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The National Academies

NCHRP 03-140 [RFP]

Guidelines for Applications of RFID and Wireless Technologies in Highway Construction and Asset Management

Posted Date: 10/10/2019

  Project Data
Funds: $370,000
Contract Time: 30 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of each interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/10/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Waseem Dekelbab
   Phone: 202/334-1409
   Email: wdekelbab@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 12/5/2019
Fiscal Year: 2020

BACKGROUND

Advancement in sensing and transmitting technologies such as radio-frequency identification (RFID), barcodes, e-ticketing, global positioning systems, and other associated technologies has significantly improved wireless transmission. Projects where such devices were used reported beneficial outcomes through improved resource and quality management. The wireless transmission technology enables sensing, counting, measuring, documenting, identifying, locating, tracking, and transmitting information in real time. These features can significantly improve construction project and infrastructure asset management. However, the beneficial outcomes have not attracted the highway construction industry to adopt it to its fullest potential

There are significant gaps between the capability of existing wireless transmission technologies and their implementation. Therefore, there is a need to provide guidelines for state departments of transportation (DOTs) to select the appropriate technology for a specific application for highway construction and infrastructure asset management

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this research are to (1) develop guidelines for the applications of RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management and (2) plan and conduct a workshop to introduce the proposed guidelines to an audience of DOT staff and other stakeholders. At the minimum, the research shall include readiness assessment of RFID and wireless technologies for different applications and implementation requirements.

Accomplishment of the project objectives will require at least the following tasks.

TASKS

Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objectives. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objectives.

PHASE I—Planning

Task 1. Conduct a literature review of relevant research and current state of practice related to RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; FHWA; and other national, international, state, and pooled-fund sponsored research.

Task 2. Conduct a survey of DOTs to identify RFID and wireless technologies currently used for highway construction and infrastructure asset management. Collect data needed to achieve the research objective with consideration of the maturity of applications of RFID and wireless technologies. The survey shall be reviewed and approved by NCHRP before distribution.

Task 3. Synthesize the results of Tasks 1 and 2 to identify the knowledge gaps for the applications of RFID and wireless technologies. These gaps should be addressed in this research or in the recommended future research as budget permits.

Task 4. Propose a methodology for readiness assessment of RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management to be fully developed in Phase II.

At a minimum, the methodology shall address the following:  
  • Identify potential applications of RFID and wireless technologies (e.g., material tracking, construction managements, asset inventory tags, quality monitoring, and work zone safety);
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of RFID and wireless technologies for each application;
  • Evaluate the readiness of the identified technologies to be implemented by DOTs; and
  • Identify the requirements for implementing the technologies including IT infrastructure and security, organization structure and workflow, and training. 

Task 5. Propose a preliminary outline for the guidelines based on the proposed methodology.

Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents Tasks 1 through 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. This report must be submitted to NCHRP no later than 4 months after contract execution. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II though IV.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 1 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. Work on Phases II though IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase I shall be limited to $40,000.

PHASE II—Methodology Development

Task 7. Develop the methodology according to the approved Interim Report No.1.

Task 8. Develop examples to demonstrate the developed methodology. The selection of the examples should include at a minimum the identified technologies and applications in Phase I.

Task 9. Provide a detailed description of every chapter and section of the proposed guidelines and complete a sample chapter of the proposed guidelines selected by NCHRP. This chapter should be publication-ready.

Task 10. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents the results of Tasks 7 through 9 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project. This report is due no later than 8 months after approval of Phase I. The updated plan must describe the work proposed for Phases III and IV.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 2 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report, if necessary. Work on Phases III and IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase II shall be limited to $100,000.

PHASE III—Guidelines Development

Task 11. Develop the guidelines according to the approved Interim Report No. 2.

Task 12. After NCHRP approval of the draft guidelines, plan and conduct workshop with 20 representatives of owners and other stakeholders to review the draft guidelines and implementation plan. Revise the draft guidebook according to the outcomes of the workshop. The invited representatives shall be approved by NCHRP.

Note: The costs for the workshop, including invitational travel for 20 attendees, should be included in the detailed budget for the research. For the purpose of estimating these costs, assume that the workshop will be held at the Beckman Center in Irvine, CA. NCHRP will cover costs associated with hosting the workshop at the Beckman Center as well as NCHRP panel member travel.

Task 13. Prepare Interim Report No. 3 that documents the results of Tasks 11 and 12 no later than 9 months after approval of Phase II. The updated work plan must describe the work proposed for Phase IV.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 3 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report, if necessary. Work on Phase IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase III shall be limited to $180,000.

PHASE IV—Final Products

Task 14. Revise the draft guidelines considering the NCHRP’s review comments.

Task 15. Prepare final deliverables including: (1) the guidelines for the applications of RFID and wireless technologies for highway construction and infrastructure asset management, (2) a final report that documents the entire research effort, and (3) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” See Special Note D for additional information.

Note: Following receipt of the draft final report, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised final report. Phase IV shall be limited to $50,000.

SPECIAL NOTES

A. The research team should include individuals with direct practical experience related to RFID and wireless technologies and writing guidelines for state DOTs.

B. Item 4 of the proposal, the Research Plan, shall not exceed 20 pages, in 12-point Arial font or larger.

C. 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.

D. 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.

E. 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.

F. 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) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.

G. 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 guidelines on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.


Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 12/5/2019.

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:

PROPOSAL-NCHRP
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 July 2019). 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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE

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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