Infrastructure assessment

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Agencies tend to select projects that, once constructed, do not generate ridership levels that warrant their construction. In short, many project projects are overbuilt and a less costly alternative would satisfy the project need. The selection of capital-intensive projects contributed to cost overruns and can lead to the reputation of infrastructure projects as mismanaged, wasteful investments.

A variety of political, financial, and accounting incentives support the construction of projects whose capacities far exceed demand. These incentives include overestimated ridership from forecast modeling inputs that do not correspond with actual travel behavior and political preference for large, splashy projects.


Improve modeling

Adjust forecast year

Improve cost estimation

Conduct extensive engineering studies before deciding on alternative Reach out to stakeholders Use historical cost estimates as comparison Consistently measure across projects Increase cost estimate transparency