Improving right-of-way acquisition in highway projects through scope definition and management of inherent factors

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2009-08

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Abstract

Right-of-Way (R/W) acquisition is a critical function in the project development process (PDP). Improving this acquisition process requires both a good collaboration among the functions of the PDP and a good understanding of the factors affecting R/W acquisition. This research has two phases. Phase I aims at developing a systematic method for risk and scope management using scope elements that cover the work of all functions of the entire PDP. Phase II aims at studying the inherent factors that might have significant impact on the R/W acquisition schedule. As a result, the Advance Planning Risk Analysis (APRA) was successfully developed. It contains 59 scope elements with descriptions and a mechanism to assess the project’s level of definition. The APRA can provide a platform for project participants to cooperate and coordinate project activities and responsibilities. The method provides a high level approach to improving the effective of the PDP and its functions, including R/W acquisition. In studying the R/W acquisition inherent factors in phase II, the research was able to draw conclusions on the impact of the identified inherent factors on R/W acquisition durations based on statistical analyses. The research was also successful in developing a statistically significant model for predicting the total R/W acquisition duration, from R/W Release to Possession, using inherent factors. This research provides a number of significant contributions toward the better understanding and improvement of the PDP process in general and the R/W acquisition process in particular. Further research in this area and direction was recommended and believed to be promising, productive, and highly valuable.

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