Financial District: TRB Watch
Brooke Wisdom | November 1, 2009

Procedures Guide for Right-of-Way Cost Estimation and Cost Management

Construction project cost escalation, from planning through construction, is a fundamental problem facing state highway agencies. As projects progress through the planning, programming, and design stages of development, the accuracy and precision of project cost estimates vary widely, for various reasons. In response, TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) produced Report 625: Procedures Guide for Right-of-Way Cost Estimation and Cost Management, which explores approaches for developing right-of-way (ROW) cost estimates. The report also examines ways to track and manage ROW cost during all phases of project development, including planning, programming, and preliminary and final design. NCHRP Report 625 builds on NCHRP Report 574: Guidance for Cost Estimation and Management for Highway Projects During Planning, Programming, and Preconstruction (, which presents multiple strategies for controlling cost escalation across the spectrum of planning, programming, and design activities.

Improving the Safety of Mobile Lane Closures

The United States’ and Canada’s again road infrastructure, coupled with an increase in traffic volumes, has taken a toll on the existing road network. This means there is an ever-increasing need for maintenance and rehabilitation operations on the roadways. Although traffic control techniques for road construction and maintenance vary widely, use of mobile lane closures has increased because of this method’s ability to increase efficiency and minimize operational impacts. To help advance the state of knowledge in this area, TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) produced Research Results Digest 339: Improving the Safety of Mobile Lane Closures, which explores practices employed by transportation agencies during mobile lane closures and summarizes research carried out on different components of mobile lane closure.

Russell Houston edits a weekly e-newsletter for the Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Academies, available at This column is not an endorsement of any of the contents of Better Roads. Contact:

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