The National Academies

NCHRP 20-123(01) [Active]

Transportation Asset Management Strategic Planning and Research Roadmap Development
[ NCHRP 20-123 (Support for AASHTO Committees and Councils) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $220,000
Staff Responsibility: Lawrence D. Goldstein
Research Agency: Spy Pond Partners
Principal Investigator: Hyun-A Park
Effective Date: 9/12/2019
Completion Date: 9/22/2021


In 2017, the AASHTO Committee on Performance-Based Management (CPBM) developed a Strategic Plan that included input from the AASHTO Subcommittee on Asset Management.  In 2018, the CPBM developed a 2-year action plan that identified specific tasks the committee and subcommittees should undertake to support that plan.  In addition, the TRB Asset Management Committee (ABC40) developed its triennial strategic plan that lists strategies and actions it would undertake over the next 3 years to advance the state of the art and state of the practice in transportation asset management.  Finally, FHWA has adopted a new strategic plan that includes efforts to implement new federal performance management provisions.  Given the multiple initiatives underway and planned, the Subcommittee on Asset Management proposes to host a strategic planning session to include AASHTO, TRB, FTA, FHWA, and other appropriate organizations, to better coordinate and align all of the asset management activities that will be taking place over the next 5 years.  This strategic planning session is currently scheduled for two days in mid-October 2019 at the Beckman Center in Irvine, California.

The effort to initiate a coordinated approach to transportation asset management (TAM) planning as practiced by a broad range of affected agencies grew out of an action in 2014 on the part of the Subcommittee on Asset Management (then a joint subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Planning and Highways) when it established the Transportation Asset Management Research Roadmap (http://www.tam-portal.com/roadmap/ ).  The purpose of the roadmap is to guide future transportation asset management research efforts, responding to identified priorities, gaps, and possible overlap with other related ongoing or proposed efforts by the transportation industry.  The roadmap is an integral part of the AASHTO TAM Portal website and is connected to a database of recent TAM resources, providing an entry point for practitioners to access information on current, recent, and potential future TAM research.  Building on these earlier steps, there is a need to update the TAM Research Roadmap to better understand and document emerging research needs of practitioners.  In addition, an updated roadmap is necessary to provide a framework for tracking execution and application of future research efforts. 



There are two objectives for this research project: (1) to develop a comprehensive strategic approach and action plan to coordinate ongoing asset management activities of AASHTO, TRB, FHWA, and FTA; and (2) to develop a long-term research strategy to coordinate and advance the state of practice in multi-modal transportation asset management.  The product of this research will be an action plan and an updated asset management research roadmap that will help guide future research and development activities to be undertaken by the transportation industry in a coordinated fashion.



Proposers are asked to present a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objectives.  Proposers are expected to describe a research plan that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time, including an indication of how proposed research will make use of and build on current requirements and practices.  Proposals must demonstrate in sufficient detail an understanding of the issues and a sound approach to meeting the research objectives, including prioritizing critical issues.  It should also include a review of other related studies in general and NCHRP research studies in particular. 

This study should pay special attention to, and build on, coordinate, and align the existing body of knowledge and ongong planning efforts, including but not limited to the following: 

Ongoing TAM Strategic Planning

In addition, the updated TAM Research Roadmap, integrated with the TAM Portal (www.tam-portal.com), should also address how it will capture and incorporate knowledge gained from an ongoing series of related research efforts, including but not limited to the following:

Available FHWA support material includes the following: 

The research plan should be presented as a two-phase effort and should describe specific detailed tasks for each phase, including interim and final deliverables; and it should address, but not be limited to, the following recommended steps.  The research plan should emphasize the importance of and timely accomplishment of Phase I, recognizing that the schedule for the initial two-day workshop is mid-October 2019.  This workshop will be held at the National Academies Beckman Center, Irvine, California, October 15-18, 2019. 

Phase I: TAM Strategic and Action Planning Session

1.      Review existing activities and resources.

2.      Conduct a kick-off teleconference with the strategic leadership of the committees and organizations to plan workshop activities.

