Western Yunnan Roads Development Project
sector: Transport | country: China, People’s Republic of
1. Proactively treating geological hazards before cutting and excavating the earthworks proved to be more effective and cost-efficient than reactively handling the issue when excavation had been completed.
2. Plantation and landscaping work for slope protection immediately taken after earth excavation proved to be an effective practice to ensure water conservation and environment protection.
3. The 11 escape ramps built by the project to deal with the over 30 km of continuous decline of the expressway proved to be an effective safety feature.
4. To effectively utilize consulting services, a clear and specific terms of reference for each consultant needs to be prepared with the expected outputs before consultants’ mobilization to the project.
The PCR draws well-founded lessons from the high-quality engineering management of the project: (i) the merits of planting and taking other protective measures for slopes immediately after earth excavation, (ii) the notable safety benefits that can result from escape ramps, and (iii) the cost-efficiency of proactive rather than reactive treatment of the geological hazards associated with excavation (footnote 5, para. 54). More broadly, the PCR recommends that in areas with complex geological conditions an in-depth geological survey should be conducted as part of the feasibility study for a proposed project or that the project’s preliminary design should be started early to ensure the availability of more complete information at project appraisal. Such an approach could improve the quality of decisions and avoid unexpected cost increases.
The borrower’s own PCR places particular emphasis on the high value of the HIV/AIDS prevention initiative and suggests that similar programs should be taken up in connection with other major engineering works, as a joint effort between the responsible engineering organization and a government’s national anti-AIDS committee or campaign, with support from an international agency or NGO. This conclusion is important because it contrasts strongly with the reluctance that Chinese engineering circles had manifested when ADB had first proposed such action in early project discussions in 2002–2003.