Starting 1 July 1992, KRS45.245 granted the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation oversight of the biennial highway plan, including a review of all authorized highway project phases that exceed their estimates by 15%.

Estimates developed using current methods were not sufficiently accurate to preclude cost overruns in excess of 15%. Estimates were prepared before design began in order for the project to be included in the six-year plan. These estimates were not revised after a more detailed scope was available.

There were 562 overruns >15% at a cost of approximately $265 million during the period 7/1/92-7/1/98. All overruns were approved for the necessary additional funding. The requirement for review of overruns > 15% was canceled by the General Assembly (HB655) effective 1 July 1998.

There was a need for better cost estimating and forecasting for highway work in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This research effort studied the causes of the 562 cost overruns > 15% and attempted to improve the conceptual estimating process. A computerized conceptual estimating model, KYEstimate, was developed to assist estimators in preparing and justifying conceptual estimates that must be made prior to detailing seeping of projects. Recommendations and conclusions are presented.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author, who is responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.