Management Consulting

John Reilly

Following are examples of consulting assignments related to megaproject management, alternative delivery methods probabilistic risk-based cost validation (WSDOT CEVP Process), risk management, team alignment and partnering over the past 30+ years.

Management, WSDOT Urban Corridors Mega-Projects Program 2001-2013

John Reilly provided high-level assistance to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) from 2001-2013, including replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Seattle’s waterfront and replacement of the SR520 Lake Washington Floating Bridge – world’s longest floating bridge.

Work for WSDOT includes strategic management analysis, organizational planning, team alignment (programmatic and project), setup and management of Expert Review and Peer Review Panels, implementation and improvements to WSDOT’s Cost Estimate Validation Process (CEVP), risk analysis, risk management and risk management plans, as well as the evaluation of new alignments and options for future Sound Transit Transportation Tunnels. He was lead investigator and author of a report to the Washington State Legislature on contracting and delivery methods.

Management & Technical Assistance – SR520 Floating Bridge, Seattle 2006‑2013

John provided management oversight and assistance regarding organization, key policies, team alignment (implementation and continued worksessions) and was chair of the Strategic Technical Advisory Team. He was also chair of an expert panel for tunneling alternatives, and consulted on ongoing cost and risk management for this $4.6 billion floating bridge and approaches for the Washington State Department of Transportation. The program is currently projected to be completed under the Legislatively authorized budget.

Management & Technical Assistance – Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement 2001-2010

John was tasked by WSDOT in 2001 to present to State and City Management an overview of world-class replacement options for the Alaskan Way Viaduct – a 50 year old elevated highway structure which was damaged in an earthquake. Options included development of above ground and underground alternatives considering design, current and available technology, cost, risk and required service levels. Presentations were made to the City, State Transportation Commission and the Leadership Group which included the Mayor of Seattle and the Secretary of Transportation.

Subsequently, he fostered an accelerated process for alternatives development and initiation of the consultant team for program/EIS implementation and management assistance to the Agency.

After the decision on the preferred alternative, in early 2009, John worked on the appropriate organization, helped the client to add underground design and construction management capability, initiates a Strategic Technical Advisory Team and implemented an advanced and enhanced cost-risk-VE- scope management process to shape the project to meet strict budget limits.

Innovative Contracting and Delivery for complex projects

Design-Bid-Build is the traditional procurement method for underground construction in the U.S. and has remained virtually unchanged for 50 years. It is a basic approach, suitable where there is clarity of deliverable and low probability of major risk and changed conditions. Design-build is gaining momentum and there is significant data regarding its advantages and disadvantages. Other promising methods such as General Contractor/Construction Manager (aka GCCM or Contractor at risk), incentive options (A+B bidding) and, more recently, Alliancing (Australia, UK) and Early Contractor Involvement (UK). These have application to US infrastructure projects, depending on circumstances.

John authored a report on contracting and delivery processes, including design-build, GCCM and Alliancing, for the Washington State Department of Transportation in a report to the Washington State Legislature in 2008. He also advised the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority on suitable contracting methods for the extension of the Purple Line in 2012, which adopted design-build as the contracting method. He has presented papers on this topic at the RETC, UCA and ITA conferences from 2007 thru 2011. See John’s website .

Design-Build Contracting, WSDOT Mega-Projects/ Management 2001-2011

Critical to successful delivery on time and within budget are clarity of staff roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, authorities, communications and working relationships between the Program Directors, their key staff and Agency functional managers. Design-build is a relatively new process for some and so the application of this contracting method for multiple mega-projects – at a level of $13 billion in one geographic area (Seattle), in the same time-frame, required a clear understanding of the above elements. Additionally, revenue pressures on WSDOT required significant reductions in overall agency staff with an associated re-alignment of the organization. John worked with the WSDOT Executive and Project Directors to assist with necessary changes related to these Agency policies and procedures.

Probabilistic Cost Estimating & Validation Process CEVP 2002-2013

The WSDOT Cost Estimate Validation Process (CEVP) was developed in 2002 by a team which included John, Mike McBride and Dave Dye of WSDOT. The process, or a simpler version called Cost-Risk Assessment (CRA), is now a standard application for WSDOT Projects and is in use by other Agencies. The process is innovative and significant results have been obtained, leading to better understanding of cost and risk, improved project management and defined risk mitigation for the explicitly identified risk events.

