Development of a cost estimation tool for right of way
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Right of Way (R/W) acquisitions is a significant component of a project's total cost. When owners reject the compensation offered for their properties as insufficient, the project comes to a halt until an agreement can be reached and increased funding can be obtained. Moreover, the process of condemnation can delay project completion. The availability of accurate and consistent estimation tools is therefore essential to performing project planning, meeting budget constraints, and avoiding project delays. In 2002, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) embarked on Research Project 0-4079, in which 285 R/W records from six TxDOT districts were used to investigate the relationship between parcel characteristics and parcel-taking cost along Texas corridors. From these R/W records hedonic price models were developed to serve as a cost estimation tool for R/W acquisitions. As a follow up, implementation project 5-4079 was commissioned in 2005 with the purpose of testing and re-calibrating the price models using data from an additional 500 parcels in five other different districts. Regression models for five land uses were explored. Further, a user-friendly Microsoft Excel-based tool to assist in the early stages of project planning and budgeting was developed.