Cost Estimating Practices for Highway Projects

Cost estimating for highway projects assess the anticipated costs required to complete a project according to the construction plans and specifications. To assemble a complete estimate, an estimator must combine the knowledge of construction methods and techniques into a methodical process, which requires assembling, organizing, and calculating large amounts of data and information such as materials, labor, and equipment. The importance of timely and accurate estimates are essential for management decision-making at state department of transportations (DOTs) and other agencies. In 2013, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) published the Practical Guide to Cost Estimating (PGCE) to provide state DOTs and other agencies with practical guidelines on how to develop realistic estimates of project costs. Since then, innovative means and methods of estimating have been identified within the industry to assist with the development of consistent and reliable cost estimates. The technological advancements of various software, tools, and resources have modernized the estimating process with digital two-dimensional (2D) drawings and three-dimensional (3D) modeling. However, state DOTs and other agencies need more guidance on resources available for more current and accurate cost estimating materials and resources. Research is needed to: (1) identify recent and trending advancements in cost estimating practices for state DOTs and other agencies, and (2) update and develop practical materials and resources to successfully manage their estimating programs. The objective of this research is to develop state-of-the-art material and resources relating to cost estimating practices.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 10-122

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    McKenney, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20230502
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01846745
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 10-122
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 24 2022 10:30AM