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LACMTA I-5 North HOV Widening Project Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Risk Management during Construction

I-5 North off-ramp construction

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) 


Los Angeles, CA


Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Future southbound I-5 Empire Avenue off-ramp (Magnolia to Buena Vista segment)
Source: Caltrans

Since 2017, SHA Analytics, LLC has provided risk assessment and risk management services to LACMTA's Highway Program. Currently SHA Analytics, LLC is assisting LACMTA with risk assessment and risk management for four segments on the I-5 North Widening project during the construction phase. This project which is sponsored by Caltrans, LACMTA and the Federal Highway Administration involves improvements to I-5 between in Los Angeles County between SR-134 and SR-118. The construction contracts include four segments of I-5, listed from south to north between: SR-134 and Magnolia Blvd, Magnolia Blvd and Buena Vista St, Buena Vista S to SR-170, and SR-170 to SR-118. The construction of these projects involves widening to accommodate High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, improving existing interchanges and adding direct HOV connectors, replacing existing pavement, and adding grade separations at railroad and pedestrian crossings.

The construction contracts for these segments were awarded around the early 2010s, however these segments experienced significant delay at the start of the contracts. SHA Analytics, LLC was brought onboard in 2017 to assist LACMTA in assessing and managing remaining project cost and schedule risk after these delays were realized. We conducted an initial cost risk assessment for these segments in 2017 to estimate remaining risk exposure relative to existing budgets. Our approach to risk assessment and risk management leverages the expertise of LACMTA and Caltrans staff to assess and quantify risks. Following this initial assessment, we conducted risk response planning with LACMTA and Caltrans to develop mitigation strategies for schedule recovery and cost containment. Throughout the construction phase of these segments, SHA Analytics, LLC facilitates monthly meetings with LACMTA and Caltrans to track and proactively manage risks. This process involves reviewing the construction change order logs to identify, quantify and track potential risks and forecast the risk reserve requirements. By using a quantitative cost and schedule risk analysis process that employs Monte Carlo methods we are able to provide LACMTA with a higher level of confidence in setting and managing project contingency budgets compared to a traditional ‘single-point’ estimate approach. We meet with LACMTA regularly to review the quantitative risk analysis results to assess the estimated risk exposure relative to the remaining contingency budgets. We follow up on the effectiveness of mitigation strategies and refine these as needed. Overall our services provide LACMTA with increased confidence in contingency budget requirements to help ensure the project is adequately budgeted for completion. 

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