The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on the Environment (SCOE) is called on periodically to provide information needed by state departments of transportation (DOTs) to establish policies or positions on environmental issues associated with the nation's transportation system. When new or revised federal transportation environmental and planning regulations are proposed or finalized, research is often required to develop new methods, processes, and procedures to ensure their effective and timely implementation by state DOTs. NCHRP Project 25-25 was created to respond to these needs. NCHRP Project 25-25 is a quick-response research program, designed to develop improvements to analytical methods, decision-support tools, procedures, and techniques employed by environmental practitioners in environmental streamlining, environmental stewardship, transportation planning, program delivery, and project development. Topics in the NCHRP Project 25-25 program require the services of consultants with expertise in a variety of environmental topic areas.
NCHRP needs a mechanism to procure consultant services that is responsive to SCOE’s needs for a quick-response research and development capability to address near-term improvements in environment-related transportation planning and project development processes. The mechanism involves prequalification and selection of a small number of service providers who can respond quickly and competitively to task-orders for research on specific topics. Periodically, the prequalification and selection of service providers is re-advertised to allow others the opportunity to participate through a competitive process.
Research performed under this program may cover a wide variety of environmental topics including air quality, climate change, cultural and historic resources, National Environmental Policy Act requirements, noise, environmental stewardship, threatened or endangered species, water quality, wetlands, and others. A list of completed and active NCHRP 25-25 research is available at http://www.trb.org/Projects/FindaProject.aspx.
For the individual research projects selected annually by the NCHRP Project 25-25 Panel, the selected task-order contractors will be asked to propose a short research plan, a staffing plan, and a budget to carry out each study. These proposals will be evaluated by the task panel assembled to provide technical oversight for each task; the task panel will determine which team will be awarded the study under its task-order contract. Some tasks may require organizing, conducting, and facilitating workshops or interviews with practitioners to develop state-of-the-practice syntheses, guidebooks, compendiums, and communication tools. The NCHRP Project 25-25 panel typically selects four to seven tasks each year. Funding for individual tasks will typically be in the range of $75,000 to $125,000 and the duration of individual tasks will typically be from 9 to 12 months.