Gap Analysis in Cost Estimation, Risk Analysis, and Contingency Computation of Transportation Infrastructure Projects: A Guide to Resource and Policy-Based Strategy Establishment

Sharareh Kermanshachi, Elnaz Safapour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Practitioners and researchers involved in DOT projects frequently face challenges associated with cost overruns that lead to disagreements between stakeholders and decrease the accuracy of construction cost estimates. To address this issue, this research project identified scoping, cost estimation, and risk assessment practices that are implemented nationwide in the early phases of highway and bridge construction projects. A DOT case study was selected for investigating and assessing the current practices, and interviews were conducted with some of the case study DOT districts' employees. The results were compared with the practices identified in research documents and effective practices, and a gap analysis was performed. Recommendations were developed, and pilot studies of three projects from the case study districts were conducted to examine the effectiveness of the recommendations. The recommendations were structured in five main areas: cost estimating, documentation, risk assessment and contingency calculations, executive policies, and general issues. The results revealed that most of the recommendations had a considerable impact on the case study DOT's procedures of scoping, cost estimates, and risk assessments. The findings of this research project will help DOTs mitigate cost overruns by accurately defining the project scope, estimating the costs, and assessing the risks of their projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number06019004
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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