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(INT-3655) How Expert Opinions Help Restoring Project Management Systems on Public Infrastructure Projects

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Level: Basic
TCM Section(s):
6.4. Forensic Performance Assessment
Venue: 2021 AACE International Conference & Expo

Abstract: A mass transit railway project in Hong Kong ran into a scandal being accused by a whistleblower that the underground structure was unsafe due to defective work.The underground structure comprises diaphragm walls constructed along the track alignment, and 10-ft thick concrete slabs constructed on top of the diaphragm walls as props and to form the railway tracks.Extensive rebar couplers were designed to connect the diaphragm walls and slabs.The whistleblower attested that the coupler connections were not properly installed, and some connections were even not connected.It was a serious accusation and led to substantial public safety concerns.The Hong Kong government, being the project owner, commissioned a public inquiry chaired by a retired judge to investigate the accusation, evaluate the structural safety and project management process, and come up recommendations.The authors of this article were engaged to give expert evidence in relating to project and construction issues and offer recommendations to prevent further occurrence of similar incident.This paper will discuss topics being evaluated including design management, submission approval process, field design change process, record keeping, NCR procedures and quality supervisions as well as expert's role in public inquiry which is a formal fact-finding legal proceeding under common law.