US Army Corps of Engineers
Memphis District Website Website

Ready to Advertise despite COVID-19

Published April 14, 2020
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IN THE PHOTO, Project Delivery Team member Brian Johnson shows us his telework station.

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IN THE PHOTO, Civil Designer Jeremy Ruffell, one of the newest team members to Civil Design, and sits at his telework station.

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IN THE PHOTO, Andrew Smothers from the Programs and Project Management Division giving us the thumbs up in front of his telework station.

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IN THE PHOTO, Technical Manager John Hudson and his telework setup.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District recently met a ‘tasker’ milestone known as “Ready to Advertise” for the Clack and Norfolk Seepage Remediation Project, all while adapting to newly placed COVID-19 work procedures. 

About ten days before BCOE (Bidability, Constructability, Operability, and Environmental) certification, Project Delivery Team members Jeremy Ruffell, John Hudson, Kevin Keller, Conrad Stacks, Brian Johnson, Josh Koontz, and Andrew Smothers, along with many other USACE employees, were sent home for mass telework.

“This left a lot of people, including our team, struggling to adapt to new computer systems for approximately one week, and this was the week BCOE back-check was scheduled for Clack and Norfolk,” Smothers said. “Civil Designer Jeremy Ruffell, one of the newest team members in Civil Design, worked at night and through the weekend to address BCOE comments.”

Technical Manager John Hudson was also responsible for many of the BCOE comments. 

“Faced with the same challenges as Mr. Ruffell, John had the additional burden of being deployed for floodfight operations,” Smothers said. “Cost Engineer Kevin Keller worked through the weekend to perform the necessary cost estimate for the Can Do memo. Conrad, Brian and Josh were responsive and available throughout the entire process, and all three solved problems on the fly to accomplish the back-check.”

All required signatures and the Can-Do memo were received on April 5, providing the final package piece to meet the RTA milestone.

“While working under the rules of social distancing caused some delays and issues we aren’t normally used to dealing with, we were determined to get things done and deliver the mission this district is charged with,” Smothers said.

The sponsor of this project is Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee District and the location of the project is along the Mississippi River Mainline Levee, Tunica and Desoto counties, Mississippi and Shelby County, Tennessee.