SEMCO selected Burns & McDonnell initially for support with engineering design, procurement and nonenvironmental permitting services. In addition to performing most engineering, with the exception of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) — which was already being performed by another contractor — our support began by specifying, bidding and evaluating all vendor bids.
The project included the design and construction of two interconnecting pipeline segments (the Marquette Connector Pipeline and Marquette Connector Lateral), six new automated mainline valves, four new stations for connections with the NNG and GLGT pipelines, a new interconnect between the two new segments, and two short pipeline segments, as well as modification of an existing station.
As packages went out to bid, our role began to evolve and expand. We brought our experience with project controls to facilitate schedule and cost management for the entire project. We developed the estimate that SEMCO’s board used to make a final investment decision, and it became the baseline budget and basis for the project controls. When the project moved closer to construction, we provided further support through construction management. We evaluated bids and created a shortlist of four contractors and our recommendations.
Using our experience in both engineering and construction, we were able to coordinate between them in creating and organizing the construction bid package. Using a combination of methodologies that varied according to the risk and level of definition for different aspects, our approach resulted in very few change orders, none of which proved controversial.
To protect the pipe being installed in wetlands, we developed a customized approach that involved wrapping the pipe with rock shield and installing a semicircle of two-by-fours, with the wooden planks secured with fiberglass tape. The planks helped protect the pipe from the rough rock bottom of the trench during installation in the trench. The pipe was weighted and padded for buoyancy control and so it would not shift during backfilling. Finally, the trench was backfilled with the saturated soils removed during trenching.