Award Date

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction

First Committee Member

Pramen P. Shrestha

Second Committee Member

Jin O. Choi

Third Committee Member

Neil Opfer

Fourth Committee Member

Ashok K. Singh

Number of Pages



Changes during the construction phase generate cost growth, schedule delays, and claims in any project. However, the impact of geotechnical problems on construction costs, schedules, and claims in bridge and road projects had not been investigated in depth. The major objectives of this study were to determine the geotechnical-related causes of cost and schedule growth and claims as well as their impacts on the bridge and pavement projects’ performance. This study also identifies mitigation measures to avoid cost and schedule growth and claims in these projects.

A survey was conducted with 53 engineers from state Department of Transportations (DOTs) and 43 engineers from design consultant firms. It was found that the geotechnical-related causes that most impacted the costs, schedules, and claims of bridge projects were lack of boring locations and misclassified subgrade. The majority of the respondents stated that these geotechnical-related causes had negative impacts on cost and schedule growth and the number of claims for bridge projects during construction. When asked about pavement projects, the respondents stated that the significant problems to impact the cost and schedule growth and claims were misclassified subgrade and a level of groundwater table higher than expected. The results regarding the impact of these geotechnical-related causes on project performance were similar to those of bridge projects. The survey results also showed three major preventive measures to reduce these cost overruns, schedule growth, change orders, and claims were: the designer having detailed knowledge about the project site’s geotechnical information, a detailed site investigation with a well-experienced consultant, and the development and implementation of minimum standards for subsurface investigation and site characterization.


Civil Engineering | Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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