Underground Construction’s 13th Annual Municipal Infrastructure Survey: Signs Of Life in Sewer/Water Economy

Stimulus Offers Small Aid; Slow Turnaround As Year Progresses
By Robert Carpenter, Editor | February 2010 Vol. 65 No. 2

A Midwest official wants contractors to be “trustworthy, do the right thing even if the inspector is not on the job site.” A north central muni respondent advised contractors to “go the extra mile. As the years wear on and revisiting old projects can leave a bad taste in the utilities’ mouths if a contractor has not dotted the ‘i’s’ and crossed the ‘t’s’.” And a Texas city official reminded contractors to “remember they work for the client! Communicate, communicate, communicate.”

Engineers

Consulting engineers saw their performance rating drop slightly from 3.61 to 3.59. Like contractors, municipal personnel cited several common themes in their dealings with engineers.

“Better communication,” was suggested by this West Coast respondent and a host of other city personnel from around the country. A Midwest muni manager added “listen to the staff and public.”

In this day and age of constant technology change, an upper Midwest city official counseled engineers to “make sure they are up to date on all new technologies that can help keep costs down.” Along a similar theme, a Northeast respondent suggested that engineers “be more creative in their proposed solutions.”

A northern Mountain state respondent said there is a need for “more thorough construction inspection.” A Midwest official agreed: “Engineers should promote full-time inspection of all municipal work.”

And this Texas city official advised consulting engineers to “ask a utility what they need and can afford instead of designing a gold-plated Taj Mahal they can’t operate or afford.”