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Soft Cost Estimation: State of the Practice 27 characteristics of the project, the setting and circumstances in which the project is built, the skills and experience of the sponsor and its contractors, and mitigation and unexpected issues. Look- ing ahead to how these drivers might be used to estimate future soft costs, some of these drivers are relatively straightforward to predict (e.g., alignment grade), while others are much more dif- ficult to foresee (e.g., agency coordination). 3.5. Questionnaire Results: Impact of Drivers Finally, cost estimators were asked to quantify the impact of 11 project characteristics on soft costs within the following scenario: First, consider 7 project attributes that were designed to reflect increasing technical complexity; Second, consider 4 additional attributes highlighting different institutional arrangements between the public sponsor and private contractor; Third, consider a hypothetical base-case project: a simple light rail construction project, fully at grade, using an existing right-of-way, and delivered with a traditional designbidbuild method; and Fourth, consider changes from the base case and report whether the soft cost estimate for each soft cost element would go up or down in percentage terms, using a scale of from 1 to 5, 1 mean- ing "significant reduction," 3 meaning "no impact," and 5 meaning "significant increase." To help visualize patterns in the data, the color scheme presented in Figure 12 was applied to the responses. Table 9 shows the impact of mode on soft cost estimates, using light rail as the base case. Many respondents did not give information here or the response was not complete, perhaps because they lacked historical experience to respond. However, the table shows that, relative to light rail, estimators generally estimate higher soft costs for heavy rail projects, and only moderately higher for commuter rail projects. The results for BRT are mixed; one respondent predicted higher costs in some areas but lower in others, while another respondent predicted lower costs generally. However, these two questionnaire respondents should be interpreted within the context of their sample size. Cost estimators generally reported that higher project complexity, as measured by a number of indicators in Table 10 below, will tend to increase soft cost expenditures. Most respondents noted that an elevated alignment increases soft costs only moderately compared to at grade, but that tunneling tends to increase soft costs more significantly. Respondent 10, however, noted that soft costs might decline in some categories when tunneling. Estimators at all agencies sur- veyed predicted rising costs, especially in design and construction management, when subsur- face conditions differ from original plans. Results were mixed on the creation of a new right-of- way (versus the base-case existing ROW): some respondents foresaw no change, others predicted uneven increases, and others predicted significant increases. The final three project attributes included in the questionnaire describe alternative project delivery methods, which generally intend to shift risk from the public agency to the private con- tractor. Table 11 shows that cost estimators generally estimate that soft costs to the transit agency will go down as more risk is borne by the constructor. However, it is unclear whether this pat- tern describes a real reduction in costs or merely a shifting of soft costs out of the transit agency's view and into a different cost category. Contractors bidding on a designbuild contract, for exam- ple, might build soft costs into their bid.

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28 Estimating Soft Costs for Major Public Transportation Fixed Guideway Projects LOWER HIGHER COSTS COSTS Significant Moderate No Moderate Significant No Historical Negative Negative Impact Positive Positive Experience 1 2 3 4 5 or N/A Figure 12. Questionnaire measurement system to quantify impact of cost drivers. Table 9. Impact of mode on soft cost estimate. Questionnaire Respondent 1, 2 Project Characteristic Change from Base Case SCC SCC Description 1, 2 3, 4, 5 6 10 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 5 N/A 4 N/A 80.02 Final Design 5 N/A 4 N/A 80.03 Project Management for Design and Constructio 5 N/A 4 N/A 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 5 N/A 4 N/A Mode: Heavy Rail 80.05 Insurance 5 N/A 5 N/A 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 5 N/A 5 N/A 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 5 N/A 5 N/A 80.08 Start up 5 N/A 3 N/A 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 4 N/A 4 N/A 80.02 Final Design 4 N/A 3 N/A 80.03 Project Management for Design and Constructio 4 N/A 3 N/A 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 4 N/A 3 N/A Mode: Commuter Rail 80.05 Insurance 4 N/A 3 N/A 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 4 N/A 3 N/A 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 4 N/A 3 N/A 80.08 Start up 4 N/A 3 N/A 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 2 N/A 4 N/A 80.02 Final Design 2 N/A 5 N/A 80.03 Project Management for Design and Constructio 2 N/A 4 N/A Mode: Bus Rapid 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 2 N/A 4 N/A Transit 80.05 Insurance 2 N/A 3 N/A 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 2 N/A 5 N/A 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 2 N/A 4 N/A 80.08 Start up 2 N/A 3 N/A Notes: Base case is light rail. 1 Respondents 3, 4, 5, and 10 provided partial responses due to lack of experience; lack of response is noted as "N/A." 2 Respondents 7, 8, and 9 did not provide responses and are omitted.

