Risk Management Professionals Convene in LA

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course orgnaizers

Course organizers Levent Ozdemir, left, and Jim Rush, right, and main course sponsor Gary Brierley.

3rd Annual Short Course Highlights Paths to Successful Tunneling Projects

The annual Risk Management in Underground Construction Short Course headed to the West Coast Nov. 28-29 where leading professionals discussed the latest trends and approaches to successful tunneling and underground projects.

The event, held at the Hotel Marina del Rey near Los Angeles, drew more than 60 participants from a variety of disciplines within the tunneling industry, including contractors, engineers/designers, owners, lawyers and insurance professionals.

The course was divided into four sessions focusing on different aspects of risk management: Session 1 – Fundamentals; Session 2 – Geotechnical Risk; Session 3 – Legal/Insurance/Financier Issues; and Session 4 – Case Histories and International Examples.

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Session 1 was kicked off by John Reilly of John Reilly Associates, who has been at the forefront of risk management in underground construction from early in his career, including work in the Washington Metro in the 1970s. His presentation covered development of risk management practices including the ITA/ITIG/UCA guideline documents.

Stantec’s Don Del Nero

Stantec’s Don Del Nero highlighted the Atlanta Water Supply Tunnel project, which featured innovative risk management strategies.

Rounding out the session were Bob Goodfellow, Aldea Services, (UCA Guidelines for Improved Risk Management), Erika Moonin, Southern Nevada Water Authority, and James Grayson, Kenny Construction (Risk Management Approach for SNWA Projects), and Don Del Nero, Stantec, (Risk Management Using CMAR Delivery). Del Nero’s presentation highlighted the Atlanta Water Supply Tunnel, which was notable not only for being an early example of CMAR in tunneling projects, but also featured Robbins’ OFTA process (Onsite First Time Assembly), owner procured TBM and a guaranteed maximum price.

owner panel

The owner panel included (from left) Joe Gildner, Sound Transit; Bryan Pennington, LA Metro; Dave Davies, LA Metro; and Erika Moonin, Southern Nevada Water Authority.

The Session 1 panel discussion featured representatives from owner agencies in the West, including LA Metro, Sound Transit and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, moderated by HNTB’s Mark Ramsey. SNWA was an early adaptor of design-build contracting for tunneling in the United States, while Los Angeles and Seattle have been successfully building out their transit systems in densely populated areas with unforgiving ground.

Session 2 focused on geotechnical risk. The theme of the session was that getting a thorough understanding of the ground and its potential behavior during tunneling is the most important aspect in successfully delivering a tunneling project – and thus avoiding risk.

The session included presentations by leading experts Randy Essex, Mott MacDonald, who discussed geotechnical baseline reports, Greg Raines, Stantec, who discussed geotechnical data reports and tools for collecting geotechnical data, and Gary Brierley, Dr. Mole Inc., who discussed managing successful tunneling projects, which involves completing a thorough ground investigation and developing thoughtful designs and construction methods based on the information.

Session 2 closed with a panel discussion moderated by Brierley, and included David Hatem, Donovan Hatem; Allen Marr, Geocomp; Sean Harvey, Brierley Associates; and Steve Klein, WSP.

Session 3 shifted toward legal and insurance issues with presentations from David Hatem (“Design Risk vs. Designer Liability: Applying Best Practices in Design-Build Underground Projects”); Barry Fleishman, Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram (“Builders Risk Insurance-Pitfalls and Perils”); and Ian Frank, Franz Ward (“Project Documentation as a Risk Management Tool”).

Session 3 panelists

Session 3 panelists included (from left) Adrian Pellen, Kathy Barnes, Russell Lear, and Tom Rosenberg (moderator).

The Session 3 panel was moderated by Tom Rosenberg of Roetzel who was joined by Kathy Barnes, Watt Teider, Adrian Pellen, Marsh, and Russell Lear, Flood and Peterson/National Association of Surety Bond Producers.

Session 4 turned to real-life examples from the United States and around the world. Paul Nicholas, AECOM, kicked things off with a presentation highlighting tunneling projects in India and their approach to risk management. Johannes Horner, Recon-struct Geologic Consulting, discussed ground risk and EPC contracts in Latin America, while Gordon Clark, HNTB, closed with a discussion of the landmark recently Bosphorus Tunnel project in Istanbul.

contractor panel

Taking part in the contractor panel were (from left) Dawn Dobson-Markham, Barnard Construction; Paul Vadnais, Vadnais Trenchless Services; James Grayson, Kenny Construction; Christophe Bragard, Traylor Brothers; and moderator Steve Kramer, COWI.

Closing out the two-day event was a contactor panel moderated by Steve Kramer of COWI North America. Participating on the panel was Dawn Dobson-Markham, Barnard Construction; James Grayson, Kenny Construction; Christophe Bragard, Traylor Brothers; and Paul Vadnais, Vadnais Trenchless Services.

The course is presented by Ozdemir & Associates, Microtunneling Inc. and TBM: Tunnel Business Magazine. Supporting companies included Dr. Mole Inc. (gold sponsor), Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram and Watt Tieder (lunch sponsors), Mott MacDonald and Geocomp (breakfast sponsors), and AECOM, Donovan Hatem, Frantz Ward and Stantec (course sponsors).

Planning is underway for the fourth annual event, to be held in fall 2019.

Stay tuned for information on next year’s event by checking undergroundriskmanagement.com.

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