Promoting Due Diligence with Project Management feat. Steven Rienks (Ep. 10)

4M Utility Strategy Podcast With Steven Rienks

On our tenth episode of the Utility Strategy Podcast, Steven Rienks takes us back to the basics: what is a project, how are projects managed, and how do utilities fit into the process?

Steven M. Rienks, PE, PMP is Director of Engineering at American Surveying & Engineering, where he specializes in SUE QA/QC. He has more than 40 years of experience in engineering, construction, and project management on transportation, highway, and railway projects.

His work includes large highway interchange and freeway projects for the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, as well as projects for the Chicago Department of Transportation and local municipalities.

Key Takeaways

2% of the construction budget should be allocated for a complete SUE investigation.

Utilities should be mapped as quickly and as soon as possible, even prior to beginning the design and engineering. 2% may sound like a lot, but it's a small amount to spend at the front end of the project in order to prevent issues from arising in the final stages. It is simply too late to do a SUE investigation when the contractor has already brought their teams, equipment, and material to the site.

When the contractor encounters a problem in the field, all of a sudden, there are delays and arguments about liability. If a complete SUE investigation had been at the beginning, those unknown unknowns could have been exponentially reduced.

Transportation agencies can improve utility coordination by using technology to track conflicts on site.

Once utilities are identified in the area of interest, they need to be managed effectively and on schedule to allow for construction to go smoothly. Every utility conflict needs a unique identifier that tells the viewer the current status and what needs to happen, at what stage of construction, so that the project moves forward. There has to be communication between field staff and the office staff to transfer knowledge, gather data, and design new strategies through technology.

Co-hosts: David Horesh (Director of Marketing) and Ophir Wainer (Director of North American Business Development)

Just in case you missed it, in our previous podcast we had a fantastic talk with Neil Brammall about sharing and improving utility data with NUAR, the UK's map of buried assets.

And stay tuned! On our next utility strategy podcast, we're hosting Dr. Ahmed Al-Bayati!

Questions? Suggestions? Want to nominate a fantastic guest for a future episode? Get in touch!

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