Future Infrastructure Services wins the NRCGA top excavator award!

2019 Silver Shovel Award Winner
Derek Reeve (Center), from Future Infrastructure Services, accepts the Silver Shovel Award.

The NRCGA’s top excavator award, the Silver Shovel, was presented to Future Infrastructure Services at the NRCGA’s Annual Excavator Appreciation Dinner on Nov. 7 at the Eastside Cannery Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Each year the NRCGA presents the Silver Shovel award at the annual dinner to a Southern Nevada excavator who has had no at-fault damages during the 12 months between August of the current year to August of the previous year.

All eligible excavators that meet the no at-fault damages criteria are invited to participate in an 8-question, in-person interview with the NRCGA’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors score the excavator’s response. The excavator with the highest score is kept under wraps until the night of the annual dinner.

Winning the Silver Shovel comes with perks. In addition to a life-size silver shovel to display in the excavator’s office, the NRCGA will also sponsor travel for one Future Infrastructure Services representative to attend the Common Ground Alliance’s Annual Conference in March 2020 in Palm Springs.

The CGA’s 2020 conference will include a presentation by NRCGA Vice-Chair Dennis Bott on the annual Excavator Appreciation Dinner. It’s a conference not to be missed by anyone in the excavation business!

About Future Infrastructure Services:

Future Infrastructure Services is an industry-leading provider of telecommunications, energy, and intelligent transportation services. Founded in Mesquite, Tex., in 1999, Future Infrastructure Services has diligently worked to provide the Southwestern United States with the highest quality construction, delivered in a professional manner.

Our Southwest Division, with offices in Las Vegas and Phoenix, has provided horizontal directional drilling and open cut services for the installation of telecommunications, water, sewer, electrical, and gas facilities in some of the most densely congested utility corridors in the country.

We pride ourselves in providing a safe environment for our employees, which leads to an efficient job for our customers. Our forward thinking safety philosophy enables us to grow to meet our customers’ needs while maintaining a safe working environment. Future Infrastructure Services believes that the success of our projects, customers, and company depends on the success of our safety program.

We strive to make Future Infrastructure Services a place where our employees excel. We are passionate about our people growing with the company and we provide them the tools and training to further their success.

Our philosophy is simple: The key to success in our business is customer satisfaction. Our diverse experience, professional project delivery, and commitment to customer service have solidified our reputation and allow us to remain the first choice for utility construction. We strive to make working for, and with, Future Infrastructure Services an exceptional experience.


Thousands attend NRCGA’s 811 Day event at Cowabunga Bay!

On August 11, 2019, the NRCGA, in partnership with Cowabunga Bay waterpark in Las Vegas, hosted an 811 Day community event packed with 2,903 guests. Twenty-seven percent of those guests pre-purchased tickets online using a special 811 promotion code and paid only $8.11 per ticket!

The guests thoroughly enjoyed all the free 811 swag donated by the NRCGA and sponsors, including Southwest Gas, ELM, USIC, NV Energy, USA North 811, and RP Weddell. Guests who provided proof of purchasing the tickets with the 811 day promo code received a free beach towel. Additional swag included sun glasses, sun screen, pop sockets, and cooling bandanas. Volunteers from each sponsor signed up to hand out swag and educate the guests about 811 and safe digging.

DJ Pharaoh was live on the mic at the event, playing popular songs and mixes that had people in the nearby wave pool dancing. He played commercial spots from Southwest Gas promoting the “call before you dig” message and gave away over $1,000 in gift cards donated by the NRCGA. In order to win a gift card, each recipient had to answer a question correctly about 811 over the microphone.

Everyone in attendance had a great time and a lot of people left educated about 811 and call before you dig message!


Kevin Nutt Wins NRCGA 3RD Annual Utility Locate Rodeo!

Kevin Nutt, a locator with Western States Contracting, is Nevada’s top utility locator after winning the NRCGA’s 3rd Annual Utility Locate Rodeo on Saturday, April 27.

Kevin competed for the first time in this year’s Rodeo, though he’s known of it for the past two years. “It was stressful, but great,” Kevin said of the competition.  “I had a lot of fun.”

Kevin not only won the overall tournament; he also won the power and communication divisions. Kevin took home prize money for both divisions, as well as the cash prize for winning the Jackpot Locate.

New this year, Rodeo participants competed in locating in all three divisions – gas, electric and communications – at different competition sites on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. During the previous two years, competitors competed in the one division of their choosing.

