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Conduct a feasibility study on a project concept. The feasibility study must analyse the Client Organisation’s vision, mission, strategic direction, corporate or business plan and determine if the project should proceed based on the project’s benefits alignment with their vision, mission, strategic direction, corporate or business plan. As organisations and projects are unique there are no pre-determined feasibility criteria has been provided. This will be defined by you based on information you glean from the organisation, though should at least have three criterion and risk should be seriously considered as one of these. The feasibility study report must provide recommendations on the project future,
based on:
• Information that supports the progress of the project;
• Information that supports the discontinuance of the project; or
• Information that supports the progress of the project based on an alternate approach.

The objective of this assignment is to assess the feasibility of a project, which would be undertaken during the initiating phase of the project lifecycle. The feasibility must be based on how the intended benefits, gained from undertaking the project, will assist the organisation achieve their strategic objectives. Project benefits, drivers and other criteria of success will generally be outlined by the Client Organisation and noted in the business case or project brief, you may not have access to this information. 

No Action

The objectives of the bridge construction project initiated by Auckland transportation project include:

  • Development of a single system of transportation that can solve current problems of traffic and also accommodate future growth of the region by
  • Improving the access to rail and road systems
  • Facilitating use of public transportation in citizens
  • Providing support for social benefits for the public such as provisions of walking and cycling.
  • Integrating transportation systems with the land use plans to:
  • Enable shifting of land-use directives
  • Align the transportation services with road infrastructure for public transportation
  • Improve infrastructure for freight movement such that business travel  is enhanced in the region
  • Optimise the investments on the transportation by providing multiple modes of transportation by:
  • Allowing scope for future growth of traffic
  • Providing maintenance, safety systems, and traffic optimization solutions
  • Using smart solutions that increase capacity of existing systems to accommodate the travel plans of residents
  • Identify new funding mechanisms for:
  • Enabling critical infrastructure that links main rail line with harbor crossing
  • Providing coverage for the project shortfalls
  • Supporting the council with additional funds (Mayor of London, 2015)

Critical success factors include

  • Ability of the project to reduce congestion
  • Ability of the project to facilitate growth around and accommodate increasing need for transportation
  • Optimization of the benefits
  • Achievability of project objectives
  • Capability of the supply side  (McGill, 2015)The options considered for the project included:

No Action

If no action is taken then the objectives of the Auckland Transportations would not be met and the transportation network would not be able to provide the accommodation for the future growth of traffic. This would lead to a port performance of the network and increase the congestion on the roads. With these problems increased, the quality of life of the nearby residents would reduce.

The existing transportation infrastructure already has constraints that are not sufficient to accommodate any growth in the traffic. Another problem is that in the case of any natural calamity striking the region; the Whangaparaoa community would become completely isolated making it difficult for the network to serve the transportation needs of the residents. The traffic is already on rising on the Hibiscus coastal highway and there is an inefficient utilization of land use.

Increasing Ferries and Bus Services

If the number of bus services and ferries is increased, it would help accommodate the public traffic and many private vehicle travelers would be diverted to use these public transport vehicles. However, the number of commuters who travel by bus is only 4% and those traveling by ferries are evens less in numbers. Most passengers use private vehicles to travel. Although, the move would divert some traffic to public transport modes the same would not be significant enough to make any major transformation in the performance of the public transportation system.

The ferry services are provided by the Central Business District of Auckland and the Gulf harbor and these services include only 6 sails on weekdays. Thus, the numbers of people who depend on this transportation mode are less in numbers. Thus, increase in ferry would not be a very effective measure for solving traffic problems.

Widening of Whangarapaoa Road

Widening of the road would need an increase in all the four lanes that are spread across the coastal highway of Hibiscus. This would lead to a modal shift in people using other modes to coastal road route. However, this option also has some adverse impacts on the society as well as the environment. While the construction is going on, the region would face major road blocks and the traffic would temporarily increase causing disturbance to the travelers. It would resolve the traffic conflict after construction but only to a certain extent as when the traffic would grow, the scalability of the roads would not be too high. Moreover, this option would also incur extra costs of up to $26 million over the cost of construction of the bridge.

Improvement of the Coastal Highway

Improvement of the highway would reduce congestion to some extent on the Whangarapaoa road which is currently caused due to grade separations at the intersections. However, this alternative would require additional structures to be made because of the typographical constraints of the road if the land use has to be improved which can be a significant cost to the company. Despite these investments, the reduction in congestion would only be marginal. Moreover, to make up for the capacity constraints, the road would have to be widened which would be an additional cost on the project.

Increasing Ferries and Bus Services

Penlink Bridge construction

A construction of the bridge over Stillwater and Weiti River between Redvale and Whangaparaoa Road would add additional roads for transportation thereby dividing the traffic between the existing and the road on the bridge. This would reduce the traffic on the old road thereby reducing congestion. With additional transportation mode through the Penlink Bridge, the provisions would also be made for accommodating traffic resulting from future developments. This would improve the efficiency and reliability of the overall transportation network.

