During construction of the U.S. Interstate Highway System—a time of significant racial change in the United States—an estimated one million people were displaced. As a result, neighborhoods and communities were destroyed and financial harms to individuals and their families worsened over time. State departments of transportation (DOTs), using eminent domain, displaced people from their homes, businesses, and communities leading to resistance and legal action. Negotiations among federal, state, and local officials ultimately resulted in the enactment of laws and the use of cooperative approaches to mitigate adverse impacts. State DOTs have implemented mitigation measures, but need to build accountability and trust in communities impacted by highway facilities. This study should help DOTs integrate lessons learned to avoid making decisions—related to project delivery—that contribute to racial disparities.
The objective of this research is to develop a handbook for state DOTs and local governments to help interpret and implement relevant regulations and policies that avoid racial disparities in project delivery.
The research plan should: (1) include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution; (2) address the manner in which the proposer intends to satisfy the project objectives; (3) be divided logically into detailed tasks necessary to fulfill the research objectives and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables; (4) include one face-to-face meeting to review an interim report and a web-conference meeting (NCHRP will provide teleconference services); and (5) incorporate opportunities for the project panel to review, comment, and approve milestone deliverables.
In developing the research approach, consideration should be given to activities related to the entire project delivery process including decisions, processes, and issues that may contribute to racial disparities and disproportionate impacts.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
Task 1. Conduct a literature review that summarizes what is known about racial disparities that may be attributed to the entire project delivery process. This shall include at least, a summary of (1) decisions that lead to dislocations; (2) procedures for land acquisition; (3) provisions for relocation support and rehabilitation of remnant neighborhoods; and (4) steps taken at the federal and state levels to ameliorate or prevent disparities related to race.
Task 2. Provide a state of practice review that includes examples of successful practices in mitigating or avoiding the creation of racial disparities typically attributed to project delivery activities.
Task 3. Identify gaps that may inform policies and processes in the highway project delivery process including application of federal and state regulations and policies related to addressing racial disparities in highway project development.
Task 4. Prepare an interim report that documents the work completed in Tasks 1 through 3. Include a detailed work plan for the work anticipated in Phase II. Following review of the interim report by NCHRP, the research team will be required to make a presentation to the project panel.
Task 5. Identify alternative project delivery processes and provide successful practices that ameliorate or prevent racial disparities caused during project development activities including planning through construction.
Task 6. Prepare a detailed outline for the handbook.
Task 7. Based on the findings from Tasks 1 through 5, develop a handbook for use by state DOTs, counties, and local government that include examples of activities and processes that minimize or avoid adverse racially based impacts.
Note: The draft handbook shall be submitted 6 months prior to contract expiration.
Task 8. Prepare summary materials for outreach and engagement of the final report and handbook and other materials useful to state DOTs, counties, and local governments to help them avoid making project delivery decisions that may have adverse racially based impacts.
Task 9. Prepare final deliverables.
Final deliverables shall include, at a minimum (1) a final report documenting the entire research effort; (2) a handbook for use by practitioners that outlines alternative methods and successful practices for project delivery processes; (3) materials for outreach and engagement; (4) prioritized recommendations for future research; (5) a PowerPoint presentation describing the background, objectives, research approach, findings, and conclusions; (6) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note I for additional information); (7) a presentation of findings to two AASHTO committees or councils; and (8) a draft article suitable for publication in TR News (information regarding TR News publication may be found on the TRB webpage http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/info4contributors.pdf).
Proposers may recommend additional deliverables to support the project objective.
STATUS: Proposals have been received. The contractor selection process in progress.