Trenchless technology is a relatively new term that describes the installation of conduits beneath roadways without open-cutting. The term has been used on a global basis since the mid-1980s. However, some of the methods referred to as trenchless methods are not new. For example, auger boring and slurry boring have been used since the 1940s, and pipe jacking has been used since the early 1900s. These methods are referred to as road boring techniques or horizontal earth boring techniques. Nevertheless, many new trenchless techniques have been introduced and many advancements have taken place with the more traditional techniques. Although most of these methods require excavation for shafts, shaft locations usually can be selected to avoid or minimize traffic disruption.
It is anticipated that the use of trenchless technology will continue to increase because of its inherent advantages of minimizing disruption to society and reducing environmental impact. Another driving force behind this increase is the benefit of avoiding or minimizing the handling, volume, treatment and/or disposal of contaminated soil. In many situations, these techniques have become cost-effective alternatives to traditional open-cutting methods. .