Division winners are determined based on a performing a locating skill test within a 12-minute timeframe. The locator with the best score within each division goes on to compete in the Jackpot Locate, which entails performing locates within a 3-minute timeframe.

As in previous years, competitors in this year’s Rodeo selected their division of preference, which for Kevin was power. And also as in previous years, the winner of each division went on to compete in the Jackpot Locate. With Kevin taking the top spot in both the power and communication divisions, he ultimately represented the power division in the Jackpot Locate. The 2nd place winner in the communication division was Robert Atencio, a locator with ELM, who also took first place in the gas division. Since Kevin and Robert were already guaranteed spots in the Jackpot Locate competition, the 3rd spot in the Jackpot Locate went to Tom Fava III, also a locator with ELM, who placed 3rd in the communication division.

In addition to prize money, Kevin also receives NRCGA-sponsored travel to Springfield, Missouri, to participate in the 2019 International Utility Locate Rodeo in December. According to Kevin, he plans to compete in the NRCGA’s 2020 4th annual Rodeo. “Hard work pays off,” Kevin said.

Also new this year, the NRCGA implemented a cornhole competition at each division competition site. Competitors, spectators and Rodeo volunteers were invited to compete. The top two scorers overall went on to compete for the bragging rights of being named Cornhole Champion – and also the right to pick any prize from among the door prizes provided by rodeo sponsors. Jeremy Crawford, a locator with Kern River Gas Transmission, is Cornhole Champion and he chose a 52” flat screen TV.

Without our sponsors, the rodeo would not be possible. Sponsors not only provide the cash prizes won by division and Jackpot Locate winners, but they provide the great door prizes (TVs, smart watches, tools, etc.) raffled during the award ceremony as the close of the Rodeo. A million thanks to all the companies listed below!


Tab Contractors Wins 2018 Southern Nevada Silver Shovel Award!

The NRCGA held its annual Southern Nevada excavator appreciation dinner Nov. 8 at the Eastside Cannery Hotel and Casino and honored two local excavating contractors for taking the extra step towards digging safely.

The NRCGA’s top honor – the Silver Shovel – was awarded to Tab Contractors. Winning the Silver Shovel includes one complimentary trip to Florida to attend the Common Ground Alliance’s March 2019 annual conference and NRCGA membership.

Click here to read a PDF bio from Tab Contractors..

Frehner Masonry took second place and received the NRCGA’s Outstanding Performance Award for their strides in damage prevention.

A total of four excavators were in the running for the Silver Shovel and Outstanding Performance awards. The NRCGA selected candidates based on the number of dig tickets called in to USA North 811 between May 2017 and May 2018 and no at-fault damages during the same time period.

Attendance exceeded 90 hungry excavators eager to see which one of their peers was to receive the coveted Silver Shovel.

Several stakeholders spoke at this event on topics such as utilizing online ticket requests through USA North 811’s website, as well as excavating safely around buried fuel lines.
Vendors were on hand to give away various swag items as well.


NRCGA Participates in Record Setting 811 Day – Las Vegas’ Largest First Pitch

The Las Vegas 51s, in a partnership with local utility and excavating companies, and the NRCGA, commemorated 811 Day (Aug. 11) with “Las Vegas’ Largest First Pitch.” As a reminder to Call 811 Before You Dig, 811 baseballs were thrown out by children from the Never Give Up Foundation, which supports local children with disabilities, as well as from kids in attendance.

In addition, the Cashman Field Plaza area included a Touch-a-Truck opportunity and giveaway items for game attendees, courtesy of participating local utilities. Watch the video below for more information about this historic event!


Darrell Herbert wins 2nd Annual NRCGA Utility Locate Rodeo!

Locator of the Year, Darrell Herbert (right) with Bob Ward (left), NRCGA Chair.

On Saturday, April 28, Darrell Herbert, a utility line locator with ELM Utility Services, won the title of Locator of the Year at the 2nd Annual NRCGA Utility Locate Rodeo, held on the UNLV campus in Las Vegas. As Nevada’s top locator, Herbert took home a champion belt buckle, $1920 in cash, and a free trip to compete in the International Utility Locate Rodeo later in the year.

Thirty-five line locators from across Nevada registered to compete in the 2nd annual NRCGA rodeo in three divisions: gas, electric and telecommunications. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, graciously donated campus lawn space for the competition to take place. Each division competition area consisted of two “wheels,” with each competitor using his locating know-how to most accurately locate an underground gas, electric or telecommunication utility buried underneath each wheel. The competitors were given 12 minutes to find the buried utility, measure its location in proximity to wheel spokes, and report those measurement to scorekeepers.

