Nurturing the Young –

Innovation for Sustainability

Events and Activities

Seminar on Risks in Transportation Project Cost Estimation

Date, time & venue 
2009-10-29;5:30pm - 7:30pm;Room M1603, 16/F, Li Ka Shing Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

This seminar presents a framework for identifying projects that are likely to experience cost overrun during the different stages of project development process. By analyzing cost escalation patterns during the period a project progresses from planning to construction, the risk of cost overrun can be reliably estimated. The information can allow transportation agencies to identify risky projects early and pre-empt potential cost overruns. A case study is presented to demonstrate the applicability of the developed framework.




Jointly organised with


The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers – Civil Division

Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies

Funded by the Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme


Risks in Transportation Project Cost Estimation



Kumares C. Sinha

Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, USA


Abstract :

Reliability of public project construction cost estimates is a worldwide concern. Estimates made at the planning stage go through several revisions as projects pass through various stages before construction, often spanning a period exceeding 10 to 15 years or more.  After the planning stage when a project is scheduled for future implementation,  progressively detailed cost estimates are prepared at the remaining stages of project development, namely, design estimate, engineer’s estimate, and bid estimate. The level of accuracy of such estimates has critical consequences on contract administration and public asset management. Most transportation agencies do not have a methodological framework that can reliably identify projects with cost over-(or under-) run during the transportation development process. 

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