S Beckett Bridge

Topics: Project management, Risk management, Management Pages: 46 (11495 words) Published: October 5, 2012
Project Audit:
The Construction of the Samuel Beckett Bridge



1. Introduction5

2. Audit Approach and Implementation6

3. Analysis of current Best Practice8

4. Audit Findings18

5. Project Learning’s24

6. Conclusions/Recommendations25

7. References & Bibliography
8. Appendices


The successful opening of the Samuel Beckett Bridge in December 2009 was the culmination of ten years work, involving a complex construction with a project team dispersed across multiple locations throughout Europe.

The concept to build the bridge originated from an Environment Impact Assessment report commissioned in 2000. It identified an opportunity to improve Dublin’s inner city road network, north and south of O’Connell Street. It was also designed to help the regeneration of the north and south Docklands area. The wish of the project sponsors was to create a landmark structure, modern and unmistakably unique to Dublin.

The bridge was named in 2006 to mark the centenary of Beckett’s birth and is positioned between the East Link and Sean O’Casey bridges in Dublin. It is 120 metres long and 48 metres high. A design-bid-build process was employed to oversee this project. World renowned architect Dr Santiago Calatrava designed the bridge and a joint venture between Graham Construction and Hollandia fabricated the structure.

Construction of the bridge began in Rotterdam in May 2007 and was transported to Dublin two years later. The superstructure weighing 2,500 tonnes took seven days to complete its journey from Rotterdam to Dublin. To facilitate the right of way that Maritime Law stipulates for river traffic, the bridge is capable of rotating through an angle of 90 degrees between opening and closing positions.

This report undertakes a review of the construction of the bridge in accordance with project management techniques. We first set about describing our Audit Approach, how it was designed and the methods used to implement same. We developed a questionnaire which was distributed to key stakeholders on the project. The team then undertook a review of existing project management frameworks and best practice. One of the many interesting points that came out of this project was the application of “value engineering” methods; and is developed within our best practice review.

Our Audit Findings section gives a detailed description of the challenges and issues that the project faced. Given the complexity of the design and the geographical issues that existed on this project, the management of project risk and effective communication were essential.

Our next section documents what lessons were learned by the project sponsor through the participation of the project and how they should be applied for future projects.

Our final section will identify all of the project’s opportunities that can be realised through this report’s recommendations and conclusions.


According to Michael Stanleigh, undertaking an audit of a project “provides an opportunity to uncover the issues, concerns and challenges encountered in the execution of a project”. This was the main objective that we set out to achieve as part of our audit of the Samuel Beckett project.

Our audit consisted of 5 specific phases:
1. Definition of our success criteria for this audit
2. Development of a questionnaire
3. Conducting in-depth research
4. Report on findings
5. Audit conclusions

Definition of success criteria for this audit
Three key questions had to be answered in order for the team to sign off on this audit. We had to establish whether 1. The SB project was fully briefed with clear objectives and...
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