47-14: Effective Utility Investigations to Optimize Safety and Savings

  • Sturgill, Roy (PI)
  • Taylor, Timothy (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The location of utilities within and near transportation infrastructure right-of-way presents many challenges for maintenance and modifications to these facilities. Recent research trends, largely due to ASCE, SHRP2, and NCHRP efforts, have created a host of changes in the policies and procedures of many state transportation agencies (STAs) in the area of utility coordination, relocation, and mitigation. These rapid changes while showing promise of improvements are fragmenting the standards of practice in the area, causing confusion and ambiguousness, and perhaps instilling counterproductive project risks. Many STAs have adopted pieces and parts of these research efforts and while ASCE/CI 38-02 has attempted to standardize the collection and depiction of utility data, there is still an assortment of practices and procedures being applied or misapplied throughout STAs. This synthesis can aid this situation through establishing the state-of-the-practice as a baseline for scoping, procuring, managing, phasing and conducting utility investigations. The synthesis can also assist in identifying knowledge gaps and overlaps in the area, pinpointing elements of a successful utility investigation program, inclusive of barriers to utility investigation, and suggest needs for manuals or training relative to utility investigation. The objective of this synthesis is to conduct a literature and limited field review of existing and ongoing research and guidance information relative to scoping; procuring; managing; phasing; and conducting & delivering utility investigations. This will include (a) looking at current practices regarding prequalification of consultants; (b) reviewing different investigation deliverables and their formatting; (c) looking at gaps, overlaps, and contradictions between Common Ground Alliance (CGA), ASCE, state One-Call statutes and Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) regarding utility investigations; (d) identifying core practices that might be necessary for an effective program; and (e) looking at prequalification requirements for assessing compliance or noncompliance by SUE consultants. The product of this study will be a synthesis report that (a) provides an overview of the current state of the practice relative to scoping, procuring, managing, phasing, and conducting utility investigations; (b) identifies gaps in practice and knowledge; (c) identifies core elements of an effective utility investigation program, and (d) identifies barriers to utility investigations, and (e) suggests research needed for the development of a comprehensive manual and subsequent training on conducting effective utility investigations.
Effective start/end date11/9/151/31/17


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