Prioritizing Key Duration Estimation Accuracy Factors in Highway Infrastructure Projects Using Fuzzy AHP

Meseret Getnet Meharie1, *, Zachary C. Abiero Gariy2, Raphael Ngumbau Ndisya Mutuku3, Wubshet Jekale Mengesha4
1 Department of Civil Engineering, Pan African University Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI), Hosted at JKUAT – Juja Campus, P. O. Box 62000 00200, Nairobi, Kenya
2 School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Department of Civil Engineering, Adama Science and Technology University, P.O. Box 1888 Adama, Oromia Region, Ethiopia
3 School of Civil, Environmental and Geospatial Engineering, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) – Juja Campus, P.O. Box 62000 – 00200 Nairobi, Kenya
4 Faculty of Engineering & Technology, Department of Building and Civil Engineering, Technical University of Mombasa, Tudor, Tom Mboya Street, P.O. Box 90420 - 80100, Mombasa, Kenya



At the early phase of project development, highway engineering estimators seek to determine the duration of highway construction projects for the purpose of construction planning and administration. Thus, it is vital to study and analyze the estimation accuracy factors of highway construction project duration. In this regard, several studies have been conducted to identify and analyze the estimation accuracy factors of project duration in various ways to improve the estimation and management performance of all the contracting parties. However, very less effort has been devoted to evaluating the duration estimation accuracy factors in the case of the highway construction industry under fuzzy environment.


This paper aims to analyze and prioritize the critical factors that potentially affect the duration estimation accuracy of the highway construction projects in Ethiopia under fuzzy environment.


An extensive review and discussions with highway engineering experts were carried out to explore and identify the duration estimation accuracy factors. The study data collection process consists of two stages. The first stage is to conduct a questionnaire survey. Whereas, the second stage is to carry out the pair-wise comparison matrix to capture the imprecision and vagueness in subjective responses. Then, a λ-cut set method to reduce the initial list of factors and exploratory factor analysis was used to classify the reduced set of factors into smaller groups. Finally, a fuzzy hierarchy process algorithm with the use of triangular fuzzy numbers was presented for prioritizing critical factors.


A cut -off value, λ = 0.95, was verified which resulted in the identification of critical accuracy factors. Accordingly, 12 critical factors were opted and categorized as a cluster of similar items into 5 groups. Finally, the analytical results obtained from fuzzy AHP algorithm revealed that project complexity, project size, bridge type and complexity were found to be the four top-ranked factors based on the global priority weight.


These factors must be a serious concern in estimating and administering the contract and the duration of highway construction projects at the early phases of project development so that the time deviation upon the completion of the project can be minimized.

Keywords: Highway projects, duration estimation accuracy factors, λ-cut set method, factor analysis, fuzzy set theory, fuzzy analytical hierarchy process.

Abstract Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 13
Publisher Item Identifier: EA-TOCIEJ-2019-26

Article History:

Received Date: 16/05/2019
Revision Received Date: 20/06/2019
Acceptance Date: 26/06/2019
Electronic publication date: 22/07/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Meharie et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Department of Civil Engineering, Pan African University Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI), Hosted at JKUAT – Juja Campus, P. O. Box 62000 00200, Nairobi, Kenya; Tel: +254798319980; Email: