The Preliminary Cost Estimate is developed based on the best available information, considering that the project is typically at approximately 30% completion. Preliminary cost estimates should be conservative but realistic since they are typically used to determine project funding; therefore, in addition to calculating the preliminary construction costs (costs incurred by the contractor), the preliminary cost estimate should also include costs for items such as construction engineering, change orders, environmental mitigation and right-of-way (ROW) acquisitions including off-site land acquisition for mitigation.
The Preliminary Construction Schedule is developed to ascertain an estimate for the construction duration, critical path items, and to identify major milestones. The Preliminary Construction Schedule portrays the construction project timeline, identifying the dates (absolute or relative to a start date) that a project task or activity will be started and completed. A schedule allows applicable resources to be identified and an anticipated timeframe to be established, and provides the basis for budgeting individual tasks and the project as a whole. The schedule identifies elements that are ahead, behind, and on-schedule and allows appropriate adjustments to reach a certain milestone.