- Publication no: ABC2017-035-17
- Published: 20 April 2017
If we knew the work that goes into the planning and pre-construction activities of a new bridge project; specifically those projects that involve the creation of a new bridge; how quickly would we accept alternative tenders from the construction industry? This was a question that occurred to the author after he had worked through the at times convoluted process to replace the two defunct bridges over the Hopkins River at Rossbridge in Western Victoria; only to have at the last minute an ‘Alternative tender’ accepted.
There may some who agree with the industrialist John Harvey-Jones who felt that planning takes all the fun out of a project, but I haven’t met many ‘construction engineers’ who liked being given a blank sheet from which to start – the opposite is usually true in fact and yet organizations such as VicRoads regularly put in inordinate effort into the planning and then throw it out when someone else submits and apparently ‘better idea’.
The following paper summarises the efforts of the Engineers, Archaeologists, Environmental Scientists (aka ‘the Planners’) etc; to develop a coherent project to replace two defective bridges with a single one only to then have the whole effort pushed to one side when an alternative tender was submitted.