The most appropriate option for the project would be a construction of the Penlink Bridge as it would improve the current traffic condition as well as make way for accommodation for future developments. Thus, it is the recommended option. This option would help most in achieving objectives of the Auckland Transport system because of the following reasons:

  • The traffic generated from Silverdale would be diverted which would provide support for the business growth happening in the nearby land.
  • The access to Weiti station would be improved which would make the transportation system more efficient
  • The bridge construction would improve the connectivity between residential and business areas near Whangaparaoa Road and thus, traffic congestion would reduce which would provide long-term benefits to the travelers.
  • With increased capacity for transportation, additional opportunities would be created more additional transportation modes such as cycling or walking lanes which would be useful for the facilitation of growth
  • The additional transportation modes would increase the capacities of the transportation system
  • With reduced congestion and bridge construction, the transportation system would become more efficient and reliable(ACTE, 2012).

For the business benefit from the project, a toll strategy can be recommended which would bring most benefits to the stakeholders through the following features:

  • Weiti bridge would be the single point from where the toll would be collected from all the travellers.
  • Initially, the tariff would be less and fixed but would have the flexibility for increase in the future with implementation of the advanced technological systems
  • For toll collection, a free-flow national electronic tolling system would be used
  • If the inflation rate increases then the toll charges would also be increased
  • There would not be any cap on the toll collection amount
  • The tolls for heavy vehicles would be different from the toll rates for light vehicles(Andrle, 1999)

The project scope includes following activities:

  • Construction of the bridge over the Weiti river
  • Connect Weiti station with the Weiti forest park through the bridge
  • Develop four lanes on the bridge to accommodate different traffic flows coming from Silverdale
  • Add lanes for social use for cyclers and walkers running between Whangaparaoa and North Shore

The Penlink bridge construction project has some constraints like:

  • The project has to be completed within the budget of $40,000,000.
  • In case of emergencies, the maximum contingency fund available is $80,000,000.
  • The project needs to be completed within 3 years of commencement

The project also has some dependencies such as:

  • Auckland transport and Transport council must provide support for the project
  • Public-Private Partnership based funding must be used as a primary source of funding( BASE Energy Inc., 2007)

The project scope defines some activities that have to be completed as per the scheduled timeline. The progress of the project would be monitored to check if it is going as per the scope of the project and in case there are deviations, corrective actions would be taken immediately to ensure all the activities defined in the project scope are completed as per the project plan.

Project deliverables include

  • Modified design for the transportation network
  • Construction of pen link bridge (Hensher, 2000)
  • Four-lane development
  • Establishment of toll system

Key performance indicators include

  • Reduction in congestion
  • Cost to benefit ratio of project
  • Value for money
  • Improved access
  • Improved connectivity
  • Travel time reduction(CH2M HILL and Good Company, 2009)

The bridge construction project would be headed by CEO who would have a team of group managers. Group managers would head the project manager who would be responsible for ensuring that all the project deliverables are met within the scope and as per the time schedule defined in the project plan. Five core activities would be monitored by the project manager including planning, designing, cost, stakeholder communication, and risk management. For executing the project tasks, the project manager would hire project team members including leaders and junior managers.

For establishing the governance structure on the project, 5 Project Directors would be employed who would be taking all the major decisions on the project. Auckland transport unit would be responsible for appointing them. Auckland Council will appoint additional two directors.

Project managers would have divisional managers and department managers under him. If there are any issues on the project then they would e escalated by the divisional manager to the transportation board. The business case documentation, its review, and authorization would be done by department managers (CHAKOUR & MAZZOTTI, 2015).

The project sponsor has following responsibilities:

  • Provide direction and leadership to the project team
  • Approve major deliverables as the project progresses
  • Ensure that project is integrated with a long-term plan
  • Ensure successful delivery of the project within budget
  • Ensure technical and financial compliance of the project (US Department of Transportation, 2015)

The project costs and expenses would be reported monthly with the comparison of actual costs of the project against the budgeted figures. If the deviation in costs is more than $500,000 then it would need authorization from the Project Sponsor to proceed with the project. The sponsor would review the project monthly and approve a release of funds as per the project requirement.

Widening of Whangarapaoa Road

When the project would be in the closing phase, a lessons report would be prepared by the project manager based on the updates from the project team members. The project team members would do the reporting every week while the project manager would report the progress to the project sponsor every month. The project progress would be reported to key stakeholders on the quarterly basis including details of achievements of the milestones (Caltrans, 2007).

A traditional Public Private Partnership model would be used for procurement on the project. The procurement would include purchase and procurement of construction materials, equipment, structures, contractual work and intellectual property. The PPP option has been chosen for the management of procurement of the project as it would provide the project value for money.

Various modes of communication would be used with project stakeholders including personal meetings, emails, focus group discussions, letters, interviews, and surveys. Key stakeholders of a Penlink project include:

  • Nearby residents
  • Taxpayer association
  • Contract workers
  • local district council
  • Auckland transportation(Cisco, 2014).

