Wastewater Treatment Facility | Stockton, IL

Why Construction Shouldn't be a Challenge for Communities

Warren Mohar, PE | with 0 Comments

Why Construction Shouldn't be a Challenge for Communities

It is a once-in-a career opportunity for a Professional Engineer in a small Wisconsin community to be the construction project engineer for the roadway that passes right by his office’s front door.  South Boulevard, one of the main arterials to Baraboo, Wisconsin’s charming downtown and thoroughfare to several major commercial facilities, was recently reconstructed with funds from the Surface Transportation Program.  Having a role in a project that will make an impact in the community where you live is pretty special for an engineer. 

During the design phase, such things as traffic control and staging plans were developed, a project timeframe was put together, and the various details for successful construction of the work were designed. It is my job, along with the contractor, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and community leaders, to make these plans a reality.

Once the project is through planning, construction management takes over. Successfully managing each one of these six areas makes an impact on the project and the community as a whole. 
  1. Ensure the project is built per specifications for a quality finished roadway.  The community expects pavement, and curb and gutter to hold up for a long time.  It’s construction management that makes sure all project elements are built to the requirements of the plans and specifications. The taxpayer expects a roadway that will provide years of service to the community.
  2. Make judgments on plan changes. Vetting out alternatives for budget and time efficiencies is important to community stakeholders, and it is necessary to make these decisions in a timely manner to make sure the project schedule is kept on track.
  3. Keep diligent track of all project materials and material test records.  Materials used for construction need to be accounted for and need to meet the specifications required by the contract.  Stakeholders expect accurate records.
  4. Document the progress of the work and process payments to the contractor for completed work.  Documentation and processing intermediate payments help track project costs and keep the project within budget.
  5. Communicate project information to the community. Anyone who lives, works, or drives through project needs to be kept up-to-date on the project.  Stakeholders want to know what to expect and when to expect it. Public Information Meetings, a city’s website, and press releases are all part of the communication plan of a project.
  6. Manage the company’s onsite team. I don’t do all this work by myself! MSA has an onsite team working efficiently to keep the project moving forward effectively, helping the community as well as the contractors.
Every Project Engineer can tell you something interesting about each one of the projects in which they’ve been involved.  The South Boulevard project is no exception.  With an extra 100 or so set of MSA eyes on the project, it was definitely my most “unofficially” inspected project to date.

Contact MSA’s Warren Mohar for questions on the South Boulevard project or how to implement a successful construction management plan. 

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