GZA was retained by Power Engineers, Inc., Owner’s Engineer to National Grid, to provide quality control observation and value engineering support for the Rhode Island Reliability Project (RIRP) portion of the $700 million NEEWS project, consisting of over 100 circuit miles of new 115kV and 345 kV above-ground transmission on over 60 miles of right-of-way (ROW); six substation expansions and/or upgrades; and one new green field substation with interconnections. GZA had previously provided geotechnical engineering services during the design phase.


Utilizing the geotechnical report findings, desktop research, and GIS data and observations made by GZA during design, GZA’s recommendations improved quality, schedule, and cost of the foundation and other civil components of construction. At peak construction, five GZA geotechnical engineers worked concurrently, observing multiple foundation contractors operating as many as 20 caisson rigs operating seven days per week -- culminating in over 1,500 installed foundations. The caisson drilling program addressed myriad complexities including size and depth of caissons, and existing soil conditions. During construction, GZA also addressed concerns of homeowners adjacent to the construction activity, in several cases installing and monitoring seismic gauges within the ROW and at the subject properties to measure ground vibration levels. GZA also evaluated and addressed foundations that were non-compliant with project specifications. Due to successful planning, communication, and execution of safe working procedures, GZA provided over 12,000 man-hours in the field with zero lost-time safety incidences.


GZA brought valuable insight to the construction phase of this massive linear construction project, based on GZA’s role during the project’s design phase. GZA’s ability to flexibly staff and safely conduct the quality control and value engineering work further contributed to the project’s success.