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Metropolitan Council Case Study

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Page 1 of 8 800.580.9322 | Metropolitan Council Managing Project Risks through the Establishment of Effective Project Controls Patrick Watz, AECOM's Project Manager "By having those processes structured it has helped us streamline things, and give us visibility into where a process is." ABSTRACT This paper will focus on the Metropolitan Council's (Minneapolis/St. Paul's Metropolitan Planning Organization and Federal Grantee) approach to project controls to manage and mitigate cost and schedule risks in the delivery of the Central Corridor Light Rail (CCLRT) project. The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project is a $956.9MM Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts project. The 11-mile Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the State Capitol complex and the University of Minnesota. The Metropolitan Council was granted entry into Preliminary Engineering (PE) in December 2006, Construction began in 2010 and revenue service will begin in 2014. We will explore challenges, best practices and lessons learned in establishing the Project Controls organizational structure, developing effective management plans and systematic business processes, and leveraging the technology tool kit employed by the Central Corridor Project Office (CCPO). This paper focuses on: § Project Controls organizational structure necessary to support FTA New Starts projects § Strategies and tactical steps the Metropolitan Council employed to manage the largest federally funded public works project in the history of Minnesota § The key components a project management system must provide transit agencies and how thesecomponents mitigate risks of cost overruns and schedule delays INTRODUCTION The FTA requires diligent project management and controls from the grantee to maintain eligibility for FTA New Starts funding. In order to retain funding for CCLRT, the Metropolitan Council needed to meet the FTA's stringent oversight requirements and frequent evaluations – a fact that made establishing effective project controls vital. As such, the CCLRT Project Controls unit was established in the CCPO at the beginning of the PE phase of the project. The organization consists of a seamless integration of agency and consulting staff. The Project Controls unit will be explored to identify organizational structure, key resources, responsibilities CASE STUDY GOVERNMENT

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