Assessing risk and uncertainty inherent in Chinese highway projects using AHP

Tarek Zayed, Mohamed Amer, Jiayin Pan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

225 Citations (Scopus)


The high-risk exposure associated with highway construction projects needs special attention from contractors to analyze and manage their risks. They cannot be eliminated but can be minimized or transferred from one project stakeholder to another. Highway projects carry out higher risk than traditional because they entail high capital outlays and intricate site conditions. Therefore, current research aims at identifying two main risk areas that affect highway projects: company (macro) and project (micro) levels; assessing their effect on risk; and introducing a risk model (R) that facilitate this assessment procedure and prioritize these projects. Four Chinese case studies (projects A, B, C, and D) were selected to implement the designed model (R) and test its results. The R index model is developed using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Results show that political risk has the highest average weight of 0.5196; however, financial risk has the second highest average weight of 0.2336 in the macro level (company) areas. On the other hand, in the micro level (project), emerging technology and resource risks have the highest average weight of 0.2492 and 0.2098, respectively. The developed R model is tested, which prove its robustness in risk assessment (93%). It can also be used to sort highway construction projects based upon risk. It is an essential tool to assess the level of risk associated with the highway project under study in the bidding phase in order to take preventive actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-419
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
  • Highway projects
  • Model
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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