The essential objective of this research is to interpret complex
transportation projects and map the complexity of each dimension. The following
sections discuss the case studies that have been chosen for the project. Each
case study begins with a background of the project from archival research and
then transitions into the questionnaire results. The discussion of the results
presents the portions of the project that made the project complex and why
those factors required more, or different, management techniques. Each
discussion is arranged by dimension for clarity. During the discussion of the
questionnaire, a radar diagram is presented for each project that maps the
numerical data for each dimension as it is scored by the project participant.
The next chapter will analyse the aggregate findings of all case studies,
looking for similarities and differences between the projects, as well as how
the overall findings of the research may be used by industry professionals.
5.1 Highway Segment
The project is a new asphalt four lane (six in
some places) highway construction project owned and operated Highway
Authority). Segment as a whole has four segments, the fourth of which is used
for this study. The total project length is approximately 47 miles. The total
cost of Segment is $250 million, however this figure does not include
acquisition and initial planning costs performed by the owner. The road was
built as a toll way, which is one of the methods used to finance the project.
Bonds, vehicle registration fees, investment income, highway expansion fees,
and new development fees were also used to fund all segments of the project
bringing the total cost to $1.2 billion.
One of the major components of this project was
the implementation of ITS. Fiber optics run the entire length of the project
which are used for toll collection and camera enforcement. Currently, there is
no option for paying tolls using cash. Cameras take pictures of the vehicle if
they do not have a tag and mail the payment to the vehicle owner. This is the
first toll way to use this type of high-speed electronic toll collection. Some
of the main issues pertaining to complexity on Segment are environmental
impacts which created potential lawsuits, growth inducement from the
residential and commercial sectors, political and public concerns, expansive
soils, and private land ownership. Projects along highway continue to this day,
but for the sake of this research only Segment has been studied and analysed as
far as the sources contributing to the complexity of the project.
5.1.1 Cost Dimension
A majority of the cost categories were found to
be slightly more complex compared to other projects that the participant has
worked on in their career. A little more complex for the risk, preliminary
program, and planning/construction categories. Some of the issues leading to
cost complexity are that there was a lot of risk in the initial stages
concerning the feasibility of the toll revenues and of the project as a whole.
Once the project contract was signed, a lot of the risk was transferred and
therefore alleviated in the later stages of the project. The cost estimation
phase was a difficult process because the estimates were being performed with
little design work completed. The other factor that increased the complexity of
the cost dimension was that there were more incentive and disincentive clauses
used because of the DB (Design – Build) contracting method. The design-builder
could share in the revenues, but the contract was also heavy in liquidated
damages. According to the participant, the issues category was less complex for
this project. There were not a lot of material or transit user cost issues.