ACCEL: Spreadsheet-based cost estimation for forest road construction

Jarel C. Bruce, Han Sup Han, Abdullah E. Akay, Woodam Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A computer program has been developed to aid forest engineers in the cost estimation of forest road construction activities. This new tool, called ACCEL, uses Visual Basic for Applications within Microsoft Excel to compute the costs of construction components using interactive sheets, automated tasks, and advanced computer routines. The user is guided through road construction components and prompted for cost data, earthwork quantities, survey information, and the conditions of the construction environment to estimate total construction cost. Road design elements and site characteristics are variables used to optimize earthwork allocation, improving on using the mass diagram method. The program also estimates clearing and grubbing areas, rock surfacing volumes, and culvert lengths. ACCEL was validated by comparing the results to those of RoadEng (by Softree), ensuring that formulas were input correctly and showing close agreement in results. This program was created in a recognizable format, i.e., Microsoft Excel, and builds on basic quantity and cost estimation techniques. ACCEL is intended to improve the decisionmaking process for experienced forestry practitioners in forest road construction regardless of region, company, or agency affiliation by accepting their inputs and performing the calculations for different route alternative or varying design specifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalWestern Journal of Applied Forestry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Earthwork optimization
  • Forest roads
  • Road cost modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science


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