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2009 Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards Winners

Project Development Category Award

Maryland Route 97 facing the proposed bridge location at Randolph Road

Maryland Route 97/Randolph Road Intersection, Montgomery County, Maryland

This complex urban project, which will grade separate the MD 97/Randolph Road intersection using a bridge/tunnel, will also impact distribution and transmission facilities for multiple utilities. The Maryland State Highway Administration implemented Accelerated Construction Technology Transfer methodologies to address these numerous coordination challenges. The project team used value engineering and quality improvement techniques to successfully move utility relocations off the project schedule's critical path. This approach facilitated dramatic reductions in cost, schedule, and impacts to the traveling public and surrounding communities.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Maryland State Highway Administration:
  2. KCI Technologies, Inc.
  3. Johnson Mirmiran and Thompson:

Project Development Category Honorable Mention:

New Jersey Route 17 - Essex Bridge Construction

Route 17/Essex Street Interchange Reconstruction, Bergen County, New Jersey

Through an extensive project development process involving collaboration with 14 utility companies, $10 million dollars of utility relocations were accommodated as part of this $40 million dollar project. The use of subsurface utility engineering, significant pre-construction relocation, incentives/penalties, and other stakeholder negotiated provisions contributed to the success of the project and enabled the construction schedule to be reduced from 32 to 16 months.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. New Jersey Department of Transportation:
    • Manuel Viteri
  2. Taylor Wiseman and Taylor:

Project Development Category Honorable Mention:

Utility Relocation along the Ambassador Caffery Parkway

Ambassador Caffery Parkway Extension Project, Lafayette Parish, Louisiana

The Ambassador Caffery Parkway Extension Project cost approximately $40 million and included $7 million of utility relocation work involving 16 utility companies, including 6 major oil pipelines. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's team diligently employed the "3 C's" (Coordination, Communication and Cooperation) beginning before final acquisition of right-of-way to ensure all the conflicting utilities would be relocated prior to project advertisement. This approach identified opportunities for the pipeline companies to partner and utilize a single contractor when their crossings were in proximity to each other.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development:

Construction Management Category Winner

Construction of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River

Interstate 35W Bridge over the Mississippi River, Hennepin County, Minnesota

The speed at which the Minnesota Department of Transportation had to replace the fallen I- 35W bridges over the Mississippi River posed a significant utility relocation challenge. The contractor was required to hold a time-critical utility kick-off meeting, create preliminary and final designs concurrent with the agreement writing, and provide preliminary design review to quickly obtain permit acceptance. The contractor was also required to exercise judgment while involving multiple stakeholders on utility accommodation policy. The unique collaborative approach used on this project allowed this critical project to be completed three months ahead of schedule.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Minnesota Department of Transportation:
  2. Flatiron Construction Corporation:
  3. TBE Group:

Innovation Category Winner

Georgia Department of Transportation's Utility "Redline" Project

Screenshot from the Georgia DOT's Utility Redline software program

Georgia DOT's Utility Redline Software greatly facilitates the transmittal of utility plan mark-ups in electronic format for construction projects, thereby better facilitating project utility coordination efforts; significantly increasing plan quality; and further reducing both the agency's and utility owner's printing costs. The software also aids in the implementation of GIS-based application; and is considered a monumental step in the Georgia Department of Transportation's ongoing mission to minimize project delivery schedules. Award recipients and contacts:

  1. Georgia Department of Transportation:

Innovation Category Honorable Mention

Johnny Blakeney, Florida DOT

Florida Department of Transportation's Utility Coordination Web Site

The Utility Coordination Web Site eliminates the boundaries between design and construction by providing information regarding utility conflicts and utility relocation time-lines for all ongoing construction projects, allowing each utility agency to allocate their resources in the most efficient manner. This Web Site also helps the contractor fully realize their impact on the utility industry if they desire to change the sequence of a particular construction activity.

Award recipient and contact:
  1. Florida Department of Transportation:

Innovation Category Honorable Mention

Katy Freeway Duct Bank Relocation

Katy Freeway Reconstruction Program, Harris County, Texas

This project consisted of the reconstruction of 23 miles of Interstate and involved 33 utility owners over four separate utility corridors. The use of an outsourced utility inspection and coordination team enabled the Texas Department of Transportation to best apply their resources on other activities. The "corridor" approach to design and construction enabled both the department and the utilities to maximize available crews and minimize costs. The use of a dedicated project-specific Web Site allowed for quick transmission and review of project documents and exceptional coordination between project stakeholders. This project's processes and tracking elements were so successful that they are now used as a model for other large-scale projects in the State of Texas.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Texas Department of Transportation:
  2. Parsons Brinckerhoff:

Leadership Category Winners

  1. James H. Anspach, J.H Anspach Consulting (Jhanspach@aol.com)
  2. Nicholas M. Zembillas, TBE Group, Inc. (nick.zembillas@cardnotbe.com)

Nicholas M. Zembillas and James H. Anspach are recognized leaders in the highway/utilities field and are greatly responsible for the growth of the Subsurface Utility Engineering practice to its present prominence in the project development arena. Their diligent efforts helped introduce the use of "SUE" to State DOTs, and they continue to provide technical assistance, make presentations, and use every available avenue to help State DOT planners and designers better understand the need for reliable subsurface utilities data. Their efforts all feed into improved construction and untold millions of dollars in time and cost savings on transportation related projects.

James H. Anspach
James H. Anspach
Nicholas M. Zembillas
Nicholas M. Zembillas

Leadership Category Honorable Mention

Ohio Department of Transportation, Utility Plan Reading Training Class

In response to the Ohio Department of Transportation's utility counterparts' needs, the Utility Plan Reading Training Class was designed to enhance the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the utility relocation process for highway construction projects and eliminate delays caused by non-responsive utility relocation activity. The two-day course focuses on those components which are of critical interest to utility company relocation personnel and also expands on utility issues within the project Right of Way Plans. Given the ever changing staffing roles of the utilities the training is considered a very effective means of maintaining expertise at the DOT and the utility companies.

Award recipients and contacts:
  1. Ohio Department of Transportation:

Leadership Category Honorable Mention

  1. Teresa Loop, Puget Sound Energy (teresa.loop@pse.com)

Teresa Loop demonstrated exceptional team-building skills that helped successfully coordinate utility relocation along an important state highway corridor, and has helped change the way utility companies work together in Skagit County, Washington. The required utility relocation on the State Route 20 project was substantial and involved teamwork from two other utility companies to relocate five miles of utility poles, equipment and service connections. Ms. Loop's proactive coordination with these other utility companies was so successful that Puget Sound Energy has subsequently initiated a quarterly meeting with other companies that connect to PSE power poles.

2009 Excellence in Utility Accommodation and Relocation Awards Judges:

  1. Janis Gramatins, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC
  2. Steven R. Mills, Federal Highway Administration, Montgomery, AL
  3. Bimla Rhinehart, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento, CA
  4. Chuck Schmidt, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Concord, NH
Updated: 04/19/2018
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