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2007 Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2007 Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards and all who were nominated for these awards. This Biennial Awards Program was developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to honor those who excel in improving utility relocation and accommodation practices. Our goal with this program is to showcase exemplary practices demonstrating excellence in relocating and accommodating utilities on surface transportation improvement projects.

The 2007 awards recognize outstanding innovations that have significantly advanced how the Agency relocates or accommodates utilities on surface transportation improvement projects. This year's winners demonstrate these exemplary practices in the following five categories: Incentives for Utility Relocation, Innovation, Project Management, Leadership, and Outstanding Individual Contributions. The award recipients will be honored during the 2007 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Right-of-Way and Utilities annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. In this brochure, you will read about innovative programs, procedures, practices, technologies, teamwork, collaborative efforts, and projects from around the country.

Excellence Award Winners

Category 1 - Incentives for Utility Relocation

Projects Under $100 Million: Links I Utility Corridor FPN 255844
Links I Utility Corridor during construction

This award recognizes the Links I Utility Corridor project that provided advanced funding for and relocation of utility facilities of twelve companies into one structure, designed to also function as a multi-use "recreational trail." The project involved the relocation of the utility facilities of these different companies in advance of the reconstruction of State Road 60 in Tampa, FL, reducing the overall duration of this construction project from seven to five years. The project constructed one 10 feet wide by 10 feet deep separate structure, housing 12 utilities stacked vertically with staggered horizontal placement, and a separate service road for access and maintenance.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. City of Tampa, Chris Barquin (chris.barquin@tampagov.net)
  2. Ash Engineering, Inc., Janice Ash (jash@ashengineering.com)
  3. Florida DOT, Dwayne Kile (dwayne.kile@dot.state.fl.us)

Projects Over $100 Million: Maryland STH 200-The Intercounty Connector
Transmission lines crossing the ICC

This award recognizes the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) for providing innovative incentives enabling 15 utility companies to relocate approximately $40 million of complex overhead and underground utilities facilities as a part of five design-build projects to construct the STH 200 Intercounty Connector (ICC) highway. To accomplish its aggressive schedule, utility companies were offered to pay 100 percent of the utility relocation work, and forego some of the monetary benefits MSHA normally realizes through its existing cost-sharing program. In return, MSHA required the majority of the utility relocation work to be incorporated into the design-build contracts.

Award recipients and contacts:
  • MSHA, Nelson Smith (nsmith@sha.state.md.us)
  • ICC Corridor Partners, Jeff Ziegenfuss (jeffz@wtbco.com)
  • TBE Group, Inc., Joseph Bissett (jbissett@tbegroup.com)

Category 2 - Innovation

Crane-mounted Electronic Sensing Device
Projects Under $100 Million: I-96 Superstructure Replacement over Mid-MI Railroad

This award recognizes the Michigan DOT for replacing the I-96 bridge over a railroad line and below an active aerial electric transmission line. This project achieved significant cost savings by using an electronic sensing device and alarm attached to the crane, allowing for construction to occur around the active utility line, versus having to relocate this line without impacting traffic on the Interstate. This system cost $128,000, which was $232,000 to $847,000 less than estimates to relocate these lines prior to construction.

Award recipients and contacts:
  • Michigan DOT, Mike Lamancusa (Lamancusam@michigan.gov) or Rob Beckon (Beckonr@michigan.gov)
  • Walter Toebe Construction Co., David Frogner, 248-349-7500
  • Michigan Electric Transmission Company and ITS Co., Erin Keeler, 248-374-7064

Projects Over $100 Million: State Highway 130 Toll Road Utility Adjustments
Austin Energy Transmission at Colorado River

This award recognizes the Texas DOT for establishing the Developer Managed model to accomplish utility adjustments and relocations on design-build projects. This model was initially developed for the 49-mile STH 130 Toll Road design-build construction project involving 52 utility companies and more than 650 utility adjustments estimated at $110 million. This extensive utility adjustment effort was planned with TxDOT providing the developer with sufficient information (SUE results, Memorandums of Understanding Agreements, FHWA Alternate Procedure guidelines, and the Exclusive Development Agreement's (EDA) Utility Policy of Adjustments process) to prepare a reasonable estimate and realistic utility schedule.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Texas Turnpike Authority, Don Toner (dtoner@dot.state.tx.us)
  2. Texas DOT, John Breed (jbreed@dot.state.tx.us)
  3. Surveying & Mapping, Inc., H. Scott Colter (scolter@saminc.biz)

