Project Management Issues Plaguing Alafaya Trail Construction?


    By Brian Yogodzinski


    Project Management can result in the success or failure of any project.  Typically individuals think of project management being applicable to the implementation phase of a project but it also applies to the design phase of a project.  This article illustrates a project management issue in the design phase of the South Alafaya Trail widening project.



    An important factor in project management is risk analysis.  After a risk is identified it is classified by its impact and possibility of occurrence.  The result provides a ranking for all risks.  That information is then used to develop a risk management plan.  Based on the ranking of the risk, the plan may suggest the risk be avoided, mitigated, or ignored.  Avoiding the risk would involve adding measures to eliminate the possibility of the risk from occurring and may result in changing the design.  Mitigating the risk would involve implementing measures to reduce the impact of the risk.  Ignoring the risk is as it notes, taking no action on the risk.  Taking no action may be the appropriate approach if the risk analysis indicates to do such but this is generally only done when the possibility of a risk occurring is low and the impact is low. The action required depends on proper risk analysis. 



    A risk that turned in to an issue near the start of the project concerned southbound traffic near the intersection of Mark Twain Blvd.  The project’s design required two changes at once: the change of the through traffic lane from the right hand lane to the left hand lane, and the elimination of the left hand turn lane on to Mark Twain Blvd.  These changes resulted in a traffic jam with southbound traffic backing up beyond Curry Ford Road.



    Drivers do get in to routines.  Drivers knew that to continue southbound they should keep in the right lane.  The revised traffic pattern, without notice, changed the through traffic to the left lane.  Confusion resulted.   Secondly, an oversight occurred in the underestimation of northbound traffic.  With no lane for southbound traffic turning on to Mark Twain Boulevard to wait for openings in the northbound traffic, southbound traffic came to a standstill.  Both issues occurring at the same time increased the impact as compared to each issue occurring independently.  Chaos came to the forefront.  Traffic slowed and at many times of the day came to a standstill.  Cars backed up past Curry Ford Road. 



    A left hand turn lane was restored for turning on to Mark Twain Blvd but not until the public highlighted the issue.  Given that the risk did turn in to an issue, the risk analysis most likely did not identify the risk, classified the risk as a having a low possibility of occurring, or underestimated the impact of the risk.  Proper risk planning for all stages of the project is critical to a project’s success.



    Brian Yogodzinski is a Mechanical Engineer from North Carolina State University with 25 years of experience, primarily in the power generation business.  During that time he became a specialist in the area of Transportation Engineering for the movement of over-dimensional and over-weight components such as power plant generators, combustion turbines, and steam turbines, with typical components ranging from 110,000 pounds to 1,000,000 pounds. He has extensive experience working with state and local authorities to ensure regulation compliances and safe transit of these commodities in the public domain. He currently works for a firm that builds equipment for and constructs power plants.