Utility relocation coordination on large linear transportation projects
Utility risk management is a significant part of every capital-intensive project. Forming a utility coordination team to identify interfaces with various utilities, develop concept-level drawings, and strategizing risk mitigation measures need to start well in advance of the procurement phase of a project.
It has become common for highway and light rail transit (LRT) project owners to engage an Owner’s Engineering (OE) utility team through the pre-procurement phase. Some of the major tasks performed by the OE utility team are to collect relevant utility information and identify utility conflicts, develop concept-level utility drawings, and recommend conceptual relocations. The utility industry has also recently published new guidelines which can guide the OE in their duties. The paper will provide an overview of some of the current utilities management best practices and guidelines for large infrastructure projects, while focusing on the role good utility planning takes in determining whether a linear project will be completed on time and within budget. The latter part of the paper will focus on a case study of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project in the Lower Mainland area, British Columbia. The $3.95 B project is following a multiple contracting strategy that has major interfaces with several utility owners throughout all the contracts. Examples of risk management strategies of this project are illustrated here to emphasize the importance of early utility management efforts on these large infrastructure projects.