Last Look

Projects have many phases to them throughout their lifespan from the time of their initial conception until their completion. They may span months or even years over the course of the design, permitting, procurement, installation, and inspection work that is associated with the project.
Great attention is paid to ensure that each facet of the project is carried out in an accurate, timely, and cost-effective manner. Once final approval and payment is made, we often consider it “case closed” and move on to other work.

However, do we always take the time to take that “last look” before we close the books? Should we? Did we make certain that every aspect of the project was followed, and that the final inspection confirmed everything that was required by the design and specifications? Unfortunately, there are occasionally cases where some aspect was overlooked. Here is an example of one that I was asked about after it was installed. It was a metal pipe arch structure. The question to me was, “Is it okay that the structure was installed up-side down? Can it stay in place as shown in this photo?”

Even when all goes well on a project, how many times do we wish that we had saved or recorded something about it to use for future reference on a similar case? I have had many times that I have said to myself, “I surely wish that I could remember Project ABC that we did XX years ago, because this new one is practically the same circumstance.” 

With my retirement just a few weeks away, I will be doing a lot of “looking back” over a 43-year career that has touched thousands of projects. It has been most rewarding to see and experience all of the effort where so many individuals have contributed to build and improve upon our nation’s infrastructure. I am certain that the next generations will move this forward to levels that we only dream of today! 

In closing, I want to encourage you to take time for one “last look”.