Custom Vault Lid with Multiple Access Points

ERMATIC modular solution ductile iron hatch and grates installed over underground transformer vault in Topeka Kansas

EJ provides multiple solutions for utility vault – Topeka, Kansas

Vault layout plan including ERMATIC covers, hatch, and grates

A modular access solution covers a large vault for an underground transformer at a new hotel site

When a new underground transformer was being installed in 2017 at a new 109-room hotel site in downtown Topeka, Kansas, Westar Energy needed an access solution to keep it covered and secure. Utility vaults such as this protect controls that are necessary to keep reliable utilities running for hotels. EJ worked closely with engineers to develop a custom vault lid that included the ERMATIC® modular solution, ductile iron access hatch, and ventilation grates.


Westar Energy (now Evergy) reached out to EJ with the opportunity for the custom access vault and worked with the Underground Power Network Supervisor to design a solution. EJ provided access solutions that would accommodate the dimensional, ergonomic access, and ventilation requirements for the vault. Although not in a traffic area, the vault lid, hinged hatch, and grates were all designed with Heavy Duty loading requirements for any potential future traffic.

Partnering with a Concrete Precaster

Overhead view of the vault preparing for precast
The project design was finalized and EJ worked with Oldcastle Precast to create the vault with precast covers. Oldcastle ordered the products from EJ in July 2017 and precast during the winter of 2017-2018.  The inside of the vault measured 16’ long x 12’ wide x 9.6’ deep and was delivered and set in the spring of 2018. 

The Solutions

EJ provided an ERMATIC® modular solution with a center beam design with clear opening of 5.97’ x 10’ for access to a large transformer. ERMATIC is a comprehensive and highly specified range of access covers for a wide variety of underground services including sewerage, telecommunications, and electricity. This advanced technology by EJ provides security reinforced by the strength and stability of the covers and rapid easy access for maintenance and network deployment.
The design for this site also included one 36” square ductile iron hinged hatch access assembly for ergonomic ease of access and two 3’x2’ clear open frame and grate assemblies for ventilation. 

The ERMATIC range of modular covers are produced in France.


Learn More

Interested in the ERMATIC or ductile iron hinged hatches?

View the operation demonstration videos below or talk to an expert at EJ to find out how the innovative features of the ERMATIC modular solution or ductile iron hinged hatches can work for your next project.

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