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(CSC-889) Designing to Budget: New Mississippi River Bridge Case Study

Primary Author: Dr. Kelly Strong Colorado State University
Co-author(s): Dr Carla Lopez del Puerto CCC Colorado State University; Dr Jennifer S. Shane Iowa State University;Ms Megan Miller Colorado State University

Audience Focus: Intermediate
Application Type: Experience-Based
Venue: 2012 AACE International Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, USA

Abstract: The strong demand to deliver public infrastructure projects in the US requires complicated finance systems to satisfy funding requirements. These finance systems often have fixed, expiring appropriation that must be disbursed within a specific timeframe. The traditional approach that the project's design drives the budget is often no longer true for complex projects with financial constraints. In these projects the budget needs to drive the design. This paper presents a case study of the New Mississippi River Bridge in Saint Louis where the project team had to design to budget. The paper concludes with the following recommendations when designing to budget: 1) identify funding constraints, 2) establish maximum budget and schedule, 3) confirm cost and schedule values early and update them often, 4) communicate design exceptions early and track them often, 5) communicate cost and schedule constraints and financing limitations to external stakeholder groups.