Assessing the causes of project overruns in tunnel construction projects in Pakistan

Muhammad Ayat, Hafeezur Rehman, Sheheryar Mohsin Qureshi, Chang Wook Kang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Tunnel construction is considered a bottleneck point in mega construction projects because of higher associated risks and uncertainties. This study is an attempt to identify and rank the causes project overruns in tunnel construction projects in Pakistan and propose a mitigation strategy to minimize their effects. For the given purpose, a total of 32 key causes were obtained from the literature and discussion with a team of experts and practitioners. A web-based questionnaire survey was used for data collection. About 55 complete responses were received from the practitioners working as clients, consultants, and contractors in Pakistan. The identified causes were ranked using frequency, severity, and relative importance indexes. The most important causes were found to be inexperienced and incompetent contractors, ignoring consultants' instructions by contractors, inadequate project estimates, delay in issuance of funds to the contractors, and low bids. This study can be employed for controlling the leading causes of overruns in tunnel construction projects. Moreover, it can serve as a guide in further investigation of the causes of project overruns in tunneling in different countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1856-1866
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number11
Early online date30 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • causes of project overruns
  • relative importance index
  • tunnel construction projects


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the causes of project overruns in tunnel construction projects in Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this