Evaluation of Transportation Infrastructure: A Case Study of Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 1&2

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Craig Langston
Charles Crowley


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been increased reliance on new infrastructure projects to counter economic fallout and underpin employment security. Urban and inter-urban transportation projects, such as major road, rail and port facilities, are popular choices for national and state governments in Australia as they provide broad fiscal support across all sectors of the economy. The problem with stimulus is making sure that the quality of the new infrastructure provides collective utility to a community or region. Whether the benefits will be worthwhile and represent best use of resource inputs requires financial, social, ethical and environmental consequences to be evaluated in a comparable format. The aim in this paper is to analyse the Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) Stage 1&2 project using a method that is capable of merging tangible and intangible criteria using an ordinal ranking algorithm. While the GCLR case study is undertaken with the benefit of hindsight, normally these types of evaluations are performed in real time as a project progresses from initiation (design) to implementation (deliver) and influence (delight). The method adopted in this study represents a modern form of multi-criteria decision-making, which enables successful projects to be distinguished from unsuccessful ones using a time period from commencement until one full year of operation has occurred. The i3d3 model, developed by a team from Bond University, has the unique benefit of ranking projects from best to worst across an organisational portfolio, geographic region or industry sector. It also supports past project performance to inform new design through application of a continuous improvement process of recording lessons learned. The GCLR case study calculated 100% of the critical success factors in the model to be positive and produced an overall success ranking of 23 (on a scale of -100 to +100). This paper presents the approach taken to evaluate GCLR’s level of success and the calculations that took place to reach this finding. This is the first time i3d3 has been used on an Australian project.

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How to Cite
Langston, C., & Crowley, C. (2021). Evaluation of Transportation Infrastructure: A Case Study of Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 1&2. Construction Economics and Building, 21(4). https://doi.org/10.5130/AJCEB.v21i4.7738
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