Client: City of Houston
Location: Houston, TX

Rafael Ortega’s primary role during the past 20 years has been the management of the City of Houston’s $500+ million SWTP CIP. In this role, was personally responsible for the design oversight of more than 160 miles of large-diameter transmission mains. As Program Manager, Mr. Ortega was directly responsible for meeting all construction budgets and schedules. One of Mr. Ortega’s primary focuses on the SWTP was design quality. This effort involved the coordination of a project, optimal phasing of improvements, addressing environmental aspects, traffic control minimization efforts, value engineering, and constructability reviews, and incorporation of construction “lessons learned” into new projects. Part of his responsibilities was directly supporting the City’s Water Engineering staff. In this capacity, he assisted the City in developing its water-related specifications, including pipe material, commercial meters, air release valves, pressure-reducing valves, and gate and butterfly valves. Additionally, Mr. Ortega authored the City’s cured-in-place and HDPE specifications for waterlines and well collection lines rehabilitation. His support activities included assistance to operation and maintenance personnel.

Mr. Ortega’s experience included being the engineer of record for several major waterline projects (ranging from 20” to 120” diameter), pump station, and force main adjustment analysis and design. This work included route evaluation, traffic analysis, assignment and coordination of support services (geotechnical and surveying), detail design, as well as constructability reviews. Additionally, as SWTP Program Manager, Mr. Ortega was directly involved with reviewing and supporting Pearland’s 42” connection along Monroe to the City of Houston’s SEWTL along Fuqua—a 72” steel waterline. His role included assisting in the siting of the metering station, determining the recommended valve configuration to maximize operational considerations, and performing construction cost allocation support for the connection.