The process, or an equivalent, is now required by the U.S. Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations. The process has been applied by other agencies in the U.S. Canada, Europe and Asia.

These processes are a direct outcome of a critical need to ensure that we carefully and responsibly define, understand and manage cost and risk for complex, urban, infrastructure transportation projects. This need was clearly articulated by Doug MacDonald, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation 2001-2007, in addressing State funding priorities and the urgent need for substantial transportation improvements.

Papers and presentations by John Reilly given from 1998 to the present in the United States and 12 other countries to date have focused on over-budget cost concerns, need to control costs, to understand “cost-drivers” and to make better use of risk mitigation and improved management practices. For details of the process, articles and presentations on CEVP email John or go to WSDOT’s Cost-Risk website at .

Management Assistance, Expert Review Panels

John has provided initiation of, input to, participation in, and management of several Expert Review Panels (ERP) and Strategic/Technical Advisory Teams (STAT). These are formed to advise agencies and program management regarding key issues, strategies and technical opinions for major, complex infrastructure programs. Management, political and technical elements are usually involved and the task results can be sensitive and determinative for these programs.

Examples include:

Independent Review, management decisions, WSDOT Executive 2013

John was tasked by the Governor and Secretary of Transportation, to conduct a review of decisions and actions which led to the concrete cracking and associated construction issues for the SR520 project, pontoon construction contract.  The review traced the timeline, factors, considerations and influences that led to the form of contract (design-bid-build within a design-build framework) plus managerial and technical factors which contributed to the unexpected concrete cracking, with impacts to cost and schedule.

The findings built on a previous internal review in 2011, which addressed organizational factors including alignment of key goals, roles, responsibilities, authorities, accountabilities, communications and working relationships.  As a result of John’s findings, organizational changes have been made and construction management practices are being re-aligned.

Chair, Expert Review Panel, SR520 Pontoon Construction, 2012‑2013

John was asked to form and Chair an expert panel to review the causes for more than unexpected concrete cracking for the Cycle 1 pontoons of the SR520 Floating Bridge Replacement project in Seattle (world’s longest floating bridge).  The panel determined the causes of the prestressed related cracking and recommended changes in design to reduce cracking for this in-water structure where watertightness is essential.  Cracks are sealed with epoxy injection, but need to be stable over 75 years.

Subsequently, the panel recommended improvements to design and construction for subsequent cycles.  Cycle 2 has been floated out successfully with minimal (i.e. expected level of) cracking and further improvements are in-process for Cycles 3-6.

Chair, Strategic & Technical Advisory Team, SR520 Floating Bridge Project, 2011

Working with the Program Director, John was Chair of a high-level strategic and technical expert panel to assist WSDOT delivery of the $4 billion SR520 Floating Bridge. Areas considered included management strategies, organization, policies and procedures, environmental permitting, construction staffing and potential defense strategies for potential claims and cumulative changes.

Initiator & Chair, Strategic & Technical Advisory Team, Alaskan Way TBM Tunnel. 2009 – 2011

John initiated and was co-chair, with the Program Director, of a high-level strategic and technical review expert panel to assist WSDOT management with delivery of the large diameter bored tunnel alternative for the Alaskan Way Replacement project.
The STAT Panel examined alternative tunnel options and advised regarding design & construction management, geotechnical issues, TBM technologies, contracting methodologies, construction contract packaging and interface requirements, cost and risk, CEVP®, risk management and mitigation, value engineering, integrated instrumentation & data reporting and, protection of adjacent structures.

The panel has been transitioned to provide expert assistance and advice for the TBM tunnel drive, considering the TBM, its operation, driving pressures, settlement control and building protection.  John’s role in this phase is advisory for the client.

Chair, SR520 Expert Review Panel, Tunnel alternatives, Montlake Cut, 2008

John initiated and chaired this technical review panel which examined alternative tunnel options for the transition of the SR520 cross-lake Washington program on the Westside at Montlake Cut.  Tunnel types included large-diameter TBM bored tunnel, Sequential Excavation/Frozen ground and Immersed tube.  John initiated the task, wrote the scope, selected the panel members, managed the process, edited the final report and presented the results to the WSDOT Management and key stakeholders.

Alaskan Way Tunnel & SR520 Floating Bridge Projects, Expert Review Panel, 2006:

John worked to initiate the Governor’s Expert Review Panel, working with the WSDOT Deputy Secretary in the selection of panel members, defining scopes and procedures, initiation of work, management and administration of the panel, briefings and information and input to the final report.