Category 3 - Project Management

Peachtree Boulevard Project: Existing Road
Projects Under $100 Million: Peachtree Boulevard Project & Subsurface Utility Engineering

This award recognizes the Georgia DOT for using subsurface utility engineering to identify, verify, map and coordinate the adjustment or relation of 48,000 feet of utility facilities for ten different companies with active and abandoned facilities in the existing right-of-way. This project required maintaining access to businesses and provision of utility services along a densely populated 0.42-mile urban section of Peachtree Boulevard in Atlanta, Georgia. This one-half mile stretch of roadway involved a total reconstruction with wider sidewalks, a tree-lined median, bike lanes, improved drainage, transit stops, and intersections.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Georgia DOT, Jeff Baker (jeff.baker@dot.state.ga.us)
  2. So-Deep, Inc., Mike Fisher (trock@sodeep.com)

Replacement I-10 Bridge Construction, December 2006
Projects Over $100 Million: Replacement of (SR-8) I-10 Bridges over Escambia Bay

This award recognizes the Florida DOT for successfully partnering with utility companies to relocate or adjust their facilities in advance of the fast-track design-build project to replace the I-10 bridges over Escambia Bay in the western panhandle of Florida. This bridge over Escambia Bay, located in Florida, was severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. In April 2005, the Florida DOT awarded a $245 million design-build contract to construct a new bridge over this three mile Bay. The utilities facilities were relocated within six months of the project notification, reducing the project's cost and construction time.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Florida DOT, Robert Ellis, P.E. (Robert.ellis@dot.state.fl.us)
  2. TBE Group, Inc., Vincennes LaVallette (vlavallette@tbegroup.com)
  3. Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, John Poulson, (poulson@pbworld.com)
  4. Tidewater-Skanska/Flatiron JV, Paul Rudloff (ptrudloff@tidewaterskanska.com)

Category 4 - Leadership

Attendees identifying utility conflicts in the plans, preparing a utility conflict matrix, and identifying the locations that need SUE services
Projects Under $100 Million Avoiding Utility Project Impacts Training Program

This award recognizes the Georgia DOT for initiating a new training program, "Avoiding Utility Project Impacts," providing designers and project managers with the tools to reduce project delays by identifying and resolving potential utility conflicts early in the planning and design processes. This new training program provides designers and project managers' real tools to avoid unnecessary utility relocations and project delays by identifying and resolving utility conflicts early in the design process. This innovative training program incorporates state-of-the-art methods and technologies, and fosters creative thinking and solutions when dealing with utility relocation and accommodation issues on highway projects.

Award recipients and contacts:

Aerial Photo Highway 212 West Project Terminus

Projects Over $100 Million Minnesota State Trunk Highway 212 Design Build Project

This award recognizes the Utility Task Force that coordinated the relocation and accommodation of utilities, which Zumbro River Constructors were responsible for accomplishing, as a part of their design-build contact with the Minnesota DOT, to build the 12 mile freeway on a new alignment. This project structure enabled the team to develop innovative construction techniques to address challenging utility relocation situations when traditional methods would not work.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Minnesota DOT, John Chiglo (jon.chiglo@dot.state.mn.us)
  2. Zumbro River Constructors, Scott Risley (scott.risley@fluor.com)

Paul Scott

Category 5 - Outstanding Individual Contributions

Paul Scott, TBE Group, Inc. (pscott@tbegroup.com)

This award recognizes Paul Scott for his leadership, significant contributions, technical expertise, and commitment to continuously foster innovation and advance utility accommodation and relation practices within the United States and internationally. Since 2003, Mr. Scott has served as the TBE Group's National Utilities Liaison. During his last 12 years with FHWA (33 years total) in the Washington, DC Headquarters office, he coordinated national-level utility issues, developed and implemented utility regulations and policies, and promoted the use of Subsurface Utility Engineering. Paul also serves as the Vice-Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) committee that prepared the standard guidelines for collecting and depicting subsurface utility data; Chair of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Utilities Committee; and an advisor to the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) Utilities Committee.

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Updated: 10/07/2014
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