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MOSES Members Cited for Excellence - 2015

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State employees and their daily contributions throughout the workforce play a major role in the Commonwealth’s successful delivery of quality services to its citizens. Outstanding employees set high standards for themselves and they motivate and influence their fellow workers to adopt similar standards. For 31 years, the Performance Recognition Program (PRP) has been an important means to publicly acknowledge and encourage outstanding performance. Over the next several months, we will be highlighting MOSES members that have been singled out for excellence in 2015. Congratulations to everyone and if you have received an award, from the state or your community, please send information and a photo to: colleen@btc-boston.com.

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Joe Knows MOSES

Utility Relocation Policy Earns MassDOT National Excellence Award

MOSES members instrumental in development of the incentive-based reimbursement policy.

The system of streets and roads serving the U.S. is over 4.2 million miles long and occupies about one percent of the country’s total land mass. Massachusetts roadways account for over 35,000 of these miles. The most obvious users of this intricate network are cars and trucks; less noticeable are the utility lines, often located to the side of the pavement or underground. 

If a road is widened to allow for increased traffic, or a city street is rerouted for building construction, utility lines may have to be moved. Aside from the obvious expense, movement of these lines can be time consuming, causing significant traffic and construction delays.

The Federal Highway Administration’s Excellence Award recently recognized MassDOT engineers for their establishment of an incentive-based reimbursement policy for utility relocations. Under the policy, MassDOT will reimburse 50% of the actual costs incurred for necessary utility relocation only if the utility owner completes the work within the duration schedule set by all participants. This procedure ties utility relocations to the construction contractor’s schedule, strongly incentivizing coordination between all parties. 

MOSES members, including Guy Rezendes and Mike Hartnett, both with MassDOT, were instrumental in the development of the nationally acclaimed Utility Incentive-Based Reimbursement Policy. Rezendes, MassDOT state utilities engineer in the Boston headquarters and Hartnett, District 3 construction engineer, assisted in the development of the DUCE (District Utility/Constructability Engineer) position to help speed along MassDOT projects, often held up by utility relocations. The engineers observed that utility relocation can be a major contributor to project delays. The DUCE team, in turn, developed a new process for how MassDOT interacts with the utility companies, saving everyone, particularly the residents of Massachusetts, considerable time and money.

Prior to the establishment of the DUCE position and process, the MassDOT  state utility engineer would distribute plans to the utilities, but that was as far as it went. There was little coordination between the parties and no real incentive to finish the job on time. Now, with Utility Incentive-Based Reimbursement Policy in place, MassDOT engineers meet with the utility engineers at the 25% mark in the design process, plan out the relocations, involve all designers in the process, incorporate the utility relocations in new designs, develop a project schedule that includes the utility relocations and ensure that the utilities stay on schedule for their relocations so they meet the requirements for reimbursement. There are many other pieces of the puzzle that are included, from acquisition of easements for utilities to completion of agreements that limit the duration of a relocation and minimize the overall impact to utilities. It is this early coordination of numerous directives by the DUCE engineers that helps to make this a successful program.

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  • MOSES members making a difference around the world. Each year, MOSES scientists and engineers donate their time to Engineers without Borders. Here is just a small sampling of the good and important work they do.

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