Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management

First Advisor

Dr. Jianzhi Li

Second Advisor

Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Raheem

Third Advisor

Dr. Xiaohui Wang


There are several factors documented in the literature that can affect the accuracy of estimated project durations in highway construction, such as weather, location, and soil conditions. Recently, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) raised a concern regarding some of the practices used when estimating the contract time for projects. This research presents an assessment of the effect that two practices identified have on the estimated project duration. These two practices include: 1) the estimated lead/lag times in project schedules and 2) scheduling with only critical or controlling activities. The effect of these practices is measured, primarily, by using four time sensitivity measures: Criticality Index (CI), Significance Index (SI), Cruciality Index (CRI), and Schedule Sensitivity Index (SSI). The results from the analysis showed that the lead/lag time needs to be estimated using an established method. Additionally, determining the project duration using only the controlling activities is insufficient.


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