The National Academies

NCHRP 20-129 [RFP]

Guide for Addressing Encampments on State Transportation Rights-of-Way

Posted Date: 4/29/2022

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
(Phase I shall be limited to $100,000)
Contract Time: 24 months
(Phase I—9 months, includes 2 months for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report; Phase II—15 months, includes 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 10/3/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Amir N. Hanna
   Phone: 202/334-1432
   Email: ahanna@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 6/16/2022
Fiscal Year: 2022

ATTENTION PROPOSERS: A Research Project Statement for NCHRP Project 20-129 was originally released on January 21, 2022; 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. 



The number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States has increased in recent years; state transportation rights-of-way (ROWs) are often some of the most accessible areas to set up temporary encampments. This growing trend of encampments on state ROWs has presented unprecedented challenges for state departments of transportation (DOTs) in the design, construction, and maintenance of pavements and bridges; there are no widely accepted guidelines relating to this trend.


There is a need to develop a guide that presents rational practices for responding to, managing, and deterring encampments on the ROWs. These practices should consider issues such as social equity, environmental impacts, safety, legal issues, and coordination with other agencies. This guide will serve as a resource for state DOTs in implementing management practices for prevention, cleanup, and tolerance of encampments, thereby reducing the challenges associated with encampments.



The objective of this research is to develop a guide of suggested practices for responding to, managing, and deterring encampments on the ROWs. The suggested practices shall address the challenges for state DOTs in the design, construction, and maintenance of pavements and consider social equity, environmental impacts, safety, legal issues, coordination with other agencies, and other relevant issues.

Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following 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 objective. 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 objective.


Task 1. Collect and review relevant domestic and foreign literature, research findings, and information relative to responding to, managing, and deterring encampments on the ROWs. This information may be obtained from published and unpublished information, and contacts with public and private organizations.


Task 2. Based on the review performed in Task 1, identify new and existing practices recommended for further consideration/investigation in Phase II.

Note: Proposals shall include the research team’s current thinking regarding the process proposed for evaluating the identified practices, and for identifying those recommended for further consideration and investigation.


Task 3. Based on the evaluation performed in Task 2, prepare an updated, detailed work plan to be executed in Phase II that includes an approach for developing the guide of suggested practices.

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 developing the guide of suggested practices, and include an outline of the proposed guide. The work proposed for Task 5 must be divided into subtasks, and proposers must describe in detail the work proposed in each subtask.


Task 4. Prepare an interim report that documents the research performed in Tasks 1 through 3. 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 7 months from contract award and meet with NCHRP within 2 months of report submission. The meeting is expected to be in-person and held in Washington, DC. Whether in-person or online, NCHRP will host the meeting and be responsible for any panel member costs to attend meeting.



Task 5.  Execute the Phase II plan approved in Task 4. Based on the results of this work, prepare the guide.


Task 6. Prepare material, in a PowerPoint or other format, for use in webinars and presentations to facilitate implementation and use of the developed guide.


Task 7. Prepare a final deliverable that documents the entire research effort. The deliverable shall include (1) a research report documenting the work performed in the project and used to develop the guide, (2) the guide, and (3) an implementation plan (see Special Note C). The guide shall be prepared as a stand-alone document.

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




A. 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.


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" (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.


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 https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.


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 11 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.



Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/s8Odclpjnatem5pc5sdV
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 6/16/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, 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.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB 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 fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://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". 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.

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.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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