A study on causes of delay in road construction projects across 25 developing countries

Ludwig Rivera, Hilario Baguec, Chunho Yeom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Delays in road construction projects due to various reasons are a major problem facing construction professionals. The incapability of finishing projects punctually and within a given budget is a persistent issue worldwide. This study aims to determine the ten principal causes of delay in road construction projects in 25 developing countries across the globe. The study involves two steps. First, the authors compiled information regarding the most frequent delays in a road construction project. Second, they analyzed the intensity of each cause of delay in these projects. Being more accurate in the methodology, given the nature of the information, the researchers used a quasi-meta-analysis for processing the data. Half (50%) of the countries have similar causes of delay, and likewise, 50% of the countries identified the top ten primary causes of delay in road construction projects based on the intensity results. This study uses the results of the intensity. According to the results of the homologation, the lack of experience of the construction manager, inadequate planning/scheduling, and influence on people’s land alongside the road construction project (expropriation for the construction of the project) have more significant impacts than frequent changes in the design (which was listed as the most frequent cause of delay).

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Construction delay
  • Developing countries
  • Road project
  • Untimed completion


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