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How to Build Major Transport Infrastructure Projects within Budget, in Time and with the Expected Output; a Literature Review

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This paper reviews the literature on factors which help to realise major transport infrastructure projects within the forecasted budget, schedule and with the expected output. The most mentioned factors overall are as follows: (1) improving the cost and benefit estimates of projects, (2) containing the risks involved in these projects, (3) increasing accountability and (4) maintaining clear scope and objectives. Statistical research, in particular, focuses on these particular factors, but different research methodologies produce different results. Research based on case studies and interviews does not discuss accountability at all, while literature reviews and discussions show a remarkable focus on this specific factor. Furthermore, there is variety in the factors mentioned in papers investigating cost overruns, schedule overruns or output shortfalls. Overall, the research in this field focuses on failure within major transport infrastructure projects. These results show that a framework for building major transport infrastructure projects within budget, in time and with the expected output is emerging, but that more research is needed using multivariate analyses. Also, more research focusing on projects which have actually achieved their forecasts is needed.
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Keywords: benefit shortfalls; cost overruns; factors; major projects; schedule overruns; traffic and travel shortfalls; transport infrastructure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Transport and Logistics,Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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