Previous Expert Review Panel Applications 1970-Present

Previously, John consulted on, or  participated in, management and technical oversight and assistance work, including the Washington Metro System (Secretary to the Board of Engineering Consultants), Project Management Oversight and Project Management Assistance responsibility (Los Angeles Metro and Light Rail Program) and report to DOE (High-Level Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board).


John Reilly provided management and organizational recommendations and facilitated the teambuilding process for the fully integrated TTC/Consultant team on the $3 billion (CN) Rapid Transit Expansion Program (RTEP). He designed and conducted Focus Groups and Technical Workshops and recommended specific requirements and implementation procedures for value engineering, configuration management, design and construction interfaces, quality assurance and program management. 1993‑1996


John Reilly provided management consulting for the TTC General Manager, Engineering and Construction, to define and implement a new design and construction organizational approach, based on the experience of the fully integrated RTEP program. He planned and conducted workshops for senior TTC Managers and provided a industry review for TTC’s system-wide productivity improvement program. 1994, 1995


John Reilly provided management consulting for the MBTA Deputy General Manager including a review of management alternatives for the agency, focusing on capital planning needs and the organization of the transit Design and Construction directorate. 1993.


John Reilly provided management consulting for the MBTA Assistant General Manger, Design and Construction, to implement a new management approach which balanced project and functional responsibilities for transit design and construction. Services included evaluation of agency staffing levels, including consideration of the appropriate use of MBTA staff and/or outside consultants. John conducted Focus group and Teambuilding work sessions for over 190 staff in order to implement the organizational changes, promote staff understanding and improve internal communications. 1994


John Reilly was responsible for management of the integrated consultant team for Massport’s Cross Harbor and Regional Transportation Project (CHART), which developed long-range alternatives for Logan Airport – including regional transportation access to the airport and the maritime facilities of the Port of Boston, integrated with the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel. Services included long-range airport planning, new terminal configurations, integration of new highway and people-mover systems with planned terminals, new access and support facilities and, airside / landside capacity analyses. Special studies included traffic projections, heavy-occupancy vehicle strategies, centralization of passenger processing, impact on commercial and industrial facilities, agency liaison and community communication program. 1985-1986.


John Reilly was contracted to provide a framework Management Oversight Report to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB), with recommendations, for the multi-billion U.S. High-level nuclear waste disposal program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

Areas reviewed and reported included:

  • Cost containment
  • Achieving mandated schedules
  • Contingency planning
  • Appropriate forms of contracts
  • Establishing public and stakeholder trust and confidence
  • DOE/Contractor roles and responsibilities, in terms of management performance
  • Responsibility for management of Executive and Legislative levels
  • Oversight of Program Management contractor by DOE
  • Clarification of difference between administration, oversight and performance in terms of DOE and contractor responsibilities
  • Value Engineering process requirements and reporting level (top management)
  • Issues with the NWTRB’s oversight role, consistent with the Board’s charter
  • The appropriate role for the Board, consistent with the members’ senior and emeritus standing, consistent with the Board’s Charter

QA Photos



Recommendations for management, organization, marketing, strategic acquisitions and necessary technical capabilities for viable new technologies in tunneling, engineering and underground construction for US infrastructure markets in the 1990’s. Hochtief AG, Essen / Dames and Moore, Los Angeles, 1987-88

Marketing and strategic planning, various clients, related to work with U.S.

Federal and State agencies including – planning for competitive advantage, fees, multipliers, overhead allowances, cost to compete, profit margins, teaming, competition, market share, capture criteria, technical capabilities and staffing. Private clients, 1987‑Present.

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John Reilly

Management Consulting

John Reilly

Lima Airport

Washington State Projects

Washington State Projects

Underground Programs

Underground Programs

Tunnel Boring Machines

Tunnel Boring Machines

Washington Metro

Washington Metro

Philadelphia M4 Transit Vehicles

Philadelphia M4 Transit Vehicles

Bridge Design

Bridge Design

Jamestown Bridge

Jamestown Bridge

BART Transit Vehicle Rehab

BART Transit
Vehicle Rehab

Airport People Movers

Airport People Movers

Los Angeles Metro

Los Angeles Metro

MBTA S.W. Corridor

MBTA S.W. Corridor

Risk reduction, underground systems

Risk reduction, underground systems