Publication Detail

Comparing Transportation Project Development Efficiencies: The California Department of Transportation and the California County Sales Tax Agencies

UCD-ITS-RP-02-34

Reprint

Download PDF

Suggested Citation:
Hecht, Harry and Debbie A. Niemeier (2002) Comparing Transportation Project Development Efficiencies: The California Department of Transportation and the California County Sales Tax Agencies. Transport Policy 9 (4), 347 - 356

Finding time and cost efficiencies associated with preliminary and final design of transportation projects has become increasingly difficult. Major new complexities present interesting and challenging project management issues and many agencies have incrementally adapted the project development process to improve efficiencies. Yet our understanding of the project development process is limited and the incremental changes in the process have not resulted in major modifications in the way in which transportation project development is approached for most agencies. A time honored method for elucidating problems with project development and potential solutions to them has been through the use of governmental audits. For example, over the past 30 years some 14 performance audits and evaluations have conducted of the California transportation project development process. These California audits have suggested that voter or legislatively approved projects, in terms of time, cost, or scope, significantly enhance project efficiencies. In this study, we examine time and cost project development efficiencies between voter or legislatively approved projects and projects with standard scopes. We find no significant evidence that state highway projects with highly defined, voter or legislatively approved project scopes, time, or costs are any more likely to have lower project development costs or times than projects with non-voter approved scopes.