Manhole Security: Protecting America’s Critical Underground Infrastructure

This paper underscores the importance of securing manholes, which are the only common way to access the underground networks of pipes, wires and cables that support the transfer of electricity, natural gas, potable water and waste. It reviews various methods for protecting manholes and finds that the most practical and effective solution is to utilize self-contained, locking barrier devices. Further, it recommends Congress take steps to require the security of the highest-risk manholes and to investigate funding sources and incentives to make it easier to do so.

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