Texas Tech University

Project 17-71

Enhanced Cost Estimating and Project Development Procedures for MPOs (Municipal Planning Organizations)


One of the major challenges for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) is that their transportation plans can be readily undermined by unrealistic preliminary cost estimates and unachievable project letting dates. This can lead to significant negative repercussions, including delays or cancelations of anticipated improvements, and even cascading effects on the viability of other planned development. To address this problem, this research will deliver a new procedural guidebook and software tool that will enhance the accuracy of Texas MPO's cost estimates and project scheduling. The guidebook will be based on a rigorous analysis of best-practices in MPOs and DOTs from across the nation that have a proven record of success in meeting target costs and letting dates. It will be vetted through multiple levels of analysis and expert review. Meanwhile, the related software tool developed in this project will allow MPOs to validate their cost estimates and scheduling on an ongoing basis, making use of statistical techniques and rigorous empirical data to provide an updated probabilistic range for cost and scheduling outcomes. These tools will allow MPOs to increase their confidence in their budgeting and scheduling, and will ultimately result in greater transportation benefits for the public at a lower cost.

Project PI: Ali Nejat

Project Duration



Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Transportation (TechMRT)