Michels Corp., Brownsville, Wis.
Project: Broadband Linking the American Samoa Territory
Michels Corp.’s crews used directional drilling and trenching to place 205 miles of underground cable on the five inhabited islands in American Samoa, while building a robust fiber-optic network for the only American territory south of the equator. The project took 18 months to build, concluding in July 2015. Due to the lack of industry-specific suppliers and retailers on the islands and unreliable mainland delivery options, the Michels team shipped all of the materials, tools and pieces of heavy equipment by rail and container ship to American Samoa. Directional drilling was a new method to the islands, but proved to be very effective. Michels used the four drill rigs it shipped over to complete bores that ranged from 100 to 900 ft in length; they also allowed crews to work under American Samoa’s limited roadways. About two dozen crew members completed the project.