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(EST-2892) Pre-Class 5 Estimating Cost Communication for Long-Term System Planning

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) serves 1.7 million people in a 420-square-mile area around Seattle, Washington. Long-term system planning for public agencies such as WTD requires early commitment, allocation, and buy-in from decision-makers and stakeholders to deliver their target mission. However, communicating projected scope and costs for early needs identification in the conceptual planning stage is daunting. Although Class 5 conceptual estimates are typically considered for near-term use, long-term system planning necessitates a 25- to 30-year forecast. In hindsight, public agencies are often criticized for not accurately predicting final total project costs. Stakeholders often do not understand the limitations of early cost estimates and anchor to the lowest, most optimistic expectations.

WTD embarked on a multiyear process to improve cost-estimate communication. As a result, WTD developed a pre-Class 5 estimate methodology for communication of conceptual costs. This strategic planning-level estimate is focused on understanding costs early in the project life cycle with limited scope definition.

WTD will present its approach to the development and communication of conceptual planning costs. This information is beneficial to a wide range of project planning and delivery professionals with various levels of expertise in total cost management, project control, cost engineering, and project management.