Horizontal directional drilling is becoming widely popular especially in urban areas where the conventional trench-type digging is no longer feasible. The trenchless technology of HDD has really opened doors of opportunity for directional boring companies and utility providers to conduct digging operations almost anywhere. Its ability to perform digging operations without disturbing or causing damage to the surface makes horizontal directional drilling superior to outdated methods.

What is Horizontal Directional Drilling

In simple terms, HDD refers to a trenchless drilling operation. It allows contractors to drill horizontally underground without disturbing the surface. This method creates only two open pits: the entry and exit points of the pipeline. It really doesn’t involve digging across a vast expanse of soil. Thus, the use of a well-equipped and technically capable Colorado directional boring company is recommended in places where the surface cannot be disturbed.

HDD has an influence on three major aspects of the drilling or pipe laying job. These are:

Production and Technical

Trenchless technology has made all these possible:

  • Construction of underground utilities under rivers, roads, railways, structures and even parks.
  • The time to obtain technical and organizational approvals before the start of the operation is reduced.
  • Significant reduction of operating time and cost
  • Reduced risks for accidents

Financial and Economic

  • Reduced cost of production time and man-hours
  • Low energy cost
  • Zero restoration cost of existing surface infrastructure and green space

Social and Environmental

  • Preservation of the ecological balance and natural landscape of affected areas
  • Doesn’t affect the living conditions of residents in affected areas.

Here’s a geographical comparison of important elements if both methods are applied in the same urban digging project:


Action/Elements Using Standard Trench Method Using HDD Method
Creating a Channel Digging is necessary. Causes damage to roads, pavement, landscape & infrastructure No digging required
Effect on Traffic Major Minimal to none
Project Speed Extremely slow Fast. More than twice the speed of the standard method
Risk of Damage to Existing Lines High Low
Processing of Permits Lots of formalities, different permits have to be obtained, costly & time-consuming Minimal red tape, fast & less costly


Damage to Architecture Yes No
Additional Charges to Ensure Safety Yes. Trench sides need added support. Needs additional technicians and machinery. No charge
Deep pipe laying possibility Not possible Up to 20 meters


Other Factors:

Volume of Work, Cost, Construction Time
Standard Trench Method HDD – Trenchless Method
Heavy excavation work, requires massive equipment and manpower


Long construction time

Requires 1 drilling rig with 3 – 6 persons


Cost is 30 – 50% cheaper than standard

Shorter construction time because HDD is 2 – 20x faster

Additional Costs
Cost of accidents + consequences

Operating expenses = High

Risk of accidents = minimal

Operating expenses = Low

Effects on Man and Environment
Irreparable damage to affected areas None
Disrupts traffic Doesn’t affect traffic
Damage to pavement No damage to pavement
Disrupts lives of affected people Doesn’t affect lives of people in affected areas


No matter where the project is, the horizontal directional drilling method always stands out in terms of speed and cost. It is also the better approach from an environmental and economic point of view.

If you have an underground utility installation, repair or rehabilitation project, you should always consider a method that offers:

  • Speed
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Less damage to the surface and existing structures,
  • The least disruption to the lives and activities of people in affected areas.

All these benefits are available only if you choose the HDD method and with the help of an efficient Colorado boring company.

Start your project by asking directional boring companies for cost and time estimates.

Call Advanced Line Systems at (303) 475-8420.