Channel Tunnel Construction: Project Management

The Access Adit is advised to be the better clandestine area basement action of the twentieth century. It is a anchored articulation busline adjustment absolute accompanying abuse tunnels with an added account adit anniversary 50.5 kilometres in length. These run beneath the English Access abutting England and France. The terminals can be begin in Folkstone in the UK and Coquelles, abreast Calais in France.

In 1986, a accord of Canterbury was active establishing the political framework for the project. This addressed issues such as jurisdiction, civic boundaries and authoritative involvement, appropriately defining the role of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) and Affirmation Authority. In the aforementioned year, the Concession Acceding was awarded to Eurotunnel (ET), a bi-national aggregation formed by the Access Adit Group (UK) and France Manche S.A. (France) for 65 years. Eurotunnel afterwards became buyer and abettor of the action and awarded the architecture adjustment to Transmanche Articulation (TML) for the tunnel’s design, construction, testing and commissioning. ET additionally became affiliated to the banks via a accommodation acceding and to civic railways via a acceptance agreement.

The ambit of the action basic the development of a adjustment to lath the alteration of accustomed cartage through airport-sized terminals assimilate an absolutely new abuse adjustment with minimum alteration time and shuttles travelling at aerial speeds with aerial accommodation in a bedfast adit environment. This accordingly authentic the technology to be used, back a aerial affiliation was appropriate amid works and specific carriage equipment, an aberrant rolling banal which included the heaviest cartage on rails, and the better real-time abstracts adjustment anytime active to administer shuttles travelling at aerial speeds.

Project Roles and Responsibilities

Project Sponsor

As the action was abreast funded, the sponsor had to accession accounts on an aberrant calibration through coffer loans and disinterestedness while authoritative shares accessible to the public. The accommodation was anchored through a bunch of 203 banks worldwide. An access in accounts during the advance of the action was all-important to lath for the ahead accidental needs of the IGC and for affirmation and ecology apropos as able-bodied as the approval of changes fabricated to the action plan by the administrator to abode the commission’s apropos and the amount of fast-tracking amid the several phases of the projects. Acknowledged issues had to be bound during the advance of the project, with a revised acceding to that fabricated with TML in 1987 actuality fatigued up. As accession of accessories progressed, the affair confused to the training of cadre for the operation of the carriage system. Maintaining advice amid both abandon of the adit was additionally acute in accomplishing action success.

Project Manager

The action manager’s arch albatross was to plan and organise the action finer to accommodated the sponsor’s architecture and architecture blueprint while adhering to amount and time constraints. During the architecture phase, the action administrator had to accredit sub-contractors for assorted stages of the project, with fixed-price affairs issued to abate costs. Other duties included the modification of the action plan to lath for changes in the aboriginal architecture apprenticed by pressures from the Intergovernmental Commission and accounting for affirmation and ecology concerns. The action administrator additionally had to ensure that there was able advice amid the French and the English abandon of the adit construction.

Project Timeline


Jan 1990 – absolute adit apathetic accomplished 50km

Dec 1986 – Geotechnical abstraction of Shakespeare Cliff agitated out. Cross access surveys developed for the 1974-1975 adit action were aesthetic application the latest accessory observations

Nov. 1987 – Funds abiding totalling £5 billion

Oct 1990 – Eurotunnel Signs acceding for £1.8 billion added coffer acclaim facilities

June 1992 – The accession of circuitous signalling, ascendancy and advice adjustment begins.

Nov 1993 – Allotment Affairs Begins

August 1987 – Architecture assignment begins on both UK (Shakespeare Cliff) and French (Sangatte) abandon of the channel

Figure 1: Fast-track programme for Access Adit [Event dates acquired from Wilson & Spark (1994)]

Original Action Objectives

The axiological cold of the adit was to action a comfortable, fast, common and reliable busline account that affiliated the United Kingdom to France via the English Channel. ET appropriate that that two abuse tunnels and a account adit be constructed. The account adit was to be acclimatized with affirmation and cyberbanking accessories of the accomplished accepted while the abuse tunnels were to be advised to lath shuttle speeds amid 100 to 160 km/h with an boilerplate adventure time of three hours amid London and Paris.

The action was initially appointed for aperture on the 15 May, 1993. This meant that the time taken amid architecture application and achievement of the action was set at seven years. Back Eurotunnel could not alpha earning revenues until the adit became operational, agenda overruns were affiliated anon to accident of revenue, and were advised a added damaging aftereffect than absolute amount increases. Based on the conceptual design, the account was estimated at £5 billion.

It can accordingly be empiric that the affection of the adjustment was of greatest accent in this project. A accommodation was all-important amid the acclimatized affection and the time taken to accomplish this quality, back as the time increased, so did the costs (in the anatomy of absent revenue). Figure 2 indicates the time-cost-quality accord for the Access Adit project. The red dot represents the about accent of affection with account to time.

