This report tries to critically analyze the procurement process of the Spenser street station redevelopment. Currently, it has also been said that Southern Cross railway station still needs redevelopment because of the ever-growing number of passengers the current situation calls for $300m to cope with this surge in passenger number. The initial redevelopment occurred between the years 2002 and December 2003 (Gordon, 2016).
The initial capacity of the railway was not enough to hold and transport the current 25 million passengers per year. This resulted in a cost of $700m for the whole process which was mainly influenced by the public-private procurement process. Some of the negative implications of the process include cost overruns and disputed contractual payments.
Therefore, by focusing on the procurement used for the initial redevelopment process, the report will determine the feasibility of the route, advantages and disadvantages and an alternative route that would have been the most appropriate.
The Southern Cross station was initially known as Spenser Street because of its location. In this, the location of the railway is in the middle of two streets: La Trobe and Collins (Kramer, 2006). In this, the middle of the two streets is known as Spenser Street, where the train station is located. The station is usually busy and is ranked as the third busiest station in Melbourne. Considering that the station began the operations back in 1859, its redevelopment was something of concern when it came to the Victorian government. Therefore, when the government unveiled the revitalizing Victorian rail program which was estimated at about $2bn, the Spenser street railway was going to be at the forefront when the cash was allocated. The planning meant that the station was to have two phases of redevelopment. The first phase was undertaken between the years 2002 and 2006 while the second phase was undertaken between 2009 and 2013 (Victoria, 2012).
Initially, the station had a single platform but the need for more platforms became more evident with the increasing need and demand for the railway transport. This led to the development of 13 platforms in the first phase while the second phase saw two more platforms added to the station. Currently, the station has 16 platforms (Victoria, 2012).
There was an additional platform in the year 1874 that mainly served the purpose of providing a link between the station and Flinders Street. However, the link was through a viaduct and provided a way through which passenger trains could pass. The capacity of the viaduct would be increased to ensure that more trains would pass through and this was done so by increasing the number of tracks to four. Later on, this was followed by the increase in the number of platforms to 14 between the years 1918 and 1924.
In the year 2002, some of the major considerations included: provision of an interchange facility that would ensure that both buses and trains used the station, the provision of a new entrance, provision of a residential tower, an office tower, increase of the parking space, a shopping complex at the center of La Trobe and Bourke streets, a new bridge at the passenger side among others. All these developments were to ensure that the station could handle the increasing passenger numbers but this is yet to be fulfilled.
One major feature of the Southern Cross station is the architectural design of the roofing system employed. The station has gone full lengths to ensure that the pattern of the roof is so unique to the extent that it won the Lubetkin prize among other awards. The design of the roof serves both aesthetic functions as well as for air ventilation (Hardie, et al., 2012).The air at the station is filled with toxic diesel fumes and by ensuring that the roof is undulating and trapezoidal in shape, the fumes are expelled through ducts located on the highest points (Butland, 2002). The roofing is so tremendous that it spans over an area of about 60000 square meters and can go as high as 23 meters (Wilson, et al., 2010).
To begin with, the platforms are labeled from east to west and this is because of the orientation of the railway stations. However, the platforms are provided in such a manner that they can be easily accessed from the concourses. These concourses are located between the two aforementioned streets: Bourke and Collins. The two exceptional platforms are platform 1 and 8 south. The former is located on the Northern side of Bourke Street while the latter is located at the southern side of Collins Street. Save for these two platforms, the rest is located in the middle of the two streets but the accessibility is not limited to any direction since they can be accessed from the two concourses.
All that stated, the project was conducted through combined efforts of various contractors, partners, and other agencies. The two main contractors of the redevelopment project are Civic Nexus and Leighton contractors (Cuthill, 2010). The other companies involved in the contractual work included Delaware north Australia and ABN Amro among others. On the other hand, the sound environmental practices of sustainable development (Eskerod & Huemann, 2013) were mainly conducted by build Ecology and Vision design. The brand is a specialist branch of WSP Lincolne Scott and provided the sound and environmental designs of the project. Last but not least is Alfasi Steel construction. The redevelopment consumed a humongous chunk of steel which was provided by the aforementioned.
