Campus Units

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

First Page


Research Focus Area

Construction Engineering and Management, Geotechnical/Materials Engineering

Conference Title

Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting

Conference Date

January 8-12, 2017


Washington, DC


Every project is most vulnerable to risk at its initial stages when the uncertainty and potential impact in its outcome is at its highest level, and the earliest risk in a construction project is typically the geotechnical risk. The risk of differing site conditions must be carefully analyzed using as much information as possible to develop a project’s initial estimates and schedule. This paper focuses on the scheduling aspect of geotechnical risk and proposes an alternative method for identifying and managing it. The alternative method is compared to the traditional format that involves expert interpretation of subsurface information in order to communicate the process properly. The alternative is based on linear scheduling that graphically represents a schedule along with the location of activities. A model was developed using this tool and incorporating stochastic simulations in a way that the impact of geotechnical risk is assessed as a function of the expected underground conditions, which can be displayed directly in the linear schedule. The paper demonstrates its efficacy by applying the linear scheduling model to a case study project from the Panama Canal Expansion Program. The analysis finds that the method effectively provides a better understanding of the risk management effort and introduces a way to incorporate variables into the assessment that otherwise would not be available for quick reference, such as the interpretation of the geological profile of the project site. The paper’s contribution to the body of knowledge is to graphically connect the project’s geotechnical profile with the linear schedule in a stochastic environment.


This is a manuscript of a proceeding published as Tapia, Ricardo M., Douglas Gransberg, and Ali Touran. "Managing Scheduling Risk Due to Geotechnical Uncertainty Using Linear Scheduling." Paper no. 17-01389. In TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers. Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. January 8-12, 2017. Posted with permission.

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