Middletown-Norwalk Community Relations

Middletown-Norwalk Community Relations

Location: Connecticut

Client: Northeast Utilities Service Co.

Completion Date: November 2008

Northeast Utilities Service Company selected Burns & McDonnell as program manager for the Middletown-Norwalk (M-N) Transmission Project. At the time, the project was the largest transmission capital project in the country and the first application of program management in the power delivery industry. It was completed one year ahead of schedule and $100 million dollars under budget.

The project spanned 18 towns/cities, including nearly 70 miles of new 345-kV transmission line of which 24 miles utilized cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) underground cable.

Burns & McDonnell's role included stakeholder management solutions amid a strong political climate. Burns & McDonnell's Stakeholder Management Group addressed and managed the concerns of property owners and the general public regarding construction on behalf of Northeast Utiltities. Public involvement and outreach activities included:

  • 1.7 million consecutive work hours without a recordable safety incident
  • 123 meetings conducted for the public and town officials
  • 2,835 inquiries received through the project hotline
  • 1,821 property owner issues resolved through the community relations team
  • 9,534 mailings to abutters and surrounding property owners — pre, during and post-construction 
  • 367 individual meetings with property owners 
  • Field community relations teams also provided advanced notification to abutting properties prior to construction related activities
  • Program management
  • Stakeholder management 
  • Planning
  • Permitting
  • Safety
  • Detailed engineering
  • Cost controls
  • Document controls
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Scheduling
  • Procurement
  • Construction management

Unique challenges during the project:

  • Overhead construction spanned densely populated residential areas.
  • Underground construction had to be installed along major town/city roads at night, as mandated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
  • Communications with these stakeholders warranted specialized attention. Pre-construction communications and specific construction updates were prepared and executed to target specific owner and overall neighborhood issues