The redevelopment of the Spenser street station may largely be attributed to the increased number of passenger. However, other factors may have contributed to this $700m project that has helped ensure that the travel options in Victoria are numerous. However, the redevelopment is yet to meet the number of pedestrians expected with a redevelopment plan that will cost the government $300m more still expected. The growth of the station is so remarkable that it is on s straight trajectory and if the development plans are successful, it could become one of the busiest transport hubs in the state, rivaling Melbourne airport (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
The initial development was mainly centered on ensuring that the Spenser station was remarkably transformed and elevated to the status of a world-class transport interchange. The results of such a development were going to be huge for the development of the state.
The other aspect involved was the upgrade of all the available infrastructure. This was done by CPB contractors and also included the platforms, electrical infrastructure as well as the other facilities associated with the station.
The roofing system was to be designed in such a way that it provided a proper ventilation mechanism while it still remained attractive and pleasing to the public. This was done by providing a trapezoidal roof with a wavering facade and a ventilation system at the top (The leadership in Energy and environmental design, 2007).
Finally, the project was focused on the management and coordination of commuters at the station. The program focused on the stakeholders as well as the community (Victoria building authority, 2014). The disruption that would otherwise have been witnessed at this station were mitigated by these programs and were very effective during the phases of construction as well as during the unveiling stage. Stakeholder consultation is an important aspect of development (Aaltonen, 2011)
To begin with, there is the cost constraint. The cost of the redevelopment has to fall within the amount allocated by the Victorian government. The Victorian government initiated an infrastructure development program and the allocation was largely based on the potential profitability of the development. Regardless of this, the amount was to be allocated in a manner that would see most of the infrastructure invested in.Therefore, the $700m allocation was to be used in the most effective manner as possible.
Secondly, the time constraint is a factor that needs to be considered during the procurement process. The redevelopment of the station was mainly driven by the increase in the passenger numbers. The passenger numbers were on the rise and the station was to ease the pressure on the capacity. Therefore, there was a time factor that called for the project completion within the shortest time possible.
The plan area compatibility constraint. In this, the station has led to the development of the surrounding area by ensuring there is a platform for movement to and from Melbourne. During the course of the years, the adjacent areas have developed into industrial hubs with residential development pushed to the eastern part of Melbourne (Building professionals board, 2011). Some of the outdated station facilities include public space, a roof over platforms, subways etc. The train station is a vital link between docklands area and the central business district and therefore should align itself with the current site plans and developments, rather than disrupting it.
The other constraints mainly pertain to environment and sustainability. Train emissions are among the most dominant factors of pollution and the associated global warming effects (de Souza, 2013). The fuel emissions should, therefore, be kept in check by providing sustainable measures in the design and implementation stages of the redevelopment. A sustainable development approach can be observed in the roofing system whereby the temperatures, as well as the emissions, should be kept within the allowed limits.
Design constraints are likely to affect the redevelopment of the station (Artemis Joint Undertaking, 2012). Proper design is required for such a magnificent location as well as a landmark station. The station has provided a mechanism through which people and goods can move to and from Melbourne for a very long time and therefore should have unique design aspect. Furthermore, the platforms, bridges, and interchanges should all be designed in the unique fashion with room for expansion in the future because of the likely surge in passenger numbers.
Another constraint associated with the redevelopment pertains the quality. The redevelopment has to be aesthetically pleasing, environmental sound and structurally stable. Therefore, the materials used for the redevelopment have to be of quality standards. Some of the materials to be used in this case include steel, the roofing systems, concrete, doors and wooden panels etc. However, this should also be considered in the design stages to avoid misunderstanding because the materials and the quality used will be associated with the other design aspects such as environmental sustainability etc.
The Spenser street station employed a contract whereby Civic Nexus was allowed to redevelop the station within some stipulated boundaries and upon completion, they were to operate it for 30 years before finally passing the ownership to the state (Cooper, 2017).Furthermore, the redevelopment also cost Civic Nexus about $66 million which was required for the development of the surrounding docklands (INB FASO, 2016).
The contract ensured that the station would continue to be operational during the construction process which in turn meant that the various stakeholders’ rights’ had to be protected (Dempsey, et al., 2011). The contract indicated that upon the end of 30 year period that Civic Nexus was going to operate the station, there would be a payment of about $1762 million from the state (PP partnership, 2008). The cost implications may be \described to be exorbitant but so was the integration of the plans into the site and the location. In this, the architectural aspects of the building were to consider the Docklands. By integrating the development of the station into the development of the city, the structure will be suitably located at the central position.
