Have you ever wished there was a comprehensive, easily accessible project cost database for major US transportation projects?  It would be populated following an in depth review of information available from State DOT’s and would capture not just the capital cost of the project, but it’s operation and maintenance cost and delivery and financing approach.  The information could be valuable in many ways, including assessing the project performance outcomes for P3’s and non P3’s.

As I found out a couple of weeks ago at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting, there will soon be an internet based, open-source database for this information courtesy of the FHWA’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery housed in the USDOT Build America Bureau.  With assistance from researchers at the University of Maryland, FHWA is conducting a rigorous data collection effort for over 130 US transportation projects covering development, procurement, design, construction and operation and maintenance costs.  Projects will be categorized by type, such as tunnel, bridge, managed lanes and location by region and delivery and financing approach (DB, DBF, DBFOM, CM/GC).

As you can imagine, this is a labor intensive effort on the part of the researchers, not just to gather and catalogue the information, but to develop a searchable, user friendly database.  I’m told that it is in the final stages of development so we will post a link when it’s live so you can add it to your “favorites” list.