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Soft Cost Estimation: State of the Practice 29 Table 10. Impact of project complexity on soft cost estimate. Questionnaire Respondent1, 2 Project Characteristic Change from Base Case SCC SCC Description 1, 2 3, 4, 5 6 10 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 4 4 4 4 80.02 Final Design 4 4 5 4 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 4 3 4 3 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 4 3 4 4 Alignment: Elevated 80.05 Insurance 4 4 3 3 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 4 3 5 4 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 4 4 3 4 80.08 Start up 4 3 3 3 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 5 3 5 3 80.02 Final Design 5 4 5 4 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 5 4 4 N/A 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 5 4 4 N/A Alignment: Tunnel 80.05 Insurance 5 4 5 4 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 5 3 5 2 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 5 4 5 2 80.08 Start up 5 4 5 3 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 5 3 4 4 80.02 Final Design 5 5 5 4 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 5 4 4 5 Differing Subsurface 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 5 4 4 5 Conditions 80.05 Insurance 5 4 4 3 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 5 4 4 5 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 5 4 5 5 80.08 Start up 5 3 3 3 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 5 3 5 5 80.02 Final Design 5 3 5 5 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 5 3 3 5 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 5 3 3 5 New Right-of-Way 80.05 Insurance 5 3 3 4 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 5 3 5 5 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 5 3 5 5 80.08 Start up 5 3 3 5 Notes: 1 Respondents 3, 4, 5, and 10 provided partial responses due to lack of experience; lack of response is noted as "N/A." 2 Respondents 7, 8, and 9 did not provide responses and are omitted.

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30 Estimating Soft Costs for Major Public Transportation Fixed Guideway Projects Table 11. Impact of project delivery method on soft cost estimate. Questionnaire Respondent1, 2 Project Characteristic Change from Base Case SCC SCC Description 1, 2 3, 4, 5 6 10 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 3 3 4 3 80.02 Final Design 3 3 5 4 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 3 3 4 4 Procurement: Design- 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 3 3 5 4 Bid-Build (DBB) 80.05 Insurance 3 3 3 3 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 3 3 4 4 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 3 3 5 4 80.08 Start up 3 3 3 3 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 3 3 5 3 80.02 Final Design 3 2 3 4 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 1 2 5 2 Procurement: Design- 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 2 2 3 2 Build (DB) 80.05 Insurance 2 3 3 3 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 2 3 4 2 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 2 2 4 2 80.08 Start up 3 3 4 3 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 3 N/A N/A 3 80.02 Final Design 3 N/A N/A 4 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 1 N/A N/A 2 Procurement: Design- 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 2 N/A N/A 2 Build-Operate-Maintain 80.05 Insurance 2 N/A N/A 3 (DBOM) 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 2 N/A N/A 2 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 2 N/A N/A 2 80.08 Start up 2 N/A N/A 2 80.01 Preliminary Engineering 3 N/A N/A N/A 80.02 Final Design 3 N/A N/A N/A 80.03 Project Management for Design and Construction 1 N/A N/A N/A Procurement: Full 80.04 Construction Administration & Management 2 N/A N/A N/A Turnkey 80.05 Insurance 2 N/A N/A N/A 80.06 Legal; Permits; Review Fees by other agencies, 2 N/A N/A N/A 80.07 Surveys, Testing, Investigation, Inspection 2 N/A N/A N/A 80.08 Start up 2 N/A N/A N/A Notes: 1 Respondents 3, 4, 5, and 10 provided partial responses due to lack of experience; lack of response is noted as "N/A." 2 Respondents 7, 8, and 9 did not provide responses and are omitted.