Preparing the Far Site players for success

LBNF is gearing up for excavation at SURF. The partners are in place, and now is the time to establish the procedures and best practices, and build the personal relationships that will ensure smooth sailing to successful completion of the LBNF Far Site Conventional Facilities (FSCF).

The facilitator leads the Tuesday meeting in New York. Photo: Doug Pelletier

Last week the players assembled in New York for a series of three meetings: the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) Kiewitt/Alberici, the design firm Arup, the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA), and the LBNF project.

Monday brought the senior leadership of all the organizations into an executive partnering session with a professional facilitator. This group laid the groundwork that established their commitment to effective collaboration and they identified partnership goals in the areas of safety, quality, schedule and budget. Given the scale of collaboration required, World ClassTM teamwork emerged as a crucial element for overall project success.

After the three days of meetings some LBNF staff visited an ongoing Kiewit tunneling project under the Hudson River in Newburgh, NY. They were able to observe Kiewit’s safety management and site coordination processes, along with its corporate approach to personal protective equipment (PPE), and discuss methods of traditional drill and blasting, including the planned use of a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). The image was taken during an underground tour showing Kiewit launching a 22-foot-diameter TBM approximately 900 feet below ground. Photo: Doug Pelletier

On Tuesday, this group was joined by senior managers and engineers who will be interacting and coordinating with each other regularly over the course of executing the conventional facilities work at the Far Site. Based on the goals established in the executive session, this group delved further into the why and how of achieving them, identifying a range of key components and activities.

The push is on to complete the FSCF final design, and this series of meetings signaled the engagement of the CM/GC in the design and construction process.  The design firm Arup had delivered the 100% preliminary design to LBNF back in August of 2015. Since then, LBNF has updated several requirements, interfaces, and parameters that Arup will need to incorporate into the final design. LBNF took this opportunity, in which all players would be gathered in one place, to hold a “Final Design Kick-off” meeting on Wednesday.

“The idea was to jump-start their learning curve,” said Tracy Lundin, the LBNF FSCF Manager. “We said, ‘It’s been two years since the preliminary design was submitted so you’ll need to go back and do your homework and, by the way, here’s what has changed.’ “

From drafting communication plans to planning stakeholder outreach to defining procurement processes going forward, few participants left any of the three meetings without a homework assignment to complete before the next partnering session, targeted for mid-February, 2018.