As tunneling projects get larger and more complicated, the issue of risk becomes increasingly important. Contracts in excess of a billion dollars are not uncommon and the trend is unlikely to reverse in the near future. Additionally, the evolving nature of contract delivery – notably the rise of design-build and P3 delivery – is changing the way all parties approach risk.
To help navigate the latest approaches to risk management – including the potential benefits and pitfalls – the Risk Management in Underground Construction course was held Nov. 28-29 in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The event brings together all facets of the industry – owners, consultants, contractors, sureties/insurance, legal professionals, and suppliers – in an interactive setting.
The program comprised speaker presentations from leading experts in the field, and panel discussions that elicited information from the attendees as well as panelists. Nearly 90 professionals participated in the event, with professionals representing North America, Europe and India.
The program was broken into four sessions cover: Fundamentals of Risk Management, Incorporating Risk in the Contract Document, Risk Management in Alternative Delivery Contracts, and Case Histories/Lessons Learned.
Presenters, panelists and moderators included recognized experts in the field, including Gary Brierley and John Reilly, past presidents of AUA/UCA; Randy Essex, U.S. representative to ITA; Bob Goodfellow and Joe O’Carroll, co-authors of the UCA’s Guidelines for Improved Risk Management; Lynn Schubert, president of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America; and Tom Rosenberg, Chair-Elect of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, among others.
Sharing their experiences were representatives from DC Water (Carlton Ray, Moussa Wone) and Southern Nevada Water Authority (Erika Moonin), both of which have a wealth of experience in tunnel construction, as well as Fort Wayne, Indiana (Mark Gensic), which recently began construction on its first major tunnel project.
Risk registers again proved to be popular topics, along with the risk management within alternative delivery contracts. While opinions varied as to the best ways to address risk within the contract, there was consensus that a collaborative and ongoing effort among all stakeholders is key to a successful risk management program.
Course organizers, Ozdemir & Associates, Microtunneling Inc. and Benjamin Media/TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine are planning the 3rd annual Risk Management in Underground Construction for 2018.
The same organizers host the Microtunneling Short Course, scheduled for February 6-8, 2018, in Boulder, Colorado, and the Breakthroughs in Tunneling Short Course, scheduled for Sept. 10-12, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.