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Big lessons from big projects

I am not aware of the exact details of the disputes panels referred to in JWB's letter (Letters last week) but they sound very similar to what was used on the Second Severn Bridge Concession Contract nearly 20 years ago.

There we add a panel of independent engineers (which also included a past president of the ICE) and an independent panel of financial experts.

The problem with that is which panel to use, as engineering problems almost invariably have a financial aspect.

The later Rion-Antirion bridge in Greece largely copied Second Severn and here the technical panel, with experts from a number of
countries, was usefully involved several times. Both projects finished on time and within budget.

As a profession we do seem slow to learn and communication within the profession has never been good.


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