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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - Winter 2022

Winter 2022
Issue No:
Vol. 85 No. 4
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Training Update

Improve Construction Projects Through Utility Coordination

by Julie Johnston and Sabrina Sylvester
"A  photo of utility managers with utility transmission and sunset behind them. Photo Source: ©Banana Oil /"
Utility managers coordinating transportation project efforts.

Improve Construction Projects Through Utility Coordination 

Utility coordination is critical to safely and efficiently completing any transportation project. If unexpected utility conflicts occur during highway construction projects, contractors can experience major hazards, which can then result in delays and increased project costs. In addition, insufficient utility information and poor management of utility conflicts can affect the success of these projects. Some common challenges include disruptions to construction sites, damage to installations, risk to the health and safety of the general public, and unnecessary utility relocation.

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) National Highway Institute (NHI) now offers two web-based trainings (WBTs) specifically to assist transportation managers who handle utility coordination, design, and relocation in construction projects. Participants will learn about utility agreement requirements, as well as how to identify and document existing utility facilities.

"Logo of the National Highway Institute. Photo Source: FHWA."


Achieving Success in Utility Coordination with NHI 

NHI has developed two new courses in utility coordination for construction engineers, design project managers, highway designers, and utility coordinators and managers. The WBTs listed below will provide transportation professionals the knowledge and resources they need to more effectively coordinate utility functions.

Preparing and Communicating Effective Utility Relocation Requirements (FHWA-NHI-134117). The Preparing and Communicating Effective Utility Relocation Requirements course provides information about the purpose and value of utility agreements and their requirements. In this 3.5-hour WBT, participants will learn to differentiate between effective and ineffective supporting documents in utility agreements and statements, prepare and communicate these agreements, and evaluate the effectiveness of utility agreements and information in construction bid packages.

Utility Investigations (FHWA-NHI-134208). The Utility Investigations course provides attendees with a robust overview of practices and procedures for performing utility investigations during project delivery. In this 3.5-hour WBT, participants will learn the purpose of applying a risk-based approach to utility investigations, how to compare various utility investigation methods, how project delivery phases and utility investigation activities relate to each other, and how to identify typical utility investigation deliverables.

How to Attend or Host a Course 

NHI invites professionals interested in earning continuing education units or professional development hours to visit and browse the complete digital course catalog, which encompasses more than 400 courses spanning 18 program areas. To sign up for alerts when a course session is scheduled, visit the individual course’s description page and click the “Sign Up for Session Alerts” link.

Interested hosts can submit a Host Request Form or find more information about hosting NHI courses by visiting

NHI is an approved Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). As an IACET Accredited Provider, NHI offers continuing education units for its programs that qualify under the American National Standards Institute/IACET Standard.

Julie Johnston is the program manager for Utility, Railroad, and Value Engineering for FHWA.

Sabrina Sylvester is a contracted senior marketing specialist for FHWA’s NHI.