Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Connecting Across Boundaries

Value depends on the personal perspective of a person, group, or agency's requirements for the performance delivered by a product, process, or project. So, how can project value be reliably measured when highway users, community groups, ministry staff, municipalities, property owners, and others all have different perspectives?

MTO recently introduced project performance measurement techniques into Value Engineering (VE) studies to meet the challenge of measuring project value. Project performance measurement was developed by the California Department of Transportation's Value Analysis Branch to enable VE teams to measure and evaluate the performance of current and proposed designs. Key benefits of project performance measurement include the following:

  • Brings visibility to all project issues with the project stakeholders;
  • Deals with conflicting project criteria;
  • Addresses technical issues using quantitative or qualitative parameters;
  • Builds consensus with the project stakeholders;
  • Improves the probability of delivering a project that serves the community with optimal project value.

At its core, this process brings the project's stakeholders together to quantify what is important in the project by establishing performance criteria to measure the impact and rate the effectiveness of project alternatives.

One of the first ministry VE studies to incorporate project performance measurement was an intense five-day workshop held in February 2002 examining the proposed widening of the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) freeway west of Toronto, together with the Bronte Road interchange and a concrete arch bridge over Bronte Creek. The QEW/Bronte Road VE team, which was structured to represent different functional and technical perspectives, was led by Delcan Corporation and included the Regional Municipality of Halton, the Town of Oakville, and ministry staff from various disciplines. The study was expected to result in modifications to bridge design and project constructability, but the use of project performance measurements led to a surprising outcome.

The proposed design (shown below) consisted of a widened QEW with a new bridge over Bronte Creek and modifications to the Bronte Road interchange.

Proposed Design

Illustration of proposed design

With the integration of project performance measurement into the workshop, the VE team determined that local and mainline traffic operations were key criteria. They generated a number of alternative scenarios to improve traffic operations. Through the use of project performance measurements the team was able to demonstrate that the interchange concept shown below resulted in substantial improvements in performance for about the same cost as the proposed design. The improvement in project performance came primarily from refinements to the westbound ramp terminal intersection. This VE design concept (below) was accepted. Developing a new interchange design concept on a project that was intended to focus on bridge modifications was unexpected. Central Region Engineering Office has now initiated a preliminary design to further detail and refine the VE design concept.

VE Design Concept

Illustration of proposed design

Project Performance Measurement is now incorporated into all MTO VE studies. Integration of Project Performance Measurement with the Value Engineering process enables VE teams to ensure that they have improved the value of projects. Measuring value through clearly defined and quantifiable project performance measurements heightens the prospect of achieving maximum project value in future ministry projects to best serve the people of Ontario.