3.      Conduct a practitioner survey or other method to elicit ideas and concepts from AASHTO and TRB committee members, FHWA staff, FTA staff, and the private sector to identify important issues and concerns related to asset management.

4.      Identify a set of Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and transit agencies that are at the forefront of asset management planning, and implement a detailed review process to identify emerging issues and tools and techniques to implement new ideas and concepts.

5.      Organize and run the strategic planning workshop with key AASHTO and TRB committee members and FHWA staff and prepare a summary report of the activity.  The research team will recommend a list of possible participants and work with the panel to select a final list.  At a minimum, the list of participants should include leadership of TRB and AASHTO TAM committees and other recognized thought leaders in the field.  The workshop is currently scheduled October 15-18, 2019, at the National Academies Beckman Center, in Irvine, California.  

(Note: Travel costs and per diem expenses for invited participants in the strategic planning workshop only, will be the responsibility of this contract.  It is expected that the workshop will include between 15 and 20 participants.  Additional costs associated with attending the FHWA TAM peer review will be borne by others.)

6.      Develop a comprehensive strategic approach and action plan related to asset management.

7.      Incorporate comments and deliver an interim report to be presented at an interim meeting with the panel.  The interim report will provide a comprehensive review of all work accomplished in Phase I and will include a revised scope of work for Phase II.  Authorization by NCHRP to proceed with Phase II is required.


Phase II:  TAM Research Roadmap Update

  1. Document TAM research gaps and identify research options to achieve the collective vision affecting TAM procedures in the United States.
  2. Gather additional stakeholder input:
    1. Gather ideas from AASHTO committees and subcommittees as appropriate (e.g., asset management, risk management, organizational management, etc.);
    2. Gather ideas from the TRB TAM Committee and other relevant TRB Committees;
    3. Gather ideas from the AASHTO TAM Expert Task Group (ETG);
    4. Gather ideas from NCHRP, FHWA, FTA, APTA, and AASHTO representatives; and
    5. Others as necessary.
  3. Update the current TAM research roadmap through the next 5 years or more. This update will include drafting initial research problem statements associated with identified research needs.
  4. Host a second workshop inviting approximately 20 key transportation asset management stakeholders to gather feedback on the updated TAM Research Roadmap.  The workshop(s) will include having participants work on and edit the research problem statements.

            (Note: 2nd workshop travel costs and per diem expenses for invited participants only, will be the responsibility of this contract.)


  1. Prepare final interactive TAM Research Roadmap, linked to the TAM Portal, that includes draft research needs statements that could be used to define future problem statements and to secure funding.

The research plan should build in appropriate checkpoints with the NCHRP project panel including, at a minimum, (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the contract’s execution date; (2) the face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting to be held at the end of Phase I; and (3) at least two additional web-enabled teleconferences tied to NCHRP review and approval of any other interim deliverables as deemed appropriate.

Note: The cost of teleconferences, in-person meeting venue at TRB facilities, and NCHRP panel member travel will be paid by NCHRP.  Costs of other attendees, including airfare and per diem expenditures, should be itemized in the budget.

Final Deliverables

Final deliverables will include at a minimum:

1.      A final report that documents the entire research effort, including examples, assumptions, and description of results of the workshops and other information gathering activities;

2.      A description/discussion and presentation of the output of the strategic planning session and other stakeholder interactions: a strategic plan, an action plan, and a final TAM Research Roadmap linked to the TAM Portal;

3.      A stand-alone executive summary that outlines the research findings and recommendations;

4.      Presentation materials aimed at local, regional, and state DOTs and transit agencies, including both staff and senior management, that simply and concisely explains why the roadmap and supporting recommendations and supporting guidance are helpful and how the plan will be used; and

5.      An executive-level brochure/infographic highlighting findings of the research or some other innovative approach to facilitate dissemination to a broad audience, particularly state DOTs and transit agencies.  

Final deliverables will also include a stand-alone technical memorandum entitled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.”  See Special Note B.


A. 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.


B. 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.


C. 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.


D. 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. 


E. 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.



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