ATTENTION PROPOSERS: A Research Project Statement for NCHRP Project 20-44(37) was originally released on June 20, 2021; proposals were received, but no award was made. The purpose of this Research Project Statement is to re-announce this project. This Research Project Statement is slightly different from the original statement. This solicitation is open to all proposers, including agencies that responded to the earlier Research Project Statement.
Monitoring the performance of snow and ice control operations has become an increasingly important task for highway agencies and contractors because of growing stakeholder expectations in terms of levels of service and cost efficiency. Although different performance measures have been used in the United States with varying degrees of success, there have been no widely accepted measures applicable to the various roadway classifications, storm characteristics, or traffic conditions. NCHRP Project 14-34, “Performance Measures in Snow and Ice Control Operations” identified approaches for monitoring the performance of snow and ice control activities by public agencies and a core set of performance measures that can be customized and used by agencies to meet their snow and ice control objectives. The project final report, published as NCHRP Research Report 889: Performance Measures in Snow and Ice Control Operations contains a guide document to facilitate implementation of these performance measures, and explores the capabilities required by public agencies to adequately monitor these measures and use relevant information to support decision-making processes and report on the effectiveness of snow and ice control operations. The guide is supplemented with a Microsoft Excel-based tool that provides insight into which performance measures are applicable to an agency and a user manual to facilitate the implementation of the guide (see Special Note A).
There is a need to facilitate deployment of the research findings to ensure that state departments of transportation (DOTs) are familiar with the research recommendations. These actions will assist in developing a performance framework for snow and ice control management that will help decision-makers identify appropriate adjustments for managing resources effectively.
The objective of this project is to develop and hold a series of workshops for state DOT personnel to share information on performance measures in snow and ice control operations, and how these measures can be customized and used by the DOT to report on the extent of meeting the snow and ice control objectives. All workshops shall be in-person (see Special Note B).
Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the project. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe work 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 project objective. The work plan must identify the specific outcomes that will be achieved from each workshop and how they will be measured.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
Task 1. Based on the information contained in NCHRP Research Report 889, develop and conduct a workshop, designated Workshop 1, of snow and ice control managers from six DOTs from AASHTO Region 1 (see Special Note C). The purpose of this workshop is to (1) provide an overview of the core set of performance measures and required data and resources and (2) guide participating DOTs into identifying readily available as well as lacking data and resources and how to acquire the information needed to report the desired performance measures. The workshop should be structured to allow interaction among participants.
1. Proposers should propose criteria for selecting up to six state DOTs for participation in Workshop 1 and discuss the rationale for selecting each proposed state DOT, and the proposed workshop location. Consideration should be given to the diversity of storm characteristics and traffic conditions among the participating state DOTs. NCHRP review and approval of the proposed state DOTs and workshop location will be required before proceeding. Workshop 1 duration should be 1 1/2 days and be held following the 2021/2022 winter season.
2. Two staff members from each of the six DOTs are expected to participate in Workshop 1; these will be identified by the NCHRP.
3. It is expected that participating DOTs will use workshop guidance to acquire all needed data during the 2022/2023 winter season.
Task 2. Develop and conduct a workshop, designated Workshop 2, for those DOTs that participated in Workshop 1 and acquired and analyzed all required data during the 2022/2023 winter season (see Special Note C). The purpose of the workshop is to review each DOT’s results of the performance measures reporting process, and identify the successes that were realized and obstacles encountered.
1. Workshop 2 duration should be 1 day.
2. Proposers should identify proposed workshop location. NCHRP approval is required before proceeding.
3. Two staff members from each of the six DOTs are expected to participate in Workshop 2; these will be identified by the NCHRP.
Task 3. Prepare a summary of the findings of Workshops 1 and 2.
Task 4. Prepare an updated, detailed work plan, to be executed in Phase II, to conduct three workshops, designated Workshops 3, 4, and 5, for snow and ice control managers from selected state DOTs in the other three AASHTO regions. These workshops are intended to build on the experience and findings from Workshops 1 and 2 and use the material developed for these workshops to provide an overview of the core set of performance measures and required data and resources, and illustrate how lacking data and resources can be identified and acquired to accomplish the desired performance measure reporting. The plan shall identify those DOTs in each region proposed for participation in these workshops and the rationale for their selection; NCHRP approval will be required before proceeding.
Note: Proposers must include in the proposal a plan that provides detail on the proposer’s current thinking regarding the work anticipated in Phase II for conducting the three workshops (e.g., proposed location, content, duration, and number of participants for each workshop, etc.). Workshop participants from the proposed state DOTs will be identified by the NCHRP. The work proposed for Task 6 must be divided into subtasks, and proposers must describe in detail the work proposed in each subtask.
Task 5. Prepare an interim report that documents the work performed in Tasks 1 through 4. Following review of the interim report by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to make a presentation to the NCHRP project panel. Work on Phase II of the project will not begin until the interim report is approved and the Phase II work plan is authorized by the NCHRP. The decision on proceeding with Phase II will be based on the contractor’s documented justification of the updated work plan.
Note: The contractor shall submit the Phase I interim report within 16 months from contract award and meet with NCHRP within 2 months of report submission. The meeting is expected to be held in Washington, DC. NCHRP will host the meeting and be responsible for any panel member costs to attend meeting.
Task 6. Develop and conduct the approved three in-person workshops, and prepare a summary of the findings of the workshops (see Special Note C).
Task 7. Prepare a final deliverable that documents the entire work effort. The deliverable shall describe the workshop events and their findings and include an evaluation of the workshops based on feedback from the participants. The information/materials developed for the workshops shall be supplied as a stand-alone deliverable in a format appropriate for use in future workshops or other dissemination forums. The deliverable should also include a brief article highlighting the workshops and their findings as well as recommendations for enhancing implementation activities for possible publication in TR News.
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for the contractor’s preparation of the final deliverables.
A. NCHRP Research Report 889: Performance Measures in Snow and Ice Control Operations is available at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/178901.aspx.
B. All workshops shall be in-person; virtual workshops shall not be considered. If necessary, workshops will be postponed to allow in-person activity.
C. The contractor shall be responsible for (1) preparing all background and presentation material (background material may include pre-recorded material), and (2) all arrangements for the workshops (including securing meeting facilities, lodging, and transportation for participants, reimbursing participants for incurred related travel expenses, facilitating and recording discussions during the workshops, etc.). The project budget shall account for all anticipated costs (e.g., rental of meeting facilities and equipment; participants’ transportation, lodging, and per diem; meeting material; etc.).
D. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected. For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.
E. 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" (https://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.
F. 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 https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
G. 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 11 of the proposal.
H. 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.