I am Fuel for Good ideas

A simple idea turns into the most innovative public works management tool in the U.S. and Canada.

Spire employee serving his community

A typically sleepy street has been transformed into a bustling festival, as a neighborhood hosts its annual block party. When a Spire crew rolls in to work on the street, they realize they’ve got a problem.

This is the type of situation Tod Fagan, a right of way manager at Spire, hoped to prevent. So he worked to create the Right of Way Management Program, which employees call iMap. The tool works like a Google Maps for utilities, combining mapping technology with information including city events, the times of day different crews can work on particular streets and different pavement regulations in Missouri.

And what has since been named the most innovative public works management tool in the U.S. and Canada by the American Public Works Association—all began with an idea.

In 2013, a co-worker approached Tod to see if there was a way to use mapping technology to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.

"The possibilities are endless."

“I started looking at the technology that was out there and thought, ‘Holy cow, yeah we can use that to help us,’” Tod said. “We were dependent on out-of-date books for our crews to perform maintenance around St. Louis, and this was an opportunity to have information in real time, at our fingertips.”

Now, before a Spire crew heads out for the day, they check iMap ahead of time to get the “all clear.” With this technology, crews are better able to continue upgrading infrastructure, while also avoiding any unnecessary disruptions to their communities.  And with information continually being added to the map, Tod is confident the technology’s use will only grow.

“The possibilities,” Tod added, “are endless.”