Construction Risk Management of Channel Tunnel Project Term Paper

Pages: 7 (1856 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business

Construction Risk Management of Channel Tunnel Project

This is a Construction Risk Management Report on the construction of the Capitol Hill Light Rail station in the city of Seattle, WA. It first defines risk management and its challenges within the construction industry. It then discusses the Capitol Hill Light Rail station project and the hazards that tunneling activities present to the builder, Sound Transit. It discusses the potential risks associated with those hazards, the actions that can be taken to mitigate them, and costs associated with both the risks and the hazards. It concludes that Sound Transit has taken all economically feasible steps to reduce the risk of damage from soil sliding, but that it take risk insurance and risk sharing measures in addition.

Introduction

Risk Management is one of the most important and overlooked areas in business management. Risk Management is the identification, measurement, and control at most economic cost of the hazards which can threaten life, property and the assets and earnings of an organization.

Risk analysis is the identification and assessment of the likelihood of hazards occurring and the consequences of occurrence.

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In the construction industry, risk management takes on an even greater significance. Construction, which consists of the manipulation of matter on the surface of the earth, presents unique hazards in the modern business world because of its clear impact on life and property. Construction activities, because of their great physical impact, often affect people and property in adverse and unexpected ways.

Capitol Hill Light Rail Station

TOPIC: Term Paper on Construction Risk Management of Channel Tunnel Project Assignment

The City of Seattle is currently extending its Link Light Rail transit system from Downtown Seattle to the University District. This extension will run east of downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill before travelling north through the Montlake neighborhood to the University District. Because it will run through four different residential neighborhoods, the extension will require the construction of three new Light Rail stations: Capitol Hill, Montlake, and Wallingford.

University Link is a 3.15-mile light rail extension that will run in twin-bored tunnels from Downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington, with stations at Capitol Hill and on the University of Washington campus near Husky Stadium.

University link construction is being paid for by a combination of federal grants, MVET, and local sales tax (.4%). The total cost for University Link is $1.9 Billion. Construction began on the two stations and tunnel track in 2009. Construction will continue over the next seven years until University link opens for service in 2016.

Excavation and Tunneling Phase: January 2010 - Early 2013

Excavation

During this phase the contractor will grade the site to make it level, and begin digging out the area for the station. The excavation for the station is approximately 400 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 60 feet deep. Once the excavation reaches the bottom of the station (approx. 60 feet down), a concrete slab 10 feet thick will be poured at the bottom of the excavation.

Tunnel Boring Machine

After the concrete slab is poured, the digging of the two tunnels to Pine Street will begin. A single tunnel boring machine (TBM) will be launched from the bottom of the station excavation. The TBM is scheduled to excavate an average of 40 feet of tunnel every day. As it bores through the ground, the TBM will also place the concrete rings that form the exterior surface of the tunnel. Dirt from the excavation travels through the machine and onto a conveyance system which brings it back out to the surface to be hauled away.

When the TBM reaches Pine Street, the TBM will be disassembled and transported back to the Station site, where it will be reassembled to dig the second tunnel between Capitol Hill and Pine Street. The tunneling is done in this direction because there is not sufficient room for all the equipment needed to extract the excavated dirt at Pine Street.

3. Risk information and data collection

Sound Transit has already completed demolition and environmental remediation. It held presentations and public comment meetings both before and after demolition. After demolition, Sound Transit itself conducted an environmental survey to record any unexpected changes to environment not provided for in the original University Link construction plan, particularly the soil.

In addition, property owners were allowed to express any concerns or problems they encountered as a result of the University Link construction project at the public comment meetings.

4. Risk identification

Risks can be physical, consequential, social, legal, political, financial, and technical.

Also, Risks can arise from outside of the company, as with natural hazards, activities of suppliers or debtor customers. Risks can also originate within the company, as with accidents or physical damage. Finally, risks can be transmitted from the company, as with environmental damage or injury resulting from the company's products or negligence.

Dangers of Tunneling in Seattle

Sound Transit's previous tunneling work on the Beacon Hill Light Rail station revealed the hazards of tunneling. Seattle's geography and climate, extremely hilly with frequent rain, makes tunneling much more problematic than in other American cities, e.g. New York City or Boston. The soil is soft and often changes drastically over time. Sometimes in tunneling projects, soil or the water table will move, causing buildings above to sink. It cost $4 million to investigate and fill several voids, one of which nearly swallowed a house. In the Beacon Hill Station dispute, Sound Transit recouped the money by withholding it from final payment to the contractor.

Seattle's boring and tunneling project can disrupt the foundation of existing buildings throughout the city. Sound Transit would have to recompense residents for damage to their property. This is a result of shallow tunnel depth in the project, which are only 45 feet below the Capitol Building, which houses apartments.

Because the Capitol Building is unreinforced masonry, even a settlement of less than 1-inch could crack it down the middle, where the tunnel passes under the building's east side. If the Capitol Building is damaged, Sound Transit's insurance or funds in the construction budget would pay.

5. Risk Analysis

Background

The cost of risks can have a tremendous impact on a company's balance sheet. Potential harm created by risk include increased costs, loss or reduction in profit, damage to reputation, and even disposal of the business or insolvency.

Thus, risk management programs are usually worth the cost relative to the potential costs resulting from the realization of a risk. T

he cost of risk management consists of the costs incurred in the identification and evaluation of risks, control measures, the costs of insurance or finance, and consulting fees.

Risk analysis requires the quantification of the financial consequences of hazards if realized. Then, the probability of the hazard's occurrence must be determined. Finally, the risk resulting from the hazard must be calculated and prioritized in order of importance.

Generally, the Consequences of a risk are calculated with the probability of the risk. Among consequences, there are negligible, medium, and catastrophic. Among probabilities, there is low, medium, and high. (RISC 6).

Analysis

The probability that the Capitol Building will be damaged by tunneling is somewhat likely. The geological issue creating fear of such damage, soil settling, where the soil or the water table moves and causes buildings to sink, is certain to occur in some degree. What is uncertain is whether the settling of soil will cause the Capitol Building's foundation to sink more than 1-inch. The earlier phase of the project saw tunneling machines pass beneath masonry buildings in Downtown Seattle without incident.

However, buildings on Capitol Hill are on a much higher elevation than the masonry buildings in Downtown Seattle, creating a much greater degree of variance in soil settling.

The consequences, costs, resulting from construction damage to the Capitol Building would be negligible if the damage is particular and medium if more endemic. Sound Transit would have to pay the owner of the building, which houses 48 apartment units and 2 clothing stores, up to $4.8 million dollars for the value of the property. The Capitol Building, however, is not representative of all buildings on Capitol Hill because it consists of unreinforced masonry and is situated unusually close to the tunnel.

The costs of diverting or altering the tunnel would be considerable. The tunnel uses cylindrical tubes cast off-site in advance of the boring. These tubes are installed after the soil is bored through with a boring machine. If Sound Transit was required to reshape or otherwise alter the tunnel for some reason, it would be very costly in terms of time, resources, and public opinion.

Response

Risk Response can take the form of risk insurance, risk sharing, and risk reduction.

Reduction can be attained by gaining sufficient knowledge on the subject as to minimize the chances of things going wrong due to ignorance etc. Achieved by entering into information, and intelligence gathering programs.

Here, Sound Transit has already worked at reducing the risk of damage from soil slides. At the station pit, workers have poured a concrete-grout wall, a full… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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