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54 Estimating Soft Costs for Major Public Transportation Fixed Guideway Projects 45% 40% Mid-Range Estimated Soft Cost 35% (% of Construction) 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1* 2* 3 6 7 4 8 9 5 10 Questionnaire Respondents Other Insurance + Legal Project Mgmt. and Construction Admin. FD PE * Respondents estimate PE + FD as combined amount; PE displayed here using average split Figure 34. Midpoint soft cost estimates for all components reported by surveyed cost estimators. 5.3. As-Built Cost Analysis Analyzing the database of actual as-built soft cost expenditures provided the following insights into soft costs: · Soft costs have historically averaged 31% of construction costs, a value that is consistent with how the industry currently estimates soft costs both in total and at the component level. · However, the range of variability in past projects has been wider than the range estimators report. While estimators report an uncertainty range of ±10%, actual soft costs have been as low as 11% of hard costs and as high as 54% of hard costs, or an uncertainty range of around ±20%. · Soft costs have averaged around $2,600 per linear foot for light rail, and around $5,700 per linear foot for heavy rail, with a range between $300 and $10,000 per linear foot of guideway for both modes (2008$, outliers removed). The as-built analysis also revealed relationships between project characteristics and soft costs: · Soft costs have been increasing over the past four decades, particularly for heavy rail projects. · Project complexity, mode, delivery method, magnitude, and context all appear to drive soft costs. Univariate analysis reveals some relationships between these considerations and soft costs, but a more complete and consistent picture emerges through a multivariate regression analysis. A multivariate analysis of 10 variables captured the cumulative effect of a number of variables on soft cost percentages and was able to explain approximately 60% of variability in soft costs. · Projects where alignments stretch longer distances tend to incur somewhat higher soft costs as a percentage of construction cost. · More expensive construction projects tend to display somewhat smaller soft cost percentages, other things being equal. · Heavy rail projects tend to incur somewhat higher soft costs than light rail, perhaps due to their relative complexity and higher engineering standards. · A project to construct a new stand-alone transit line will usually require less design costs than a project to extend, expand, or interface with existing transit services.