A day long symposium held in conjunction with the NAT (North America Tunnelling) conference in Atlanta in April 2004, was revealing more for how far apart Owners and Contractors remain, rather than how close in aim they have been drawn by introduction some eight years ago of the geotechnical baseline report (GBR) concept.
Having secured a press pass to attend the event, TunnelTalk listened as each of three representatives on either side of the tunnel construction divide raised a list of three concerns and had these responded to by an alter ego on the opposite side. On the podium, representatives included a consultant and a lawyer on each side, Randy Essex and Randy Hafer for the Owner and Peter Douglass and Bob Fitzgerald for the constructors, with Joe Gildner of Seattle Sound Transit representing Owners and Kirk Samuelson of Peter Kiewit & Sons putting the case for Contractors.
Perhaps the format, with moderator Bart Bartholomew, added to the sense of divide but the debate, with contributions and questions from the floor drew into sharp focus the points that require further consideration, definition and development.
Open ended issues raised included questions such as:
Other points raised included:
The question of exactly how many low bids have been rejected because of an overly optimistic interpretation of the GBR was not raised in the forum but the answer, discussed over the coffee break, was generally none although it was said that such a situation had occurred recently for a job in Atlanta. A final observation concluded that the market seems to go round in cycles or spirals without coming to maturity.
A show of hands at the end of the day confirmed that a revised edition of the Yellow Book guidelines for the preparation, interpretation and application of GBRs be prepared and that the revised edition include chapters on application of GBRs to design-build procurement projects and to the functions of DRBs. The revised edition of the Yellow Book – the Gold Book – was published in 2007.