Large-scale and extreme events can cause long-term disruptions in the use of transportation infrastructure. Many state departments of transportation (DOTs) have established procedures on how to address an emergency project. Recent events in Colorado involving multiple emergency projects across several geographic areas have identified the need for DOTs to have a plan for prioritizing and managing several concurrent emergency projects across multiple routes. NCHRP Legal Research Digest 49: Emergency Contracting: Flexibilities in Contracting Procedures During an Emergency provides a legal analysis for emergency contracting utilizing federal funds. For many DOTs, however, emergency contracting procedures are centered on a single emergency. When multiple infrastructure assets are compromised, DOTs do not have consistent guidelines on how to bring an overall system back online. The domestic scan on Best Practices in Accelerated Construction Techniques [NCHRP Project 20-68A (07-02)] developed case studies on seven emergency projects. It summarized operational techniques and made suggestions at the project level. However, it did not provide suggestions for a programmatic approach to facilitate the emergency contracting process. NCHRP Synthesis 438: Expedited Procurement Procedures for Emergency Construction Services identified this issue as a gap in the body of knowledge and recommended that research be undertaken to provide the necessary guidance to DOTs. The synthesis also identified the need to coordinate DOT plans with those of other state, local, and federal agencies in advance of a series of emergencies. Lastly it recommended that the research investigate alternative contracting methods like indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts as potential sources for on-call emergency design and construction services as is done in New York and Florida.
There is a need for research to address the following questions:
- What are the effective practices for developing a contracting approach for administration of concurrent regional emergency projects?
- How do roles and responsibilities in the field shift depending on the lead agency?
- How are multiple corridors prioritized related to materials, contractor, route availability, and fabricator prioritization?
The objective of this research is to develop a contracting strategies guidebook for concurrent regional emergencies. The primary audience is state DOTs administering multiple projects over a region involving multiple routes.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require the following tasks.
(1). Describe the state-of-the-practice in regional emergency contracting strategies of infrastructure owners. (2). Identify effective long-term recovery practices from state departments of transportation (DOTs) that have recently dealt with multiple emergency contracts concurrently. (3). Develop case studies of public and private entities with well-developed emergency contracting plans consistent with regional emergency contracting strategies for large-scale or extreme events.(4). Conduct a gap analysis between the current state of practice and effective practices. (5).Submit an interim report documenting the findings of Tasks 1 through 4 for review by the NCHRP. The report should include a detailed Phase II work plan to achieve the project objective and an outline of the proposed guide to help DOTs close the gaps identified in Task 4.
(6). Execute the approved Phase II work plan to develop materials to support administration of concurrent regional emergencies and implementation of effective long term recovery practices. (7). Prepare a draft contracting strategies guidebook for administration of concurrent regional emergencies. (8). Validate the draft guidebook and supporting materials with appropriate stakeholders. Present the draft materials at meetings of the relevant AASHTO committees. Incorporate review comments as required and validate the guidebook’s effectiveness against recent concurrent regional emergency recovery efforts. (9). Prepare (1) the final guidebook; (2) a final report documenting the research effort; (3) an executive summary (two pages, maximum); and (4) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.”
STATUS (February 2021): Research in progress. An interim report was received in July 2019. An interim meeting with the panel was held in October 2019. Final deliverables have been received and are being reviewed for publication.