Development of a right-of-way cost estimation and cost estimate management process framework for highway projects
MetadataShow full item record
Escalation of right-of-way (ROW) costs have been shown to be a prime contributor to project cost escalation in the highway industry. Two problems contribute to ROW cost escalation: 1) the ROW cost estimation and cost estimate management process generally lacks structure and definition as compared to other areas of cost estimation; and 2) there is a lack of integration and communication between those responsible for ROW cost estimating and those responsible for general project cost estimating. The research for this thesis was preceded by a literature review to establish the basis for the study. Data collection was completed through interviews of seven state highway agencies (SHAs) and two local public agencies (LPAs). The findings of the research are presented in a set of ROW flowcharts which document the steps, inputs, and outputs of the ROW cost estimation and cost estimate management process. Three ROW cost estimates and a cost management process take place throughout project development. An effort was made from the onset of the research to relate the ROW cost estimating and cost estimate management process to the first four project development phases (planning, programming. preliminary design, and final design). There are five flowcharts produced as a result of this research: 1) an agency-level flowchart showing all cost estimates and the interaction of ROW with the project development process; 2) a conceptual ROW cost estimating flowchart which depicts the required steps during planning; 3) a baseline ROW cost estimating flowchart which depicts the required steps during programming; 4) an update ROW cost estimating flowchart which depicts the required steps during preliminary design to include a cost estimate management loop; and 5) a ROW cost management flowchart which depicts the required steps during final design. Although selected SHA contacts provided input following the development of the flowcharts, the flowcharts were only validated to a limited extent due to time and budget constraints. These flowcharts attempt to address the two contributing problems to ROW cost escalation by providing structure to the ROW cost estimation process and by developing the ROW process flowcharts linked to the project development process. Based on the input provided by SHA contacts, the flowcharts appear to have the potential to provide guidance to SHAs in improving the accuracy of ROW cost estimates through addressing these two problems.
Lucas, Matthew Allen (2007). Development of a right-of-way cost estimation and cost estimate management process framework for highway projects. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from