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Plan B Comms: All part of the plan

Plan B Comms works on the MINTA IN05 intersection project showed the company’s ability to coordinate and provide consultation services on a larger scale. Image: Plan B Comms.

Plan B Comms has displayed its ability to cater for large utility relocation works, coordinating multiple telecommunication carriers, construction schedules and programs.

Road construction can often take the centre stage and limelight when it comes to infrastructure development. Moving existing infrastructure to a future proofed location while negotiating complex requirements from utilities is often painful, costly and time consuming.

But for companies like Plan B Comms, it’s the basis upon which it contributes to major infrastructure works.

Plan B Comms forms part of the wider Plan B Group, which is made up of two other subsidiaries (Plan B Services and Plan B Auditing). Founded in 2004, Plan B Group is now one of Australia’s largest electrical and communication consultancies in Australia.

The company’s capabilities continues to grow, as does its portfolio of works across Victoria. This includes services such as feasibility modelling, project design and project management of new and existing infrastructure. 

Plan B Comms’ experience was one of the reasons why, in late 2022, it was engaged by Stockland for proposed works that presented a variety of complications.

The Minta IN05 – Intersection Relocation project connected Soldiers, Grices and Bells roads, a roundabout to a signalised intersection, while also connecting to the M1 Monash Freeway in central Melbourne.

In the way of the intersection were critical telecommunication assets owned by multiple carriers, which would need to be relocated for the intersection to be constructed. 

Harrison Kelly, Business Delivery Manager – Plan B Comms, says one of the biggest challenges presented by the project was coordination. 

As part of the intersection works, three authorities needed to be relocated due to utilities intruding on the proposed project area for the intersection works. 


 

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“There were three carriers on this project, so we had to coordinate with all three authorities, rather than a single authority for gas and one for water,” Kelly says.

“We acted as the middlemen between our clients Stockland and their consultants, civil engineers and the three carriers. We designed a solution that satisfied our clients requirements and managed the construction to completion. We’re the experts in this space and our clients trust us to do that.”

Plan B Comms has built a strong reputation with all telecommunication carriers and its subcontractors, leveraging these relationships to the betterment of its clients.

The required construction program, developed by Stockland, also comprised multiple moving parts, requiring clear communication and coordination between all project stakeholders. An area of expertise for Plan B Comms. 

“It was a main intersection, which connects with a signalised intersection and roundabout signals ultimately connecting to the M1,” Kelly says. “The program outlined some strict requirements on timing. It was particularly complex due to the multiple roads and trying to design and coordinate new assets being installed but keeping the existing assets in-situ.

“Effectively we were duplicating the network within the same amount of space.”

Works included sections being bored, with trenches under and above storm water. These structures were designed to deviate to avoid live electricity as well as surrounding assets. 

Generally, according to Kelly, the cost for a project of this size would’ve been over $1.5 million and it would have taken well over a year to complete.

Plan B Comms were able to deliver the relocation works at a third of the cost and in half the time a project of this size would generally take to complete. 

This approach allowed progress to power ahead on both the road construction and relocation works with minimal disruptions to either work packages.

Plan B Comms’ consultation and delivery project services were available for the client – from the planning and designing phases to after delivery.

“After we managed the relocation works to completion, we went the extra mile and offered support to our client to ensure the intersection would continue to be built. Often the assets are at risk at being disrupted after they have been installed due to them being the first to be relocated,“ Kelly says.

“We specialise in this area. By having us involved in the project it helped smooth these works over for our client and their consultant team. In a lot of cases the civil engineers will manage these types of projects and may complete one to two projects a year. We complete two to three projects per week and have built a team to obtain the best possible results for our clients.” 

This article was originally published in the April edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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