This Project Charter outlines the budget, schedule, scope, milestones and delivery strategy for design & construction of the George Street Bridge, Newport. This charter also includes the major risks and risk mitigation strategies associated with this construction Project.
Once the project charter is complete, the project team will finalize a detailed construction schedule. And after the approval is granted by the Council, the project will be guided by this Charter.
Background and problem statement
This project focuses on the construction of a reliable and safe street bridge in Newport. It has been observed that during peak hours in the city, the high speed traffic makes it very unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the street. Thus the construction of a crossover bridge with bike lanes and trails has been suggested that can improve the road safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
The scope of this Project includes:
Construction of a new bridge of modern standards;
2 travel lanes;
Bike lanes in both directions on the bridge;
Trails for both pedestrians and cyclists
Separate pedestrian pathway on the north side of the bridge;
Traffic Signal intersection at Harbor Road;
Links to existing and future pathways and trails;
Improved approach roads to the bridge;
Improved safety and accessibility;
Relocations of utilities;
Decommissioning of existing construction on the area where the bridge is to be constructed;
This project aims at providing alternative transportation amenities. This bridge will ensure that the pedestrians and cyclists can safely pass through the high speed traffic. This bridge will improve the city infrastructure and will lead to orderly traffic movement.
This bridge will be a sustainable bridge with improved cyclist and pedestrian amenities. The objective of this project is to build a bridge that will provide a transportation link on the George Street. The bridge will be constructed following all the construction guidelines of Newport city. The bridge will link existing and future trails and pathways.
This bridge follows all the laid down policies of development and transportation, and will support the economic vitality of the downtown. This project will create jobs during the construction period and the traffic to and from the city will be minimally impacted.
The Project Team will consist of the George Street Bridge Project Director, the Project Team, which will be supported by professional expertise and key staff in areas of finance, engineering and procurement. Also experts form audit, legal, communications, risk management, and from other areas as required will be assisting the project management team.
The project team will also include professional engineering support from the chief consultant. The team will have support from sub-consultants which include bridge architecture, structural, quantity survey, geotechnical, mechanical & electrical during various phases of the project. The chief consultant Group has expertise and experience in constructing bridges. In addition to the above, the chief consulting team can provide recommendations related to design-assist procurement as well as contractor procurement.
1. Numerous stakeholders with diverse interests are involved.
2. Project delay would impact many citizens of Newport city
3. Since the global economy is recovering, a large number of pending projects might start in same timeframe as George Street project.
Risks and risk mitigation
Construction projects are characterized by the presence of many risks. Some of these can be directly controlled by the project management team, while there are others that are linked to the market. Some of these risks are major ones that can have a significant impact on the project budget or project schedule. The major risks and the risk mitigation technique to control risk are as follows:
Steel Prices: Steel represents a significant portion (approximately 45%) of the bridge material and cost. Steel prices are affected by global economic drivers. This can be mitigated by securing steel unit prices by signing contracts with the suppliers well in advance or placing them on the design assist team.
Market conditions for construction: Market conditions for construction may change. This is again linked to the market and cannot be controlled by the project management team. This risk can be mitigated by securing a general contractor as early as possible to work with the design-assist team
Competing projects: Competing projects draw resources and contractor interest away from the ongoing project. This can again be checked by securing a contractor on the design team.
Actual site conditions vary – On many occasions the actual site conditions vary significantly from what has been expected. To control this risk additional geotechnical investigation work can be carried out.
Utility relocation – Significant delay in utility relocations takes place. Project managers can work towards having more cooperation and coordination with external utilities providers.
Other risks could be lengthy gap between construction disciplines or conflicting instructions from client’s staff to contractor. These risks can be mitigated by having better communication and coordination or with the use of appropriate cost control measures and project management techniques.
Any Significant changes in the scope of the project will be approved by the Management Committee. These changes could be changes in the items list provided under Scope. But these changes will be well within the contingencies provided in the project budget. If any of the changes appear to fundamentally alter the mandate then they will be presented to Council and the management committee for final approval. These could be changes in the deliverables listed under Scope. The authority to make critical decisions will be with the George Street Bridge Project Director.
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The responsibility of overall design of the bridge will vest with the prime consultant for the project. The consultant will be responsible for the design integrity of various works undertaken under the George Street Bridge contract. The chief contractor, after appointment, will be responsible for complying with the design as shown in the design documents prepared by the consultant Group. The quality assurance program will aim at delivering regular reports to the city project team during fabrication and construction stages in a pre decided format.
The estimate cost of designing and constructing the George Street Bridge is estimated at $20 Million. This estimate assumes that there will be no significant change in the current economic conditions and the steel prices will not increase significantly. The budget also assumes that quality labour will be available throughout the construction of the bridge. This budget includes a contingency of 10% as recommended by the chief design consultant which was reviewed by an associate consultant. The construction of this bridge involves a significant quantity of steel, representing approximately 45% of the current estimate as mentioned earlier. Cost control measures will be employed throughout the project lifecycle to monitor and track the budget.
Funding for the Project is as follows:
$10 million – City borrowing
$3 million – Reprioritization of City capital projects and other internal sources
$7 million – federal Contribution Agreement
TOTAL $20 Million
The timeline for this construction project considers the time required for steel manufacturing and fabrication; erection and testing; and construction of the piers, detailed design; bridge assembly abutments and approaches. The project manager aims to complete the project by no later than March 31, 2015.
The following are the project constraints that can impact the completion of this Project:
1. Regulatory requirements
2. Disbursement of utilities
3. Construction economy
4. Availability of resources and construction materials
5. Unstable global steel market
Most of these are not in direct control of the Project Team.
The Project completion assumes the following:
1. The Economic situation remains almost stable
2. Steel prices will not increase dramatically
3. There will be very few changes in the ground conditions
4. Coordination with fisheries windows to minimize delay construction
5. Steel materials and fabrication resources are available
6. Utilities will be available on time and will be well within budget
7. Qualified Engineers and Contractors are easily available
8. All the decisions are well informed and are as per the schedule
Management & Accountability Approach
The sustainability of a project depends on the sustainability of its stakeholder relationships. There are many stakeholders having different proportions of stake in a project. Stakeholder management is essential for a successful project. An active reporting system will be followed to keep the stakeholders involved and updated.
A quarterly summary report will be provided to the Council and the stakeholders. Informal reporting will also be done through weekly meetings of the project team members and/or their representatives. Active use of internet will be done to keep both the public and the staff informed of developments of the project. Arrangements will be made to update regular reports on the project website.
The project will be a success if the project manager is able to complete the project on time with enhanced safety and reliability. The bridge will be a model for other construction projects taken up in the city of Newport. The project will be successful if it achieves its objective of improving the crossing experience for pedestrians and cyclists.
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