Integration of Utility and Environmental Activities in the Project Development Process

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Author(s):

C.A. Quiroga, E. Kraus, J.H. Overman, N.A. Koncz

Publication Date:

January 2010

Abstract:

Two sources of delay during the project development process are utility adjustments and the environmental review and clearance process. There are several efforts underway at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to optimize these processes, including recently finished and active research projects. Despite these efforts, the interaction between the utility process and the environmental process is one that has not received proper attention over the years. One of the reasons is that, although the collection of data about existing and abandoned utility installations is part of the environmental data gathering process, in practice the collection of detailed underground utility-related data normally starts in the design phase, which typically occurs after the environmental process is complete. The purpose of the research was to evaluate the feasibility of (a) obtaining better existing utility data during preliminary design and coordinating this activity with the environmental process; and (b) increasing the level of definition of design components during preliminary design without affecting environmental requirements to support the earlier application of utility processes. The analysis resulted in 10 optimization strategies that address a variety of environmental and utility issues identified through a literature review and meetings with stakeholders throughout the state. The researchers also developed a high detailed business process diagram that integrates environmental and utility functions, with a specific emphasis on the preliminary design phase. To facilitate access to model information, the researchers developed a web-based application called TxDOT Business Process Explorer (TxBPE). TxBPE can be accessed on the Internet, the TxDOT intranet, or from a local or networked computer drive.

Report Number:

0-6065-1

Keywords:

Utility Relocation, Utility Adjustment, Environment Process, Project Development Process

Electronic Link(s):

Document/Product: http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/0-6065-1.pdf

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