

What is Utility Keyhole Technology?

Updated: Jun 12

Keyholing is the technique of excavating a small, carefully controlled hole to locate, examine, repair, maintain, and establish underground utilities using specialized equipment.

Using keyhole technology is cheaper compared to the traditional method of excavation. It also reduces the amount of time and energy put into an excavation.

Workers Utilizing Keyhole Technology

The Keyhole Technique


In this keyhole technique, a pavement opening of about twelve to 18 inches is created. This opening is usually done by using a core hole cutter, which makes it possible for facilities to be accessed remotely.

After repairs have been performed, the cored pavement coupon is replaced.

Vacuum Excavation

A vacuum excavator is used after the core has been sliced and removed to drill down to the pipeline.

The vacuum truck has a tank for collecting the hole's detritus, which is then used to refill the keyhole.

Vacuum excavation is a method of removing soil from the earth using a vacuum when water or air jets are used to loosen the soil.

It's known as "soft excavation," and it's often considered as being the same as manual excavation in the "tolerance zone" surrounding underground facilities.

Construction and Upkeep

A keyhole can be used to perform a variety of utility tasks using highly specialized, long-handled tools.

Examples of these activities are pothole/depth checks and valve box cleaning.

Pavement Repair and Backfilling

Backfill and soil compaction are essential to the successful reinstallation of the cut core.

Backfill and core replacement should be done using the right materials to extend the life of the pavement.

The keyhole core taken from the pavement is reinstalled as a restoration of the road using specific bonding chemicals once adequate backfilling has been completed.

Temporary patching, nighttime road plating, or additional trips are not necessary for site restoration.

After the repair is finished, traffic can again use the road in about 30 minutes.

Advantages of Keyhole Technology

Lowers Costs

Significantly lowers paving expenditures. It saves about $1 million per year compared to standard cutting and repairing.

Great Feedback from People

With this technology, there are fewer complaints from people about traffic inconvenience, unattractive road cuttings, sunken spots, or deteriorated or failing roadways.

High Rate of Success

Over the past two decades, there have been no documented malfunctions and over 100,000 efficient core reinstatements.

Better Logistics

There will be no more repaving or temporary repairing, and there will not be any need for repeat visits.

A Faster and More Effective Method

The road can be fully restored for use by vehicles in about half an hour after the core has been reinstalled, making it a quicker method.

It's Easy to Use

Using the coring machine does not necessitate a lot of experience.

Lowers the Risks of Occupational H azards

Using utility keyhole technology lowers the risk of occupational harm and body aches by removing the need for tools like jackhammers and shovels.

Our Vacuum Excavation Truck Keyhole Technology at Work

Very Safe

Utility keyhole technology uses non-hazardous adhesives and work-safe equipment.

If you need utility keyhole technology professionals, we at Tellus Underground have over 25 years of experience in handling your excavation with great efficiency.


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