Project Management Strategies Used for

All sheets must be accounted for and either closed off or re-scheduled before the new work to list is formed. The maintenance superintendent checks all sheets to ensure quality of the system. Defects are entered into the system by the operations personnel who monitor the operation of all equipment or are usually the first point of contact for other personnel. The technician who rectifies a defect is responsible for issuing and completing the defect job sheet. Checks are made to ensure the same information on the job sheet is entered into the computer. Finally, regular reviews of the planned maintenance task are conducted to ensure their relevance (Allen 2003).

4. In addition, the Tunnel has thermal point detectors spaced every 15 metres over each lane; more than 40 CCTV cameras – an additional 48 cameras were installed in 2000 – facing oncoming traffic throughout both tubes; complimented by a manual deluge system operated from a dedicated 24-hour manned control room in North Sydney (Video Smoke Detection — Sydney Harbour Tunnel 2007).

5. The Sydney Harbour Tunnel changed to cashless tolling on 8 July 2007 to speed traffic flow across the Harbour (Sydney Harbour Tunnel 2010).

5) Project Execution (project monitoring and project control)

1. The Tenix Group was selected by Australian government to manage the Sydney Harbour Tunnel operations (Goulburn 2006).

2. The Sydney Harbour Tunnel Company (SHTC) owns, operates and will maintain the Harbour Tunnel until August 2022 when it will be transferred to public ownership (Sydney Harbour Tunnel 2010).

3. The maintenance philosophy supporting the operation of the Tunnel combines the so-called run to fail, preventive and predictive maintenance principles. The core of maintenance activity is the preventive maintenance program, or routine, repetitive planned maintenance. Predictive maintenance is also important, with regular performance or condition monitoring of selected items of plant and structures, using techniques such as vibration analysis and thermography; in addition, some equipment and components are allowed to run to fail (Allen 2003:2).

6) Project auditing and project termination

1. In 1994, an inquiry was completed by the NSW Auditor General Report on the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. The Auditor General found many flaws in the justification of the tunnel. He concluded that Guidelines on Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure Provision had not been followed in this project (NSW Auditor-General 1994).

2. The Auditor General also found that Sydney Harbour Tunnel was completed simply because the Government of the day and the Authority were eager to pursue the project (NSW Auditor-General 1994:258).

Project Performance Compared to Competitors

Given the unique qualities that characterize the Sydney Harbour Tunnel project, across-the-board comparisons with competitors are problematic; however, some useful metrics for general comparison include the fact that the entire construction of the Tunnel was successfully completed without a single death (Hopkins 1999). In addition, unlike some of its competitor, there were no significant cross-cultural issues that hampered the construction process while a tunnel project in Hong Kong was marred by serious cultural conflict among the project management team who were Asian and Swedish and the workforce which was comprised of mostly of Chinese and some Thai engineers and technicians (Dadfar & Gustavsson 1992).

Pros and Cons of the Strategy used in the Project Compared to Other Strategies

Because resources are by definition scarce, the funding strategy used by the Australian government can be viewed as innovative in that it succeeded in achieving the goals of the NSW Department of Main Roads in improving the flow of traffic in the Harbour region. This strategy has a number of advantages. For example, Badawi reports that, “In todays global economy, the governments of many countries have resorted to build-operate-transfer (BOT) or build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) schemes to promote private, foreign and national investors to finance, design, construct, and operate large-scale infrastructure and development projects” (2003: 60). These foreign and national investors are granted the right to generate revenues from the projects they build in return for a mutually agreed upon amount of time in order to recoup their investments and realize an appropriate profit (Badawi 2003).

Thereafter, the sponsoring governmental entity receives the entire project in a condition that generally allows it to be operated for several more decades. This would appear to be a win-win approach, but some critics argue that the built-own-operate-transfer approach carries significant taxation problems that are not characteristic of other funding approaches (Badawi 2003).

Analysis of the Findings and Recommendations

The tunnel shares approach roads with the [77-year-old Sydney Harbour Bridge and since its opening has dramatically eased the cross-Harbour traffic bottleneck which existed in Sydney (Allen 2003: 2). In 2005, the annual average daily traffic volumes using the tunnel was 86,800 vehicles, compared with 161,000 vehicles on the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney Harbour Tunnel 2010). Taken together, the foregoing analysis and outcomes provide the basis for the following recommendations:

1. Regularly reevaluate the efficiency of current IT systems in place to ensure that the performance of these legacy systems is satisfactory and to identify opportunities for improvement.

2. Reduce the toll charges for private traffic to encourage more drivers to use this alternative to reduce the demand on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


The research showed that many analysts believed that the Sydney Harbour Tunnel was ill-conceived and that the powers-that-be were largely responsible for railroading the project through to fruition without using the normal tendering processes that are used with public projects of this magnitude. Despite these criticisms, the research also showed that the Tunnel has been successful in mitigating the flow of traffic in and around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and that the project has been effectively managed. Finally, the research was consistent in emphasizing that the build-own-operate-transfer model can be used for even the largest public works projects, making this alternative worthy of consideration by cash-strapped governments around the world today.


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