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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(41) [Pending]

Deploying Transportation Resilience Practices in State DOTs: Implementation
[ NCHRP 20-44 (NCHRP Implementation Support Program) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $180,000
Contract Time: 15 months
Staff Responsibility: Sid Mohan

BACKGROUND

Resilience relates to activities ranging from planning through design and construction to operations and maintenance. Resilience depends on the participation of diverse agencies and organizations, and can be affected by social, economic, and funding considerations. Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, infectious disease outbreaks, and, most recently, COVID-19 caused major shifts in how transportation agencies view resilience.

Several challenges remain in implementing resilience practices into transportation agencies. One challenge is in getting top leadership and senior practitioners interested and committed in implementing resilience practices, given the other demands on their time. Another challenge is that many state departments of transportation (DOTs) want others to “take the first step,” particularly in areas still relatively new to an organization, before deciding whether to move in the same direction and at the same pace. Finally, the concepts associated with resilience change often, as new agencies contribute to the dialogue, and as new disasters focus attention on the importance of having a resilient transportation system.

NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide provides transportation officials with a self-assessment tool to identify current and future opportunities to include resilience concepts into agency decision-making and procedures. The self-assessment tool can be applied to an array of natural and human-caused threats to transportation systems and services, and is designed to help transportation officials identify and implement actions and strategies to enhance resilience capacity. 

Efforts are needed to disseminate NCHRP Research Report 970 and the self-assessment tool, provide training on usage, and help transportation officials understand and consider resilience strategies that may be effective in their jurisdiction or situation. This will be done through engagement with state DOT staff and leadership to understand how NCHRP Research Report 970 can be used to benefit state DOTs, and development of presentation materials and supplemental tools (as needed) to make the guide content actionable by states based on DOT feedback. The presentation materials and supplemental tools will need to address the functional areas of a DOT, and DOT staff will be trained on how to use the guide as it relates to policies and programs for resilience (such as the Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America and FHWA’s Resilience guidance).

OBJECTIVE 

The objective of this project is to develop workshops to support state DOTs in implementing NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide through the planning and facilitation of at least four pilot workshops with state DOTs. The workshops would cover the concepts underlying the guide and will allow different state DOT staff to assess their current resilience status and to identify state DOT-specific strategies.

TASKS

To realize the objective, the following tasks and related deliverables are proposed, at a minimum. Proposers may recommend additional tasks and deliverables to support the project objective.

Task 1. Develop criteria and identify a list of potential participant states for the workshops that will be used by the project panel to help finalize the actual list of participant states.

Deliverable: List of criteria and list of potential participant states.

Task 2. Develop workshop content, presentation materials, and supplemental tools as needed to deliver the workshops.

Deliverables: Presentation materials and supplemental tools.

Task 3. Conduct a minimum of four pilot workshops using the draft tools, ideally one workshop in each of the four AASHTO regions.

Deliverables: (a) report on the outcomes of the workshops, and (b) report on the efficacy of the materials and tools.

Task 4. Obtain feedback from the pilot workshops on the draft tools, and refine them accordingly.

Deliverables: Refined materials and tools.

Task 5. Identify gaps in current material and recommend future research opportunities.

Deliverable: Report on recommended future research.

Task 6. Develop a short primer for senior leadership on this guide and its relevance to DOTs.

Deliverables: Primer for senior leadership.

Task 7. Develop a final project report that includes an implementation document describing the experiences of the four pilot workshops and highlights the benefits of using the guide.

Deliverable: Final project report.

 

STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP.  The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.

 

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