The procurement process that was used for the redevelopment of the station was accompanied by a number of issues mainly because of the fact that the project was not completed within the required time among other contractual disputes (Abdulla, et al., 2010). In this, the delay in development was caused by the government’s 15-month delay (Yescombe, 2011) to come to a global settlement with the private parties.
The disputes were mainly settled by the state with some settlement including the payment of money amounting to $8.5.The payment was because of the various claims by developers. The other losses included providing $20 million benefits that were not in cash form to concessionaire (Custoz & Reitz, n.d.), and relieving the concessionaire the responsibility of paying for damages and inability to meet the outlined project milestones.
As can be demonstrated from the above, it is visible that the procurement process used for the eventual redevelopment resulted to cost overruns which would have been prevented by the selection of an alternative yet very efficient process.
The cost of the whole redevelopment process is a major factor when it comes to the procurement process. Different procurement methods have different associated costs and by reviewing all the possible routes and the associated costs, the most appropriate route can be determined (Liu & Wang, 2008). As in the Spenser street station, the allocated cost will determine the methodology and the process that will be used for the eventual completion of the project.
The time required for the project completion is another important determinant of the procurement process. Different procurement processes have a disparity in the time required to complete a certain proportion of work and this plays a major role in the selection process. Therefore, based on the time allocated and the time available, the procurement officers and client can easily select a process that allows the project to be completed within the stipulated deadline.
Other constraints and factors of the project. Projects are founded on unique characteristics such as topography, size, and adjacent lands among others. As with the Spenser street station, the land is adjacent to the Docklands and provides a vital link with the CBD. However, the adjacent area is mainly industrial with residential buildings east of the area. This will determine the design methods employed and therefore the procurement process to be used. Furthermore, the process will also determine how the various design aspects of the redevelopment will interact.
Basing our arguments on the constraints and factors that are explained below, there a number of possible procurement routes that may be used in the redevelopment process. However, these routes have different characteristics and the best route will be based on the integration of all the necessary requirements of the whole redevelopment. Some of these options are presented below
It is the oldest method in the construction industry (Harris & McCaffer, 2013). In this regard, the major feature of the process is the separation of the design process and the actual construction process. By doing so, the method provides a clear understanding of the phases to be used.Some of the characteristics include competitive tendering in contractor selection, early design measures to ensure that the tendering and the construction processes are ahead of time, a very long duration for the eventual completion of the project, room for adjustments, and selection of a consultant by the client for administration purposes.
The traditional method is an effective procurement process but its main disadvantage is a long time required. One of the major factors to consider in the redevelopment of the Spenser street station is time and because the method does not meet this criterion, it is not appropriate.
The method simplifies the design and construction stages by ensuring that all this work is undertaken by the contractor (Project management Institute, 2013). In return, the amount is paid in one lump. However, the contractors are selected based on the design exam set up by a consultant appointed by the client. The design by each contractor is evaluated alongside the tender price and all this is evaluated against the client’s preferences.
Some of the characteristics of the procurement process include two-stage tendering process, concurrent development of the construction and design stages, ability to employ a contract administrator and payment criteria determined by the contractor.
The method is very effective but the main disadvantage falls to the fact that the client is committed to the process very early. The amount of money spent may not meet the needs or may be in surplus. The method may not suit the redevelopment because the funds are disbursed after the design stages.
Is the most dominant form of procurement. The client selects a consultant who details and designs the structure to be developed. Later on, a contractor is selected based on the tendering process. Furthermore, the construction begins before the actual design process is completed enabling the construction to progress smoothly and very fast.
The method is very effective and may be used in the development of Southern Cross. The process considers the costs of development, the independence of the contractor as well as the time required.
The procurement process is similar to the management procurement but the only difference arises from the fact that the specialist contractors fall directly under the client. However, management of the whole process is conducted by the construction manager. The method has the characteristic of employing very skilled labor but tends to be very expensive.
The development of unique products is very efficient when using this process. The skilled labor present ensures that the costs are maintained at an optimal because of the decrease in time used for the whole process. The method is suitable for the Southern Cross because of the specialist design and construction required.
The procurement method is found in the collaborative effort between the public and the private to ensure that the project is completed within the allocated time. However, it is mainly between the government and a private entity and has mainly been used for the development of transport, public health, safety, waste management among others (Kibert, 2016). The main character is associated with the financing aspect of the process. It is this procurement process that was used in the redevelopment of the Spenser street station.
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