Rodeo Master Judge Rick Torrens (white t-shirt at left) explains how to locate and measure a buried utility for competition purposes with this demonstration “wheel.”

Herbert won the electric division; Josh Albitre with USIC took the telecommunication division; and Lelan Merel with NPL Construction Co. took the gas division. Herbert, Albitre and Merel each received $960 as the top locator for their respective divisions.

Along with the cash prize, Herbert, Albitre and Merel went on to compete in the Jackpot Locate for the title of top locator in Nevada. With only three minutes to complete the locate, Herbert received the top score and ultimately won the entire competition.

Money paid out to division winners and the Jackpot Locate winner was provided by rodeo sponsors: USA North 811, USIC, RP Weddell & Sons, Paiute Pipeline, Southwest Gas Corporation, ELM Utility Services, Advanced Infrastructure Technologies, NPL, Byrd Underground, Vivax Metrotech, and NV energy. Each company contributed $400.

In addition to providing cash prizes for division and Jackpot Locate winners, sponsors also provided door prizes to gift during the rodeo award ceremony at the end of the day. Tension in the room was palpable as locators waited to hear their numbers drawn for smart TVs, laptops, tablets, WiFi speakers, and many more fabulous gifts!

See you at the 3rd Annual Utility Locate Rodeo in the spring of 2019!


35 Nevada Line Locators to Compete in 2nd Annual “Rodeo”

Contact: Dawn Rivard
NRCGA Secretary/Treasurer
Cell: 702.273.8523
Date: April 23, 2018

Nevada Line Locators to Compete in 2nd Annual “Rodeo”

There will be no cowboys riding bucking broncos at the Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance’s 2nd Annual Utility Locate Rodeo on Saturday, April 28. Instead, 35 utility line locators from around Nevada, wearing hard hats and safety vests, will compete to pinpoint the location of underground power, gas and communication lines around the UNLV campus to win the title of Utility Line Locator of the Year.

The Locate Rodeo is an annual competition that showcases the utility line locator profession. The work of locators can be seen daily all over Nevada in the form of brightly colored paint or flags that mark the approximate location of underground water, gas, electric, sewer, and communication lines. These markings assist homeowners and professional excavators to avoid buried utilities while digging and help keep our communities safe.

A line locator’s duties start when an excavator or homeowner calls 811 to request utility lines be marked prior to a dig. There is less than a 1% chance of causing damage to underground utilities due to excavation when a call is placed to 811 prior to digging, which protects not only the safety of homeowners and excavators who dig on their property, but also saves entire communities from disruptions in service (and the homeowner and excavator from having to make costly repairs!).

Locate Rodeo participants will compete in locating one type of facility – gas, electric or communications – at different competition sites on the UNLV campus. Division winners will be determined based on a skill test performed within a 12-minute timeframe. The locator with the best score within each division will go on to compete in the Jackpot Locate, which entails performing locates within a 3-minute timeframe. In addition to prize money, the Jackpot Locate winner will also receive NRCGA-sponsored travel to Dallas to participate in the 2018 International Utility Locate Rodeo.

DATE: April 28
TIME: 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
LOCATION: Science & Engineering Building
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154
PARKING: Cottage Grove Parking Garage (Cottage Grove & Maryland Parkway)
near Science & Engineering Building

The Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance is open to any individual, organization, municipality or corporation interested in the promotion of underground damage prevention in the state of Nevada. The NRCGA provides a forum for members and non-members to exchange information and ideas at monthly meetings, offers free excavator training on damage prevention and Nevada excavation law, and holds events throughout the year to educate homeowners and excavators about the importance of calling 811 before beginning any digging project. Members include AT&T, CenturyLink, NV Energy, Southwest Gas, Kern River Gas Transmission Company, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, ELM Locating & Utility Services, USIC, USA North 811, local municipalities, and many more.


National Safe Digging Month


Survey reveals nearly 40 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year will put themselves and others at risk by not calling 811 before starting

As part of National Safe Digging Month, the Nevada Regional Common Ground Alliance encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

  • Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property. Or visit to request an online 811 ticket.
  • Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
  • Confirm that all lines have been marked.
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

In observance of National Safe Digging Month, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) announced results from a recent national survey that revealed 36 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year, for projects like landscaping, installing a fence or mailbox, building a deck, pond or patio, or other DIY projects, will put themselves and their communities at risk by not calling 811 a few days beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities.

Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.

