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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 25, 2003
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 12-03

FHWA-Produced Video on Utility Coordination Wins Coveted Public Relations Award

A video co-produced by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that shows how greater cooperation between utilities and transportation agencies can save time and money on highway projects has received the prestigious Crystal PACE public relations award from a national organization.

The FHWA produced the video with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The video is called "CCC: Making the Effort Works!" The CCC in the title refers to "communication, coordination and cooperation."

"We are pleased to join our state partners in accepting this prestigious award," FHWA Administrator Mary Peters said. "Our video shows how early and effective communication between transportation agencies and utility firms in the planning phase of highway projects can help to avoid delays during roadway construction. That, in turn, will help us to save money and to reduce the amount of time that travelers must deal with congestion as a result of road work."

The Public Relations Society of America gives out the Crystal PACE Award annually. The PRSA's Central Michigan chapter nominated the video. The award, the highest honor nationally that recognizes public relations communication tactics, is given to programs that address a contemporary issue with exemplary skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

"Utility conflicts during construction can not only add significant costs to a job, but bring disruption and delays to motorists," said Ken Stoneman, state construction engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation. "This video will add a very helpful tool to assist agencies and utility organizations in addressing conflicts early in the design process, when steps to coordinate, avoid or minimize impacts to utilities are most effective in controlling costs on a projects."

The video shows how good communication and strong coordination between highway agency pre-construction staff and utility company engineers with planning, budgeting and utility relocation responsibility for a project can better understand competing needs, recognize the actions to avoid construction delays, and be motivated to work in partnership.

The video features comments from planners, designers and engineers who encourage change by sharing their best practice experiences and conveying a spirit of cooperation. An accompanying viewing guide encourages officials to use the video for staff training, management awareness and industry conferences. The guide also provides facilitator tips, key point handouts, discussion questions and additional resources.

The FHWA Office of Infrastructure and the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Construction sponsored the video production. A Michigan firm, LTS Productions, prepared the script and shot and edited the 20-minute film. More than 4,000 copies of the video on tape and on DVD have been distributed to state and local transportation agencies and utility firms nationwide.

To obtain a copy of the video or to receive further information about improved utility coordination, call Chris Newman, Office of Asset Management in the Federal Highway Administration, at 202-366-2023, 400 7th St. SW, Washington, DC 20590.

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