The MHCA as part of the Manitoba Common Ground Alliance (MCGA) met throughout construction season 2021 with the primary Manitoba utilities to address delays in locate response times. The problems, while difficult in Winnipeg, were particularly acute in rural Manitoba, with delays stretching 6 to 8 weeks.
These discussions extracted commitments to additional resources and overtime to shorten the excessive waits for locates. The turnaround times did not materially change and the concern continued.
Discussions and meetings with utilities continued after the end of the 2021 season. Coming ‘out of the gate’ for 2022, the MHCA and the MCGA have been assured by Bell/MTS of a 10-day turn around for locates. At an April 13 meeting with the utilities, the MHCA will press not just for the 10-day turn around but further reduction.
MHCA and MCGA will continue to meet monthly with BellMTS throughout the 2022 construction season to press for timely locates until that objective is achieved. Failing improvement, we will approach the provincial government for legislation mandating a minimum set response time for underground locate requests.
In summary, we are taking a three-pronged approach.
The first, is pressing utilities for timely locates.
Second, the MHCA and the MCGA have partnered with the Locate Management Institute to offer an Underground Facility Locator Certificate Program. The locate training will provide an option to contractors to build upon the current expectations of a ground-disturbance management process (maintaining marks) and help support opportunities of creating alternate locate agreements with certain utility owners where a contractor can do their own locates.
The next intake dates are April 11 and 12. Please visit this website to sign up.
And third, using alternate options for locating utilities include third-party, fee-for-service providers, which include but are not limited to: Lawson – Consulting, Survey, Pipeline & Utility Services – 204-414-3169; Structure Scan Inc. – 204-777-6590; and Accurate Underground Utility Locating – 204-330–7538
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