SINCLAIR Knight Merz acted as principal design consultant for the civil engineering, structure, track and building elements of Dublin’s €675m Luas light rail project, the first line of which was officially opened on June 30.

Staff from Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Ireland worked on the scheme, and according to Assistant Project Manager Angus Mitchell ’working with project participants in different time zones and cultural backgrounds made life interesting.’

At the height of the construction work, 22 SKM staff were based in Dublin, with 10 in Manchester and over 130 in Melbourne, working shifts or abnormal hours because of the time difference. Mitchell described the project as particularly challenging, given that it was ’the first project delivered by the Railway Procurement Agency under a design and build basis. Despite our experience in handling similar contracts in Australia, there was a significant learning curve to overcome on both sides.’