The National Academies

NCHRP 03-131 [RFP]

Guidance for Planning and Implementing Multimodal, Integrated Corridor Management

Posted Date: 10/27/2017

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Contract Time: 18 months
(includes 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final deliverables)
Authorization to Begin Work: 3/1/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: B. Ray Derr
   Phone: 202-334-3231
   Email: rderr@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 12/7/2017
Fiscal Year: 2018



Many jurisdictions have implemented a variety of strategies for managing and maximizing flow on their roads using new technologies and better techniques. Most recognize the importance of interjurisdictional coordination with emergency responders, maintenance and incident response, and construction management, as well as providing timely notification to the public in managing their systems. Monitoring traffic operations through traffic management centers with reliable detection and surveillance and available deployment strategies (e.g., incident response) advances active approaches to reducing both recurrent and nonrecurrent congestion.


Pulling this all together through Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) is essential to successful system management. ICM actively integrates the separate strategies (e.g., ramp metering, arterial coordination, detour planning, traveler information, managed lanes) in a real-time manner, and introduces new challenges in traffic management center staffing and funding.


A recent NCHRP Domestic Scan report, Advances in Strategies for Implementing Integrated Corridor Management (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/172735.aspx), reviews various ICM deployments, including an analysis of real-time models for planning and operations for ICM, and the implementation of decision support systems (DSS) for ICM. As part of the final report, an ICM Capability Maturity Model was developed which covers six process areas for ICM, including DSS.


The FHWA publication, Coordinated Freeway and Arterial Operations Handbook (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/operations/its/06095/), presents a useful framework for considering improvements in a corridor; however lessons learned since its publication and current capabilities for data sharing and management have advanced the state of knowledge and should be captured. State, local, and regional transportation agencies that are considering ICM efforts would benefit from up-to-date guidance on their planning and implementation that helps staff to work through the many issues that should be considered.




The objective of this research is to develop guidance for agencies planning and implementing multimodal, integrated corridor (or area) management. The guidance should feature multiple real-world examples drawn from a variety of contexts and an appropriate range of agency capabilities. At a minimum, the guidance should address (though not necessarily in this order) the following:

1.      Defining the purpose and need of the integrated traffic management approach.

2.      Demonstrating the value of the integrated approach to agency administrators and policy makers (including alignment with agency directions in a broader geographical area).

3.      Identifying and engaging needed partner agencies and defining their respective roles.

4.      Deciding which scenarios will be cooperatively managed (e.g., crashes, special events, evacuation, adverse weather).

5.      Determining viable strategies for managing traffic during those scenarios, including multimodal approaches.

6.      Developing memoranda of understanding or other policies (internal and cross-agency) to support the traffic management system(s) and facilitate those strategies.

7.      Identifying decision support tools, ranging from simple heuristics to complex approaches with embedded simulation models (the typical daily operation should be included as an option).

8.      Setting performance metrics and targets.

9.      Identifying data and information that should be shared between agencies and viable architectures for the sharing.

10.  Inventorying the ICM infrastructure (e.g., traffic management field and central elements, communications, software) and identifying needed improvements.

11.  Identifying ways to report the performance of the traffic management system(s) (e.g., dashboards) and measure (or estimate) the benefits of the actions taken.

12.  Developing and implementing a deployment plan for the traffic management system(s).

13.  Developing an appropriate staffing model, including hiring, training, and outsourcing.

14.  Developing a plan for ICM maintenance, sustainability, and continuous improvement.


The guidance is expected to draw extensively from existing publications and ongoing research and deployment efforts. Proposals should identify the key references and related efforts. The project oversight panel expects that this project will, in particular, add new knowledge to the functions listed above as #4, 7, 9, and 14. Proposers should present their initial thoughts on what this new knowledge would encompass and how the knowledge would be generated.




The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can be realistically accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposer’s current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.


The work plan must be divided logically into detailed tasks that are necessary to fulfill the research objective and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables. Tasks shall incorporate appropriate opportunities for the project panel to review the progress and provide feedback.


A kick-off web conference of the research team and NCHRP shall be scheduled within 1 month of the contract’s execution to review the panel’s comments on the proposal, the proposer’s responses and the amplified work plan.


A thoroughly annotated outline of the guidance will be developed early in the project, showing sources for material, identifying sections where new knowledge will be inserted, describing the scope of that new knowledge, and identifying possible sources of real-world examples.


The research team will meet in person with the project panel soon after delivery of the annotated outline for two days. Principal agenda items will be an in-depth discussion of the outline, and methods used to develop the new material.


The research team should include a suitable panel of peer reviewers with practical experience to provide input to the principals and to review major deliverables before submittal to the NCHRP.


The final deliverables will include:

  1. The guidance document suitable for publication by the NCHRP,
  2. A final report documenting the entire project, incorporating all other specified deliverables of the research,
  3. An electronic presentation on the research results that can be tailored for specific audiences,
  4. Recommendations on needs and priorities for additional research, and
  5. A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note C for additional information).

Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.




A. A related effort that should inform this research is the FHWA project “Opportunities to Improve Decision Support Subsystems for the Next Generation Traffic Management Systems and TMCs” that is just getting underway. The scope of work is available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP03-131_PWS-Version3.pdf.


B. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.


C. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.


D. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.


E. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities.


Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.


F. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.


G. Research agencies are encouraged to include personnel with diverse, relevant experience and expertise to reflect the broad scope of knowledge required to complete the project. Universities who propose graduate students should describe their field of study and specify the team member with oversight responsibility for their work.


Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 12/7/2017.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered liability statement in order for the NCHRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated August 2016). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.


Potential proposers should understand clearly that the research project described herein is tentative. The final content of the program depends on the level of funding made available through States' agreements for financial support of the NCHRP. Nevertheless, to be prepared to execute research contracts as soon as possible after sponsors' approvals, the NCHRP is assuming that the tentative program will become official in its entirety and is proceeding with requests for proposals and selections of research agencies.

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