The overall goal of this research project was to investigate ways to accurately scope projects with an efficient process in a timely manner to align with the critical path development for programming and the legislative cycle. The need for improved cost estimation is an acknowledged essential element in the scoping of a project. Past experiences throughout the world reveal how common and problematic these underestimations of cost and schedules, especially for mega-projects, have become. The accompanying public distrust, lack of confidence in project implementers, and lack of interest in increased funding have generated a great deal of literature, studies, website activity and media attention.
In this research effort, much of the many volumes of material on the subject of scoping and cost escalation were reviewed. Selected findings from selected differing sources formed the core of the review of literature section. These findings were then augmented by a broad survey and review of the activities and efforts of various states, usually by the Departments of Transportation in those states. Those discussions and analyses of those activities allow specific findings and recommendations to be determined.