The bridge construction would be completed in 3 years. Before beginning the process of construction, the site has to be made ready by following steps:  

  • Design the public transportation system
  • Investigation statutory requirements of the construction site
  • Property acquisition(DOTD, 2008)

The project would get funds from multiple sources including:

  • NZTA
  • Auckland Council through PPP
  • Land Transport Funding
  • New funding mechanisms giving $15 billion funds

For operating the bridge profitably, the project would involve collection at the toll points using specific fee structures (Land Transport Authority, 2012)

This project would face certain risk such as:

  • If the congestion on the road is high then it can hinder the process of construction. Thus, prefabricated construction can be used to reduce fabrication time such that normal traffic is not affected
  • If the traffic between Silverdale and coastal highway increase then it would affect the construction project. To avoid this from happening, a construction time can be chosen when the traffic is at its least
  • If the supplier gives below par quality material for construction then the bridge constructed would be less reliable. The quality of the supplied material should be checked before acceptance and the quality specifications must be included in contractual terms
  • Environmental damages can be caused in the case of calamities. The project activities have to be halted only to resume after cleaning is done as these calamities and resulting damages cannot be avoided.
  • If the cost of the project exceeds beyond the assigned budget, it would get the project into losses. The project manager must keep monitoring the project expenses to ensure they do not exceed beyond desired limits(Deloitte Risk Journal Editor. , 2015)

For the management of the quality of management processes and deliverables, following steps would be taken

  • Quality if the project deliverables would be monitored
  • The quality assurance processes would be formulated and used
  • Level of Service would be used as the quality measures for operational conditions(Li & Hensher, 2013)
  • Air quality assessments would be taken regularly while the project is going on to ensure health benefits for the travelers(Federal Highway Administration, 2015)

The project would be considered as completed when it has all the deliverables met with desired quality standards of construction. The outcomes of the project have to be approved by the project sponsor and the payments need to be given to contractors and their workers before marking the project as complete  (LaHood, 2010).

After the construction of the bridge is completed, the returns received in the first year would be 7.5%. In addition to this, there would be long-term monetary benefits that would result from the operation of the bridge and these include:

  • Reduced travel time of people would save $500.3 million
  • Better reliability of transportation network would save $25 million(WSDOT, 2015)
  • The operational cost of public transport vehicles would be reduced by $94.4 million
  • There would be reductions in accidents that would save $21.9 million
  • Walking and cycling facilities would give $1.6 million of benefits to transport organization
  • The carbon emission would also be reduced giving environmental benefits $3.8 million(Litman, 2016)

The total financial benefits of the project would add up to $760 million.

References 

BASE Energy Inc., (2007). ENERGY EFFICIENCY ASSESSMENTof Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Train Cars. PC&E.

ACTE . (2012). Mobile Payment - How It Will Transform Corporate Travel and Expense Management. AirPlus International.

Andrle, S. J. (1999). Highlights of the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual. Federal Transit Administration.

Auckland Council. (2013). Business Case for Implementation. Auckland Transport.

Caltrans. (2007). Project Communication Handbook. Caltrans.

CH2M HILL and Good Company. (2009). Transportation and Sustainability Best Practices Background . Gallaudet University Kellogg Center .

CHAKOUR, P., & MAZZOTTI, P. (2015). Construction Management Transformed by the Critical Chain Method. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://www.tocico.org/mpage/Chakour9_7IND

Cisco. (2014). Dubai Harnesses IoE to Make Roads Safer and to Increase Usage of Public Transportation . Cisco.

Deloitte Risk Journal Editor. . (2015). Dubai’s RTA: Applying State-of-the-Art Risk Management to a Transport Infrastructure. Retrieved July 25, 2015, from https://deloitte.wsj.com/riskandcompliance/2015/07/13/dubais-rta-applying-state-of-the-art-risk-management-to-a-transport-infrastructure/

DOTD. (2008). LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT . DOTD.

Federal Highway Administration. (2015). Tunnel Operations, Maintenance, Inspection, and Evaluation (TOMIE) Manual. US Department of Transportation.

Hensher, D. A. (2000). Urban Public Transport Challenges. The Drawng Board: An Australian Review of Public Affiars, 1(2), 47-62.

LaHood, R. (2010). Transportation's Role in Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. U.S. Department of Transportation.

Land Transport Authority. (2012). Code of Practice: Street Work Proposals relating to Development Works. Land Transport Authority.

Li, Z., & Hensher, D. A. (2013). Crowding in Public Transport: A Review of Objective and Subjective Measures. Journal of Public Transportation, 16(2), 107-134.

Litman, T. (2016). Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs. Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Mayor of London. (2015). London Infrastructure Plan 2050: Transport Supporting Paper. London Government.

McGill, J. (2015). TRANSPORT TRANSFORMATION London Calling: The Great Crossrail Project. FTI COnsulting.

Pieplow, B. (2012). Project Risk Management Handbook: A Scalable Approach . Caltrans.

US Department of Transportation. (2015). THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT FULLY ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH CONTRACT CLOSEOUT REQUIREMENTS. Department of Transportation.

WSDOT. (2015). Cost Estimating Manual for Projects. Washington State Department of Transportation.

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