“We plan to repave Main Street from First Avenue to Ninth Avenue in August.”
“Our gas main and service line replacement program starts in July.”
By coordinating these two projects, both entities (the local municipality and the natural gas distribution company) can realize benefits. If the gas company is aware of the municipality’s pavement schedule, they can ensure that the gas main and service lines are replaced before the repaving starts, or, ideally, at the same time. This would allow for project cooperation with potential cost savings for both parties – e.g. the gas company opens the street to replace the lines, and the municipality closes the street to repave. Both parties receive financial benefit, and other stakeholders also benefit – for example, the street is under construction for less time, benefiting the residents of the street and neighborhood.
These types of opportunities only exist if utility companies and right of way custodians communicate by sharing their plans. Traditionally, this has occurred at the local level at a Utility Coordination Committee (UCC) meeting. There, utility stakeholders (utility companies, PennDOT, public works officials, planning commission members) share their projects and project plans in an exercise to find overlap. They meet monthly, or bi-monthly, or quarterly, to discuss and share project plans.
Is there a better way to collaborate?
Coordinate PA is a web service application developed by Pennsylvania 811 to support Public Works and utility project planning and utility coordination within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Coordinate PA uses the power of the Internet to represent a spatial, map-based look at underground utility and public works projects to help identify opportunities for coordination and collaboration when projects overlap in space and overlap in time.
Coordinate PA is the next generation of utility coordination. Instead of meeting to discuss plans, or copy maps, or create a spreadsheet of projects, Utility companies, public works directors and others describe their projects on a map. Coordinate PA then shows the projects and the project time frames for users and automatically identifies opportunities for collaboration between projects. The user can see project overlap within a geographic area (for example, Main Street from First Avenue and Seventh Avenue) and can query for overlap within a specific time frame.
Maps are used to display project scopes and phases to make it easy for stakeholders to identify opportunities to collaborate far enough in advance to recognize cost savings and minimize disruption to the public through sharing and coordination of their effort.
Coordinate PA integrates with Pennsylvania 811’s Web Ticket Entry process to create Design and Excavation notifications to increase project safety and reduce project costs as required by Pennsylvania’s Underground Utility Line Protection Law.
Coordinate PA offers significant benefits to Pennsylvania 811 stakeholders. Coordinate PA has the ability to:
- Identify project collaboration opportunities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
- Identify opportunities to coordinate and collaborate on projects outside your scope of responsibility, saving both parties money and improving the level of service to constituents;
- Expand information gathering from a broader range of stakeholders beyond project planners and public works officials;
- Expand information dissemination to a broader range of stakeholders beyond project planners and public works officials;
- Define projects in an easy to use tool that works inside a Web browser.No special software is required;
- Record project records, One Call obligations and stakeholder participation of the project in a secure repository;
- Provide project status and updates in near real time, rather than waiting for a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly UCC meeting;
- Significantly improve the impact of utility coordination.Individual project details are captured in a tool that provides a common map base, is available near real time and can be securely accessed from the office or job site.