Louisiana DOTD recognized with FHWA award for utility relocation and accommodation
Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 3:09:51 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) was recently recognized by the Federal Highway Administration’s 2011 Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards program.

               DOTD’s Horace Sharp and team members, Sam Dupree, Reno Johnson and Donna Painter, received Honorable Mention for Project Development. The team was recognized for meeting the substantial increase in the demand for utility agreements on projects receiving funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

               DOTD received an additional $430 million in highway funding, which required obtaining utility agreements on an accelerated schedule for 55 state highway projects. Furthermore, DOTD had to coordinate with ten different metropolitan planning organizations to ensure that utility agreements were obtained within the same schedule for all projects on local roads. DOTD utility personnel achieved these results by coordinating, collaborating, and maintaining communication with utility companies and local authorities. This coordination and collaboration allowed DOTD staff to exchange plans, share other information, and streamline the process for obtaining utility agreements. Their efforts allowed DOTD to receive their full allocation of ARRA funds to the benefit of 120 highway projects.

               Trey Jesclard, and his team, JoAnn Kurts, Collins Landry and Billy Moore, alongside contractor Cardno TBE, received Honorable Mention for Construction Management for the O’Neal Lane Widening project (LA 3245) in Baton Rouge. DOTD contracted with Cardno TBE to provide subsurface utility engineering-related services, and to coordinate the utilities to be accommodated and relocated prior to or in conjunction with this project. As a result of this coordination, utility services to customers were uninterrupted and the roadway drainage was completed without delays.

The Excellence in Utility Relocation and Accommodation Awards program honors the use of innovative practices and outstanding achievements with reducing the cost or shortening the time required to accommodate or relocate utilities associated with highway improvement projects. The goal of the program is to showcase exemplary and innovative projects, programs, initiatives, and practices that successfully integrate the consideration of utilities in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of transportation facilities.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.             

For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).