Will the real Utilities and Public Right-of-Way Committee please stand up?

Carol S. Estes
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

The Utilities and Public Right-of-Way (UPROW) Committee is one of APWA's busiest Technical Committees. The committee provides education and information to help raise awareness about and promote the best use of the public rights-of-way. It provides a forum where diverse stakeholders can come together to discuss common issues, best management practices, and peaceful integration of all users of the right-of-way. It was established as the result of a task force report identifying the need for clarification of more than 30 issues arising from the use of public rights-of-way.

The committee is composed of six members representing public agencies and utilities, and a representative of One-Call Systems International (OCSI). To accomplish its aggressive work plan, the UPROW Committee has created three subcommittees. Each subcommittee is chaired by a committee member and is charged with oversight of a specialized technical area of concern. In addition, each subcommittee prepares or oversees the development of an educational session for Congress. Sessions developed by the subcommittees for Congress this year include "Pavement Management Software - Finding the Best Fit," "SUE Saves the Day and Pinpoints the Way," and "Right-of-Way Permit Funding."

The three current UPROW subcommittees are:

  • Right-of-Way Management
  • Construction Practices
  • OCSI/Underground Damage Prevention

The UPROW Committee often provides technical material, speakers, and moderators for right-of-way Click, Listen & Learn programs. This year "Trenchless Technology and Directional Boring," "Restoration of Utility Cuts," and "Right-of-Way Cooperation for Consistency and Simplicity" were produced with technical input from UPROW Committee members.

A continuing activity of all Technical Committees is the review, revision, and development of APWA publications. It is the responsibility of the committees to ensure that material is current, complete, and representative of the best of established practices. UPROW has completed the review of the publications The How-To Book on Utility Coordination Committees, Excavation in the Right-of-Way: A Guide to Coordination and Regulation, and Managing Utility Cuts. The committee's comments will be utilized in future updates.

UPROW actively works to identify new resources and to develop materials to assist managers, users, and elected officials in the formulation of public policy and local ordinances for right-of-way management. Documents such as the "Model Right-of-Way Ordinance" and "Pavement Degradation: How Other Cities are Dealing With It" are posted on the committee's web page. The material can be found through the link:

The current members of the UPROW Technical Committee are:

  • Ron Polvi, P.E., Director of District Engineering, Northwest Natural Gas Co., Salem, Oregon, Chairman
  • Mark Macy, P.E., Assistant Director of Public Works, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Wm. Roger Buell, P.E., Right-of-Way Manager-Section Manager, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Shawn O'Keefe, P.E., Engineer II, City of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Steven Goodman, Project Manager, Arizona Public Service Co., Phoenix, Arizona
  • Eloy Rosales, Right-of-Way Manager, San Antonio Public Works, San Antonio, Texas
  • James D. Maniscalco, Executive Director, Utility Notification Center of Colorado, Lakewood, Colorado, is the OCSI representative.
  • John L. German, P.E., Vice President/District Director, PBS&J, San Antonio, Texas, Board Liaison
  • Carol Estes, Technical Services Program Manager, APWA Kansas City Office, Staff Liaison