I submitted an independent review of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) on July 10, 2019. As of this writing, ALDOT has not acknowledged receipt of my report, containing 19 specific issues with the project's decision document. The SDEIS is the most important document pertaining to the project. The bridge and bayway replacement cannot go forward without it.
The document is fatally flawed.
Since ALDOT has neither publicly nor even privately acknowledged that they are aware of these 19 specific problems with their decision document, I am sharing them with you, one at a time.
Comment 7: The project schedule is vague and likely unrealistic, with no transparency in how the construction period was developed. There is no planning level schedule or construction plan, and there is no discussion of uncertainty or risks associated with the schedule.
This is a very large marine construction project. Projects of this scale and cost are uncommon. They require the obligation and use of large, specialized pieces of capital equipment and very highly specialized labor for management, supervision and actual construction. These capital and labor resources are often in use to full capacity during peak seasons and have their availability schedules known anywhere from 1-3 years in advance.
Schedule uncertainty can lead to expectations of significant delays in completion, causing unknown impacts and imposing unknown costs to owners, builders and operators.
A project that is over budget is usually off schedule and a project behind schedule is usually over budget. Since it was first examined in the 1990’s, this project has already seen its cost estimate more than double and was anticipated to have already been completed and in full operation by 2020. ALDOT has heroically completed many projects on schedule despite unforeseen setbacks, but the scale of this project will sorely test any plan. The SDEIS is incomplete without a detailed schedule discussion.
Without resolution, this issue could halt finalization of the SDEIS.