#Subsurface Utility Engineering

Post 19 – Presentations in Region 5 & 6

It was 1993 and none of the State DOTs in the FHWA’s Regions 5 and 6 had used SUE. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin DOTs were in Region 5. Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas DOTs were in Region 6. I don’t remember exactly how it all came about, but it was decided that I would lead a team consisting of FHWA, State DOT, and Provider representatives. We would visit each DOT, meet with upper management representatives in the morning, and with technical staff after lunch in the afternoons. We allotted two weeks for each region. We would do Region 5 first, take a few months off, and then visit Region 6. FHWA would reimburse the State and Provider representatives for all expenses if their organizations would give them time off with full pay.

The cost of this venture would greatly exceed the budget for my office, the Railroads, Utilities, and Programs Branch in the Office of Engineering. However, two other offices with money for implementation stepped up and helped us out. They were the State and Local Programs Branch of the Office of Technical Applications, headed by Janet Coleman, and the Experimental Projects Branch of the Office of Highway Operations, headed by Mike Burk. A good friend, Vinnie Nowakowski, worked for Mike and helped out. Vinnie, Mike, and I worked together in the Office of Highway Safety in the early 1980s. Subsurface Utility Engineering helped all of us reach our mission goals. It was truly a team effort.

The next step in the plan was to put together the team. We asked Jim Anspach from So-Deep to fill the Provider role and he readily agreed. We also asked Joe Bissett and Bernie Levin of the Maryland State Highway Administration to fill the State DOT role and they were readily given approval for Joe to join us on the Region 5 trips and Bernie to join us on the Region 6 trips. Regional Office staff helped us set the dates for the visits and we were all set to go.

Next week I will highlight some of the events that occurred on these trips.

Subsurface Utility Engineering