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these data to individual task designers along with ramifications of cost and schedule implications if conflicts cannot be avoided fosters good design decisions.
How to synthesize and display the geophysical, visual, and record data is described in ASCE 38-22. Utilities within a project’s limits are not static; new ones are added, the project may relocate some early,
and there may be other changes. A mechanism to keep the utility data current throughout project development is an essential practice. As new data is added to the project, communication of those changes to
the task designers
becomes important.
Hence, fees and lines
of communication for
this service must be
established. Geophysics,
visual evidence and
records are uncertain
and require professional
judgment. If a potential
conflict is identified
between the utility data
and the design, exposure and accurate measurements of what is discovered in the excavation should be made. These results may change the judgments of the previous work, so provisions should be made to update this data so that
the snapshot in time is as re-liable as possible. So, the process of investigating and documenting existing utilities
on a project is iterative and requires continual communication between the project parties.
Utility coordination typically includes, but is not limited to, these tasks: utility conflict identification; meeting set-up and management between design consultants, utility owners,
and permit agencies; determination
of prior rights; sequencing of utility construction; relocation routing; relocation design; salvage value;
utility plans and estimates review
and approvals; determination of and securing of required utility easements and temporary construction easements; scheduling; writing special provisions; agreement development; securing policy exceptions; developing design alternatives, costs, time versus utility relocation; and per-forming municipal water and sewer design.
This process involves the utility owner early in the project which is sometimes a challenge. For preventing damages during project development, a budget needs to be established. This amount is not widely known nor shared in the A/E/C industry for a complete SUE Investigation. The industry standard is 0.5% to 2% of the construction value. Breaking this down further, assume
but it can go a long way to minimizing the risks in a potentially dangerous business. What happens if a complete SUE investigation is not performed? The con-tractor files a claim for delay, and the cost of the delay might be more than the consultant’s fee. Nonetheless for the consultant, there is the potential loss of goodwill and reputation with the client.
You might remember the old Fram oil filter commercial, “You can pay me more now, or you can pay me more later?” But today we might add, “Either way, you are going to pay more!” The question that the Consultant, Client and/or the Utility Owner needs to ask themselves is, “Which dollars are cheaper, today’s or tomorrow’s?”
Author Bios: Steven M. Rienks, P.E., PMP is the Director of Engineering/ Senior Project Manager at American Surveying & Engineering. He is a registered Professional
Engineer in several states, certified Project Management Professional, qualified and/or experienced In Civil Engineering projects, but also mentors/ coaches younger/enthusiastic Civil Engineers.
Steve is an ASCE Life Member, Chair for the UESI Illinois Chapter, Mentor in the ASCE Mentorship program, and Member at Large T&DI.
James H. Anspach, P.G. is the Affiliate Assistant Professor at Iowa State University Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. He has over 40 years of developing and leading the subsurface utility engineering profession and the utility engineering profession.
James is a Distinguished Member ASCE, Founding Governor & President 2018: ASCE Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute, Chair - ASCE Construction Standards Council, and Chair - ASCE 38-22 “Standard Guideline for Investigating and Documenting Existing Utilities”, as well as a Member and Past Chair of the ASCE Codes & Standards Committee.
 0.5% to 1% for rural projects and 1% to 2% for urban projects. These numbers are for budgeting purposes and might have to be doubled given the individual nature of each project. Let us encourage our fellow A/E/C professionals, clients, and utility owners that a complete SUE investigation, QL B (which will likely contain QL C and QL D depictions) and QL A test holes, if needed, be performed as part of the engineering plans that are advertised for bid or negotiated for bid and can be shared with the applicable utility owners.
We feel that utility identification at this stage of planning and design development helps to prevent utility damages and service disruptions to the utility companies and their customers.
With this process, the utility locators responding to the excavation tickets during the construction phase will have the best available information to ensure that what they identify on the ground is the same as what is shown on the final construction plans. If not, then the Contractor is not to proceed until a resolution has been agreed to by the various stakeholders. This pro- posed method will not eliminate risk,
2023, Issue 2 Alabama 811 • 19

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