Major Wisconsin Project Succeeds Despite Constricted Conditions

November 2009 Vol. 64 No. 11
The first stage of the joint trench construction: iinstalling an electric conduit system under University Avenue in Madison, WI.
  • Before the bidding process, partners worked closely with the City of Madison so its street contractors were well prepared. Digital files were shared with the city. MGE and ATC had routes marked and inserted into the City of Madison's CAD file as individual layers and incorporated into the city's plan set for bidders.
  • A narrative describing each utility's facility and route was included in the city's specifications. Each prospective bidder was aware of the scope of the utility construction and could bid and plan accordingly.
  • MGE and ATC worked with a third party consultant to develop a new design, including a fluidized thermal backfill, so the distribution and transmission could be separated by a three foot allowance rather than the standard six foot allowance.
  • Meetings with ATC determined trench cross sections for various trenching scenarios.
  • Coordination was key. Weekly meetings were held between MGE, KS Energy and InterCon to prepare for upcoming construction. Partners also held weekly scheduling meetings with the City of Madison and its contractors.
  • Individual coordination sessions helped resolve specific issues that kept the flow of pedestrians, vehicles, trains, construction equipment and business deliveries moving.
  • The city of Madison was just one of the entities. The partners also worked with Wisconsin's departments of Administration and Transportation, the University of Wisconsin Facilities Management, Wisconsin & Southern Railroad and local business owners associations.

Joint trench
The joint trench was built in three different configurations: