Overruns in transportation infrastructure projects

Peter E.D. Love, Chun Pong Sing, Xiangyu Wang, Zahir Irani, Didibhuku W. Thwala

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Transportation infrastructure projects are prone to cost and schedule overruns. At the time of contract award, a construction contingency budget is often used to accommodate for unplanned events such as scope changes. Recent empirical research has shown that rework during construction as a result of design changes, errors and omission are the major contributors of overruns in projects. The statistical characteristics of rework, and cost and schedule overruns that are experienced from a project's contract award for 58 Australian transportation infrastructure projects are analysed. Theoretical probability distributions are fitted to the rework, cost and schedule overrun data. Goodness of fit tests are used in conjunction with probability-probability (P-P) plots to compare the sample distribution from the known theoretical distribution. A Generalised Logistic probability density function is found to describe the behaviour of cost-overruns and provides the best overall distribution fit. The best fitting distribution for schedule overruns and rework data were the Four Parameter Burr and a Johnson SB distribution, respectively. The distributions are used to calculate the probability of rework, cost and schedule overruns being experienced. A case illustration is presented and discussed to demonstrate how the derived probabilities may be utilised in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-159
Number of pages19
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • distribution fitting
  • overrun
  • probability
  • rework
  • transportation infrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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