A referendum has voted to cancel the building of a new airport project in Mexico City half-way through its construction leading to mass protest in the country.
A new airport to the sum of $13bn, which promised massive economic benefits, was planned to be built in the capital city. The plans were subsequently cancelled by President-elect of the country, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
According to ABC News, thousands of people protested in the streets of Mexico City dismissing the referendum that led to the decisions and denouncing it as unconstitutional.
In the referendum, in which RICS stated ‘less than two percent of eligible Mexicans voted’, seventy percent of the electorate voted against the project’s continuation.
A million voters participated in the referendum, according to the ABC report.
RICS went on to state “the $13 billion airport project has technical, economic, social and political dimensions that needed to be carefully balanced right from the concept stage through to the end-of-life of the asset.
There have been allegations of improper contract award procedures as close to 50 percent of the contracts that were studied showed that direct contracts were awarded without competitive bidding.
“Standards that yield efficient project selection, project delivery, project control, reduction in operating costs, usable benchmarks and enhance asset performance may have helped avoid this impasse,” suggests Anil Sawhney, Infrastructure Director for RICS.
Allegations of cost overruns is common in large infrastructure projects. A key step in managing costs on a project of this scale is the ability to predict and estimate a budget accurately over the early lifecycle phases of the project.
To yield best results, governments should insist International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) are followed to estimate project costs and manage costs over the life of the project.
Following ICMS is the first step in creating a consistent, global, pyramidal hierarchy of construction cost classification that connects high-level global cost benchmarking to granular, local cost measurement.”