Utilities and Design-Build Forum

Utilities and Design-Build Forum (Held on January 24, 2018 at Lenexa City Hall)

As Public Works Professionals, we understand that unexpected utility conflicts and associated damages consistently rank as a leading source of change orders and schedule delays on transportation projects, and this difficulty increases every day that more utility infrastructure goes in the ground.  We also continue to see that tightening schedules and budgets lead to innovation through the use of alternative delivery methods, such as Design-Build.  As the need for utilities to occupy right of way increases, and the demand for innovation in contracting increases, the risks from utility conflicts and associated damages are compounded.  One primary strategy that more and more project owners implement to mitigate utility risks is Subsurface Utility Engineering (S.U.E.).  However, successful application of S.U.E. within a complex design-build project requires considerable analysis, smart strategies, and proper implementation from all parties and through all phases of the project.

Kansas successfully completed its first major design-build transportation project this past year, right here in Kansas City, utilizing S.U.E. as the primary utility coordination and relocation framework.  The scope of work for this $300M project, known as the Johnson County Gateway Project, included full reconstruction of highways, major arterials, and interchanges over a 2.5 year construction schedule and amongst a plethora of utility conflicts.  So how did the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) approach and implement S.U.E.?  What key decisions were made to address the unique project characteristics and challenges?  What worked well?  What didn't work well?  What lessons were learned?  Join us for this discussion about how and why S.U.E. was utilized as the primary tool for identifying and resolving utility conflicts on the Gateway Project.  Hear about these experiences from all perspectives, including the views of the project owner, utility owners, contractors, and the utility coordinators.  By the conclusion, participants will be better able to identify design-build projects that will benefit from S.U.E., develop effective strategies for applying S.U.E., and successfully implement S.U.E. through all stages of their next design-build project.

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