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The cost performance

Civil engineering projects (such as for highways and bridges) sometimes have added pressure from increased public interest in their progress and especially their cost performance. This can be problematic when critics fail to appreciate the iterative nature of cost estimating and draw misleading comparisons between inaccurate preliminary estimates and control estimates. This problem is compounded by the fact that civil engineering projects typically feature large degrees of uncertainty in estimates — usually due to a combination of project length, natural conditions, and, in some instances, political conditions in the region. As such, organizations such as The Institution of Engineers of Ireland suggest that preliminary estimates for civil engineering projects not be made publicand that more definitive estimates clearly state project scopes and underlying assumptions.

Civil engineering projects that run over extended periods of time may also have to contend with scope changes requested by changing political administrations. In some developing countries, these projects might struggle to retain political support as governments change, and it is not uncommon for there to be problems with administrative corruption. As such, civil engineering projects place special importance on adequate risk identification, and contingency reserves for these projects tend to be generous. It is also important to undertake project planning in a way that minimizes the likelihood of future scope changes, since these can easily cause cost overruns.