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Highways Contractors

Do you require underground utility searches for your highways project?

With over 245,000 miles of road in Great Britain, there’s a fair bit of repair, replacement and updating throughout the road network. As well as carriageway maintenance and construction many excavations are required for the installation of signage, lampposts and other street furniture.

Each and every time this happens, any contractor must obtain the underground utility plans before any excavations can start.

Not all Highways contractors are geared up to administrate the plans internally so they call upon Cornerstone to take care of this.

Cornerstone Projects have worked on highways projects since 2007 and are well versed in coping with the specific needs and requirements of highways works.

Outsourcing can improve cost efficiencies, speed up the completion of utility reports, improve the quality of their searches and free their staff up to focus on higher value jobs.

How Cornerstone can help

  • Cornerstone supply a full C2 utility search cover the requirements of the Health and Safety Executive.
  • Generally, searches are complete within 10-12 working days.
  • Completed searches are presented in a simple to read and accessible .pdf format.
  • No obligation quotes are available instantly on-line and confirmed back via email within 20 minutes.
  • We can also provide a CAD drawing service to enable the utilities to be added to other CAD reports and providing an overview of the site showing all the utilities present.
  • We can now also produce a smart. PDF from the CAD drawing that enables you to see an overview in .pdf and turn different utility layers on and off.
  • We have worked with most of the main Highways contractors including Kier and Amey.
  • We can provide a service where utility searches are refreshed on a regular basis to ensure there are no delays to unplanned or emergency works.

What does a C2 search cover?

  • This is the most comprehensive search available covering all the main utilities, Cable, Independent utilities and Highways specific searched.
  • We cover projects of any size.


Why use Cornerstone?

  • Speed is of the essence to ensure there are NO delays to your projects.
  • The way we process our searches, there will be no one quicker than us.
  • We provide the fastest search possible and will not entice you with promises of more expensive, faster searches when they are simply NOT achievable.
  • We offer an additional “Instant Access plans” service where we will share individual plans as they come in.
  • For high volume users, we even offer a GIS mapping library for managing and posting searches to improve access for your employees when in the field.

Easy to use

The key to the success is the speed and efficiency of reporting and making sure that the right information is given to the right person in the correct format.

  • Our online ordering system allows quotes and orders to be processed within minutes
  • The system is secure and has fail-safe checks to ensure the right search location is covered.


We understand that keeping costs to a minimum is extremely important.

  • Our fees start at £60.00+Vat plus disbursements for a road length up to 250m (£115.00+VAT if you include CAD)
  • All disbursements are charged at cost (we are transparent in our pricing and only make our margin from our fees).
  • For statutory undertakers (or those working on their behalf), we may be able to request plans for free with the appropriate letters of authority.
  • Comparing the cost of outsourcing to us vs. the resource required in-house may surprise you!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are utility searches for highways projects?

Utility searches in highways projects are similar to those in renewable energy, acting as a detective for hidden infrastructure. They involve locating and mapping the exact position and depth of underground utilities such as electric cables, gas pipelines, water mains, sewer lines, and telecommunication cables.

Why are utility searches important for highways projects?

Utility searches are an essential safeguard for highways projects, acting as a preemptive strike against hidden dangers and unexpected delays. They prioritise worker and community safety by uncovering buried gas lines, water mains, and electrical cables, preventing accidents and costly repairs.

These searches ensure regulatory compliance, avoid project delays, and facilitate optimal planning by incorporating utility locations into design, saving time and money in the long run.

What type of highways projects require utility searches?

Essentially, any highways project involving excavation or underground work necessitates a utility search. This includes:

  • New highway construction: Identifying utilities prior to ground-breaking ensures a safe and efficient start.
  • Road expansions and improvements: Mapping existing utilities helps navigate them during widening or resurfacing projects.
  • Bridge repairs and replacements: Understanding utility locations near bridge foundations is crucial for safe and effective maintenance.
  • Installation of underground features: Placing new drainage systems, lighting, or communication lines requires knowing existing utilities to avoid conflicts.
  • Utility maintenance and upgrades: Locating existing utilities is essential before any excavation or repair work on their infrastructure.

In conclusion, utility searches are not just an option but a critical step in any highways project. They ensure safety, avoid costly delays, and contribute to a smoother, more successful construction process.

By investing in a thorough utility search, you’re safeguarding your project, workers, and the surrounding community.