August 16, 2004

TO:                  All Design Section Staff - 47340

FROM:            J. Kapur - 47340

PHONE:          705-7209


Recently, many of our cost estimates have been too low. There are reasonable explanations for these cost increases.

Therefore, we need to double check our cost estimates for the following: project scoping for Region, TS&L reports, preliminary plan stage, during and after PS&E plan stage, during VE studies, and Cost Risk Assessment (CRA) activities.

PROJECT SCOPING: The Bridge Projects Engineer and S&E Engineers provide bridge scoping cost estimates to Regions for their use in determining budgets during Region's project definition phase. The S&E Engineers will check the Bridge Project Engineer's estimate as well as check each other.

TS&L REPORTS: The S&E Engineers will check the designer's estimated costs included in TS&L reports. In the case of consultant prepared TS&L reports, the designer shall have the S&E Engineers check the construction costs.


(1) After a Preliminary Plan has been developed, but before sending to the Bridge Design Engineer for signature, the Preliminary Plan and cost estimate shall be submitted to one of the three Bridge Specifications and Estimates Engineers for review and comment for the structures in the Preliminary Plan.

(2) The information presented to the S&E Engineer shall include the complete Preliminary Plan and all backup data previously prepared on costs for the structures (such as preliminary quantity calculations, preliminary foundation type selection, etc.).

(3) The S&E Engineer will review the Preliminary Plan, prepare, sign, and date a cost estimate summary sheet, and return the package back to the designer.

(4) When the Preliminary Plan is presented to the Bridge Design Engineer, the submittal shall include the summary sheet prepared by the S&E Engineer.

(5) The summary sheet and backup data will then be placed in the job file. Do not send it to the Region.


The S&E Engineers shall prepare all costs associated with final PS&E plans. If the project scope changes during the PS&E plan preparation phase, the designer shall contact the S&E Engineers and obtain a revised cost estimate. If this revised estimate is changed from the estimated cost provided to Region at the Preliminary Plan Phase, the Design Unit Supervisor shall notify Region and the Bridge Projects Engineer as soon as possible. The revised cost estimate and documentation shall be included in the job file.


Please call the S&E Engineers and double check all costs when providing cost estimates at VE studies and CRA meetings.


cc:   J. A. Weigel, Bridge and Structures - 47340

       F. Higgins, Bridge and Structures 47340