An assessment of the causes of cost and time overruns in road construction projects in Uganda
Improved road Infrastructure provides enormous benefits to economic development. However, time and cost overruns are a worldwide phenomenon and pose a serious threat to the development of transport sector, which is important for Economic growth and Development. It is imperative to examine the possible factors that cause time and cost overruns, in order to avert the associated catalytic effects on the development of other sectors of the economy. This study involves a questionnaire survey of 47 factors that were identified and grouped under four main groups of consultant related, contractor related, client related and external related and then assessed their impacts on time and cost overruns using relative importance index (RII) as a basis for analysis in 48 road projects that are scattered over the four geopolitical zones in Uganda. The results indicated that the most significant factors of road construction project’s time and cost overruns were: (1) Inadequate information during project feasibility; (2) late/none payment for work already done by clients; (3) slowness in decision making by clients; (4) Insufficient data collection and survey before design; and (5) Poor estimation of original contract duration. The study concluded that contractor related category had the highest impact (RII =0.687), followed by consultant related (RII =0.666), then client related (RII =0.654) and external related (RII =0.624) exhibited the least impact. The study recommends that contingency provisions should be put in place to mitigate these factors at the project conception stage. In particular the study recommends; minimizing changes in design, prompt payment of interim certificates, adequate sight investigations, avoid corruption and ensuring sufficient cash flows during project implementation.