Monte Carlo Or Bust: Post-Excavation And The CTRL

Steve Haynes (Arup)
Andy Crockett (Oxford Wessex Archaeology)

The post-excavation assessment, analysis and publication programme for Section 2 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link remains one of the largest single post-excavation contracts undertaken in UK archaeology; covering remains as complex, significant and varied as the Purfleet and Ebbsfleet Pleistocene deposits, Tank Hill Road Mesolithic flint knapping site, Stratford Box and the Holocene deposits of the Thames valley, Northfleet Villa and the Romano-British temple complex at Springhead, the Northfleet Saxon mill and West Thurrock medieval manor house.

A project of this scale demanded innovation in the design and implementation of its post-excavation management system if a successful outcome was to be achieved. This was particularly relevant as circumstances demanded that the entire project was costed and programmed with little or no preliminary assessment undertaken – and therefore vital that the project manager Rail Link Engineering (on behalf of Union Railways North Ltd) and contractor Oxford Wessex Archaeology entered into the design stage in a spirit of co-operation and most importantly trust.

This paper will be jointly presented by the RLE and OWA Senior Project Managers for CTRL Section 2, and will outline the approaches adopted to allow a viable costed programme to be developed, the preliminary client/ contractor co-ordinated risk assessment and critical path analysis of this programme, and the practical day to day application of this analysis to the ongoing project.

Particular attention will be given to the subjective approach to measuring both task and project progress, and the reporting system designed to calculate both value of work and progress achieved against the baseline programme of works, to the satisfaction of both client and contractor. Measures include milestone, spend profile, critical path, task completion and programme float analysis, all in relation to the baseline programme of works early and late start envelope.

With the post-excavation programme now complete, the paper will conclude with a frank assessment of the benefits and shortcomings of the post-excavation management system, and lessons to be learnt for the future. On time and in budget are not often phrases heard in association with large-scale post-excavation programmes – here’s how CTRL Section 2 substantially achieved it.

Monte Carlo Or Bust: Post-Excavation And The CTRL (PDF file)

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