Our 9 Step Approach to Utility Relocation

Posted on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 by
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9 steps to relocate utilities

Utility relocation plays a large role in many of our projects. As a result, we’ve developed a tested process for coordinating with utilities. Here are the nine steps we take each time:

  1. We start by communicating early and often.
  2. During the survey process, our team will make the “one-call,” survey the flagged areas, prepare a base map for design, and create a spreadsheet of all the affected utilities and their locations. Then, we track those areas throughout design.
  3. Our survey team will then notify all impacted utilities and request electronic plans of their facilities. We add those to our base map.
  4. After the base map is prepared and we’ve determined a preliminary plan, we meet with the utility companies and discuss conflicts, as well as possible relocations.
  5. Next, we share the schedule with utility companies, so they know when relocations should happen.
  6. We ask them to prepare designs and determine their schedule.
  7. After we receive the utilities’ plans, we incorporate those into our design.
  8. Then, we hold a follow-up meeting to share all the information gathered from each party and confirm where everything will be placed.
  9. Then, the utilities relocate their facilities.

While these steps help keep all parties on the same page, there are occasionally challenges that are difficult to anticipate. For example, some field locates for utilities are out-of-date or in the wrong spot. To avoid surprises in the field, we ask our survey team to compare the plans provided by each utility company with the field locations staked by the utility locate company. Then, they investigate the area, looking for manholes, risers, etc. to verify everything lines up. For items critical to the project or areas of concern, potholing may even be used to ensure physical lines match the drawings.

Over the years, we’ve developed a proven process for utility relocation. We follow each of the nine steps listed above and focus on three keys to success. These strategies make life easier for not only our clients, but also utilities.

  1. Having a relationship with our colleagues who work at utilities helps build trust for all parties.
  2. Communicating early and often keeps everyone on the same page. (We mentioned it earlier, but it’s truly an integral part of how we do things at Affinis.)
  3. Verifying locates in the field helps our team anticipate possible conflicts and any drawing inaccuracies.

To learn how our survey team can help with your next project, contact Robert Ubben at rubben@affinis.us.

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