Methods of Estimating Transport Infrastructure Needs

Having the right transport infrastructure in place is key to the growth of any community. After all, how will people get around without basic infrastructure?

Developers need to work out cost estimates at an early stage of a transport project. They must determine whether a project is viable, meet regulations, and secure financing. But it can be a challenge to estimate costs accurately.

The US ranks sixth among the most expensive countries in the world to build rail infrastructure, according to the Transit Costs Project. And large projects often overrun their budgets. How can project developers come up with more accurate estimates?

Read on for a brief transport infrastructure guide to learn some of the ways to estimate your project needs.

Comparative Estimates

Contractors often use comparative analysis at the early stage of a project to estimate construction needs manually. They use models derived from past project data to outline the project scope and break it down into tasks. They can update the estimate as the project progresses and costs become clearer.

Top-Down Estimates

Taking a top-down approach assigns an overall budget and timescale for a project. It then breaks the project down into phases and tasks. This allows developers to estimate how much time and money each task can take to deliver the project on time and on budget.

Bottom-Up Estimates

The reverse of the top-down method, a bottom-up approach estimates each individual task to build up an overall plan. This method is more detailed than a top-down approach and tends to be more accurate.

Three-point estimates are a form of the bottom-up approach. Developers assign three scenarios to each task: best case, worst case, and most likely. They average the three to create an estimate. 

Parametric Estimates

Parametric models use data from past projects, but they adjust it to reflect the differences in the current project. They analyze the data to predict costs. For transport infrastructure, parametric estimates tend to be used the most often, research shows.

Combining the parametric approach with machine learning creates more accurate assessments of infrastructure needs. This is because it uses algorithms to detect the relationships between many variables. For example, this approach would consider not only the diameter of a piece of pipe, but also the length, surface, and ground condition of the pipe infrastructure.

This removes approach subjectivity. It also makes the most effective use of the information available.

Choose the Right Estimate for Your Infrastructure Project

The most effective way to make decisions about transport infrastructure spending is to use quantitative data and analysis. The right method of estimating your infrastructure needs will depend on the scope of your project.

When you’re ready to hire a construction and building expert for your project, get in touch with BuildPro. We use the latest technological advancements in the equipment, materials, and software that run our business. We help our customers realize their construction projects on time and on budget. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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