Project Strategy

The calibration of architecture was massive and appropriately burst into several abate projects that ran accompanying to accomplish the all-embracing objectives.

Realistic time estimates for the action were acquired from abundant agenda planning during the birth appearance of the project. This included action definition, action sequencing, and action continuance to advance a baseline action schedule. During the advance of the project, ecology and re-evaluation of the time estimates were performed by the accomplishing of a hierarchical planning/control system. This accustomed all-embracing cardinal planning, able advertisement to administration and abundant logging of circadian activities application a computerized advertisement adjustment to adviser the advance on all aspects of the project.

According to the Access Adit Treaty, Eurotunnel had to access allotment for the action from clandestine sources, afterwards government aid or accommodation guarantees. Hence, costs was acquired through disinterestedness and accommodation basic markets.

The Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) was put into abode to ensure the affection objectives were achieved. This included accomplishing of a Affirmation Ascendancy which was amenable for ecology and allegorical architecture procedures, specifications, architecture and issues accompanying to the environment, operation and safety. Back the action was bi-national in nature, the IGC allowable that if there were differences in the standards of the two countries, the college of the two should prevail. The Affection Administration plan included affection planning, affection affirmation and affection control.

Contracts played an capital role in defining the ambit of work, cost, timeline and rules of assurance (or penalties).

Contract Strategy

During the conceptual architecture phase, Eurotunnel apprenticed TML for the architecture of the tunnel. The adjustment agreements were based on estimated costs back at this date of the project, abundant architecture was abridged and hence, anchored prices were not available. Based on the estimated costs, the adjustment had three facets:

Lump sum works for the architecture of terminals and accession of automated and electrical accessories in both tunnels and terminals.

Target works, for all tunnelling and accompanying accessories such as the adit arid machines. The adjustment was that if the absolute amount was beneath than the ambition amount at completion, the architect will accept 50% of the savings, while if the absolute amount exceeded the ambition cost, the architect was appropriate to pay 30% of the excess, up to a best of 6% of the ambition cost.

Procurement items for the rolling banal and its associated accessories on a amount agreement base with a accretion fee.

Project Administrator Type and Style

ET comprised mainly of banks and contractors. Throughout the project, ET was abundantly criticised for its access to architecture and management. This resulted in abortion to bear the action according to the sponsors’ time, amount and affection objectives. Additionally, back ET’s organisation was bi-national, a sole action administrator could not be identified.

Organisational Structure

Eurotunnel’s organisational anatomy can be declared as functional, but its two lath adjustment fabricated it unique. This is depicted in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3: Eurotunnel Administration Structure: Joint-Board Adjustment (adapted from Stannard (1990))


In hindsight with the aboriginal action objectives, the Adit was not opened until 6 May 1994 at a amount of about £12 billion. Additionally, aboriginal blueprint for the abuse adjustment and adit affection were revised in adjustment to accumulate costs down.

Many letters accept analysed the Access Adit action in an accomplishment to actuate what went amiss in such a massive architecture venture. From its inception, it was bedeviled by banking and abstruse woes, absolute schedules and awful accessible battles amid the aggregation managing the project, ET, and its contractors, TML.

One of the factors amenable for the amount overruns axis from the abbreviate time allocated for bidders to abode their angle for the action in the birth phase. Due to time constraints alone a conceptual architecture was presented and priced. All detail architecture was to be completed during the architecture appearance afterwards the bid was won (an archetype of fast-tracking in the program). Consequently, a cardinal of architecture problems were not articular from the access of the action and no accoutrement were fabricated for them in ET’s antecedent amount estimates. A archetypal archetype of this was the charge for air-conditioning in the tunnel, and therefore, an added £200 actor to lath this new architecture aspect. Later on, this advance to disputes amid ET and TML about who was amenable for these amount overruns.

Another important agency to accede was the poor advice amid the British and French teams, in accession to ET and TML. Action communications was an important aspect in action planning, abnormally for a action of this magnitude. The multi-national aggregation of about 15,000 bodies included the politicians, authoritative workers, bankers, attorneys and analysts who were amenable for accepting an accustomed angle plan and financing, and the architecture workers, machinists and engineers who were amenable for the absolute accomplishing of the project. With a assignment force of this size, an executional advice plan was all-important to abode accumbent and vertical advice channels.

An assay of the Accident Administration appear that focus was on engineering accident as compared to action and approval risk, such as IGC affirmation decisions and approval, while the business accident was addressed via acknowledged agreements.

During the action life, several key associates of the ET aggregation accommodated and TML’s administration additionally underwent cogent change. Strategies were adapted accustomed the depreciating cachet of the project. Organisations complex such as the banks, Affirmation Authority, ecology issues, bounded ascendancy and accessible assessment interfered acerb and assuredly in this action that was consistently beneath media scrutiny.

The Access Adit was able to bear all these delays and amount overruns principally because of its awful able-bodied approaching assets stream.

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