The national public opinion survey of homeowners conducted in February by the CGA, the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, also revealed that 47 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year have no experience with the 811 call before you dig process. The most popular planned projects cited among surveyed homeowners include:

  • Planting a tree or shrub (63 percent)
  • Building a fence (35 percent)
  • Building a patio or deck (28 percent)
  • Installing a mailbox (16 percent)

The CGA’s 1,700 members, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and most governors, including Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, have proclaimed April as National Safe Digging Month to bring extra attention to the issue of underground utility line safety and reduce the risk of unnecessary infrastructure damage.

An underground utility line is damaged once every nine minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to industry data collected by CGA. There are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States, per data compiled by CGA from various industry groups. That figure equates to more than one football field’s length (105 yards) of buried utilities for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

Everyone who calls 811 a few days before digging is connected to a local one call notification center that will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

About the study
SSRS conducted a national omnibus phone study between Feb. 21-25, 2018, on behalf of the CGA. A total of 621 American homeowners ages 18+ were asked for their opinions on home and property improvement project topics. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 3.71% at the 95 percent confidence level.


2017 NRCGA Year in Review


Thirty-eight organizations joined the NRCGA in 2017, including 29 stakeholder members and 7 associate members.


NRCGA Utility Locate RodeoThe NRCGA conducted its first annual locate rodeo on June 3, 2017, on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus. Eric Flores, a utility line locator with ELM Utility Services, walked away as Nevada’s top locator. In addition to $2120 in prize money provided by sponsors, Flores also received a free trip to Dallas to participate in the June 24 International Utility Locate Rodeo. The rodeo was sponsored by Southwest Gas, Kinder Morgan, ELM Utility Services, USIC, Paiute Pipeline, NPL, USA North 811, CenturyLink, RP Weddell & Sons, UNLV, KCI Technologies, Advanced Infrastructure Technologies, and NV Energy.


Hard hat sticker given to those who take the NRCGA's excavator training
Hard hat sticker

Statewide, 1,818 excavators and landscapers attended the NRCGA’s Excavator Safety Training during 2018. In addition to classes taught in English, the NRCGA also offered classes in Spanish in the Las Vegas area.


The NRCGA sponsored 2016 Silver Shovel Winner Tyler Byrd’s attendance at the Common Ground Alliance’s Annual Conference in Orlando, in March 2017.


NRCGA sponsored a tee at the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association golf tournament in Las Vegas. At the tournament, NRCGA volunteers set up a tent to talk to golfers about the NRCGA and 811.


The NRCGA provided the Reno Aces minor league baseball team with a $10,000 corporate sponsorship to promote 811. The promotion included outfield signage and other 811 messaging during Reno Aces home games.


Siler Lake Construction

The NRCGA held its annual Southern Nevada excavator appreciation dinner Nov. 8 in Henderson and honored Silver Lake Construction with the Silver Shovel award for the company’s stellar performance in damage prevention. Winning the Silver Shovel includes one complimentary trip to Phoenix to attend the Common Ground Alliance’s March 2018 annual conference, as well as a complimentary 2018 NRCGA associate membership.


Nevada Barricade & Sign Company

The NRCGA held its 12th Annual Northern Nevada Silver Shovel Event on Dec. 15 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks. At this annual breakfast, three excavators were honored based on the number of tickets they called in over a 12-month period and having had no at-fault damages. The winners were: Frank Lepori Construction (0 – 50 tickets), Tahoe Fence (51 – 200 tickets) and Nevada Barricade & Sign Company (201+ tickets). Nevada Barricade & Sign also received a complimentary 2018 NRCGA associate membership.


The winning bulletin board.

On Dec. 8, NRCGA members Bob Ward and Dennis Bott presented Martin Luther King Elementary School in Las Vegas with a $1000 check for winning a national art contest illustrating the importance of calling 811. Martin Luther King Elementary School was also awarded $5000 by the contest’s sponsors, Fuel for Success and the Common Ground Alliance.


NRCGA Provides $1000 to CCSD for 811 Art Contest

On Dec. 8, NRCGA members Bob Ward and Dennis Bott presented Martin Luther King Elementary School with a $1000 check for winning a national art contest illustrating the importance of calling 811. Martin Luther King Elementary School was also awarded $5000 by the contest’s sponsors, Fuel for Success and the Common Ground Alliance.

The 811 art contest invited school districts participating in the Fuel for Success program across the U.S. to participate in creating a bulletin board illustrating the importance of calling 811. The contest was judged by members of the Fuel for Success program, sponsored by the Shell NASCAR team, and CGA.

Martin Luther King Elementary School adminstrators say the funds will be used for playground upgrades.

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