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IMPLEMENTING A $3 BILLION CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM USING A STATE-OF-THE-ART PROJECT CONTROLS SYSTEM

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In July 2001 the Board of Directors of the Orange County Sanitation District (District) made a commitment to treat all wastewater to secondary standards. The District was operating under EPA's 301 (h) waiver to discharge partially treated primary effluent to the ocean. The commitment to treat all wastewater to secondary standards and upgrade the existing collections and treatment infrastructure resulted in a $3 Billion Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP is planned to be completed over a 17 year period (2003-2020) with approximately 75% ($2.2 Billion) of work completed by 2012. Annual cash expenditures will increase 375% from an average of $80 Million per year to nearly $300 Million per year. The staff needed to manage the increased volume of work has also increased correspondingly. The increased expenditures and staffing needs forced OCSD to evaluate various options on how best to manage and implement the program. In September 2002 the District hired a program management firm, Integrated Program Management Consultants (IPMC), a joint venture between CH2M HILL and Parsons, to supplement its own staff and develop an integrated Project Controls System (PCS). The program management team has completed the development of a state-of-the-art project controls system and established systematic and rigorous methods for managing the capital projects using the reporting, tracking and predicting capabilities of the project controls system. Using the PCS to manage a multi billion dollar program has enhanced communications and resulted in on-time, on-budget performance. Our 2½ years experience shows that the methodology and processes being used are working extremely well and are very effective in making pro-active decisions. This paper describes the key elements of the PCS, the program management approach used to implement CIP projects and how lessons learned are captured to enhance organization maturity. The reader will find that the project management approach is easily transferable to any utility who wants to deliver a CIP in a cost effective manner.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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