2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Enhancing sustainability in highway infrastructure: risk analysis models

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Mr. Baraa Alfasi, Carleton University (Presenter)
Dr. Ata Khan, Carleton University

Transportation infrastructure issues are at present attracting attention in North America due to their maintenance and rehabilitation needs. Although there is recognition of their role in sustainability of cities, regions and the country, the poor physical condition of infrastructure will not enable these facilities to fulfill their sustainability role. In spite of their importance, highway infrastructure continues to receive insufficient research attention in terms of their long-term resource needs. The location and design of highway infrastructure were guided mainly by functional considerations rather than using these as instruments of sustainability. In addition, for good reasons, the initial cost was subjected to scrutiny, but this occurred at the expense of the important role of life cycle cost in shaping economic parameters of sustainability. However, in spite of the scrutiny, due to a number of reasons, cost overruns are generally encountered. A number of sustainability rating schemes have become available around the world. A notable among these tools is ENVISION. The development, improvement, and promotion of the ENVISION tool for planning and rating infrastructure projects has much potential to improve sustainability including a formal recognition of the importance of life cycle analysis. It has been noted in the literature that in order to enhance the application of ENVISION, research is required in first cost risk analysis as well as risk analysis on a life cycle basis. To go beyond the current state of knowledge, research is needed in the identification of cost over-run variables through factor analysis, models of cost over-runs, and treating risk and uncertainty in life cycle analyses. This paper reports research that is aimed at overcoming these deficiencies. Data were obtained and analyzed on actual projects that may have experienced cost over-runs. Cost overrun models will be reported in the paper and inferences will be drawn on the use of these models as a part of treating risk on a life cycle basis. This will be a contribution towards enhanced infrastructure planning and management, including the informed application of tools for planning and evaluation of highway infrastructure projects.