Underground Transmission: Steps to a Successful ProjectThorough planning and a proactive approach are necessary for the successful completion of any project, and underground transmission projects are no exception. Yet underground transmission work typically introduces a host of risks, difficulties and negative stigmas that must be understood, identified and planned for in order to keep the project on track to a successful and cost-effective completion.

Underground transmission projects and a variety of transmission-related issues took center stage during RMEL’s Transmission Planning and Operations Conference, held earlier this month in Denver.

As part of the conference lineup, Burns & McDonnell Transmission & Distribution Group project manager Chris Norquist presented on: “Underground Transmission: Steps to a Successful Project.”

Norquist channeled his experience on underground transmission lines to discuss the unique difficulties and risks presented by underground transmission projects. Several negative stigmas typically surround underground transmission projects, including cost, past performance issues and fear of the unknown.

The key to completing a successful project is identifying risks and proactively managing these factors throughout the process so that they don’t affect the project. Norquist specializes in managing the scope, schedule and budget for both underground and overhead transmission projects, giving him firsthand knowledge of the process that provided the framework for his discussion.

Norquist walked RMEL conference attendees through the life cycle of an underground transmission project, which includes several phases: project siting, routing, design, procurement and construction. Planning through each stage is critical to the overall success of the project, whether that’s anticipating siting issues, managing public involvement or selecting primary and alternate routes.

The presentation offers an in-depth look at each phase in the project cycle, giving those in the industry a thorough grasp of important factors like field investigations,  civil and electrical material specifications, and construction. By understanding the process, project managers can better anticipate risks or problems, mitigating any complications that could prolong the project — or shut it down altogether.

If you’re interested in learning more about underground transmission projects, view Norquist’s presentation slides below.

Additionally, you can connect with Burns & McDonnell’s Transmission & Distribution Group on LinkedIn. If you have any questions or feedback about the presentation, feel free to leave a comment below—we welcome your input.