Research for AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways. Task 278. Production of the New AASHTO Practical Guide to Estimating

The AASHTO Technical Committee on Cost Estimating (TCCE) has been working on a new publication to help departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies develop or improve their cost-estimating policies and guidance. This new publication is tentatively titled "A Practical Guide to Estimating." Chapters have been drafted by various volunteer chapter authors and a team of supporting committee members who review applicable research and agency practices and work to present information using suitable language and suggestions intended to further the state-of-the-practice in highway project cost estimating. The benefits to be gained from helping agencies to develop and improve cost-estimating policies and practices are substantial. Concerns about the cost of transportation facilities, while always important to the DOTs, become a major focus of attention in economically challenging times. Rapid and substantial increases in materials costs over the last two years have raised the hurdles facing agencies' cost estimating practices. The TCCE envisions "A Practical Guide to Estimating" as a source of guidance to assist agencies in developing or improving their cost estimating policies and practices. This guidance will address estimating costs from project inception through bid letting and be useful to agency staff in planning, design, and construction. The TCCE volunteers have produced a table-of-contents outline and draft content reflecting their vision of the guide. The status of what has been produced is described in detail in the Special Notes of this request and the several document files appended to the notes. As a review of this information will show, the reliance on volunteer participants has proven to be an effective means to structure the proposed guide and produce useful content, but has inherent limitations. Workloads of state DOT personnel have been increasing, limiting the ability of volunteers to devote time to the guide's preparation. Various elements of draft text produced by different authors will inevitably have differences in writing style and language usage that, if maintained in the final guide, would detract from the final document's effectiveness. There is no single authority to ensure that the final document addresses all important topics and is internally consistent in its guidance. The TCCE needs the assistance of a very knowledgeable researcher or team to review the committee's work, to supplement that work as needed to ensure that the final document provides the guidance envisioned by the committee, and to serve as principal author and editor to produce a document that presents its content in a consistent and readable manner to the target audience. The objectives of this research are (a) to produce a final draft version of "A Practical Guide to Estimating" that can be submitted for formal balloting and approval by AASHTO, (b) to ensure that this final draft offers comprehensive, consistent, and timely guidance on effective policies and practices agencies may use in highway project cost estimating, and (c) to assess whether there are substantial topics not covered in the draft that should be addressed to realize the TCCE vision and describe the work needed to address those topics.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-07, Task

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Lemer, Andrew

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Colorado, Boulder

    130 Academy Building, 970 Aurora Avenue
    Boulder, CO  United States  80309
  • Principal Investigators:

    Molenaar, Keith

  • Start Date: 20100114
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20111231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 23399

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464118
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-07, Task
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:36PM