The National Academies

NCHRP 10-143 [Anticipated]

Utility Inspection Processes for Transportation Accommodation and Relocation

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Staff Responsibility: Christopher T. McKenney
Comments: In development
Fiscal Year: 2025

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

Every year, state departments of transportation (DOTs) nationwide negotiate  many agreements with utility owners during the project development and delivery process.  Field verifications that the proposed utility installations or relocations have been properly constructed are integral components of the process.  Unfortunately, field verification and monitoring are perhaps the weakest component of the entire utility management process to date. This can be attributed, in part, to utility owners not notifying state DOTs when they start construction or the failure to communicate with the state DOT’s inspectors in a timely fashion. There may be other reasons internal to transportation agencies, not all of which are well understood or documented, which negatively impact an agency’s ability to conduct utility inspections effectively.  A frequently mentioned reason is DOT utility inspectors are overstretched due to limited resources.  Other potential reasons include a lack of appropriate tools to conduct effective, meaningful inspections; adequate training for inspectors; inconsistent or absent agency standards; and a deficiency on the part of an agency to prioritize this function. Research is needed to identify and assess the requirements of utility inspection of highway accommodations and relocations.

The objective of this research is to develop a compendium of utility construction inspection practices and test new inspection protocols and procedures to achieve:

  • Consistency in construction inspection reporting with best construction management practices.
  • Cost savings during construction and through the lifetime of transportation and utility facilities.
  • Improvements in the quality of utility inspections leading to higher performance of utility contractors, and clearer contract requirements and specifications.
  • Improved utility as-built data collection practices, reducing risk of utility damages and increased jobsite safety.
  • Reduced nonconformance with regulatory requirements, per National Program Review.
  • Project improvements to quality, safety, cost, and schedule.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5667