The National Academies

NCHRP 03-146 [Active]

Guide for Transportation Operations Manual Implementation

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Zuxuan Deng
Research Agency: WSP USA, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Virginia Lingham
Effective Date: 6/10/2024
Completion Date: 6/9/2026



The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Transportation Operations Manual (TOM), developed under NCHRP Project 03-126, “Transportation Operations Manual,” is expected to be published in early 2023 (link to the TOM Table of Content). Wining proposers can request a draft TOM upon signing a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with NCHRP if TOM is not published by the time this project is awarded. There is need to produce a guide to support the implementation and incorporation of the concepts outlined in TOM across disciplines in transportation agencies and practitioners in the real world, contributing to uniformly and efficiently achieving the goals of preserving capacity and improving security, safety, and reliability of the transportation system. 




The objective of this research is to develop a guide to support the implementation of the TOM. The guide will include practical real-world examples, successful practices, and lessons learned, and be applicable to the public sector (such as state agencies, regional planning organizations, local municipalities) and private sector (such as consultants, designers, planners, first responders, and data providers).


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





PHASE I – Planning 


Task 1a.  Gather input from stakeholders, conduct a literature review and state-of-the-practice review of effective practices (case studies, tools, other resources, and lessons learned) for Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO), primarily on TOM topics, found in the AASHTO National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) resources (including the NOCoE Case Study Library, the NOCoE Knowledge Center, the Committee on Transportation System Operations (CTSO) Best Practices Webinar Series, etc.); current practice at state, regional, and local agencies; other industry resources; and related published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and other national, state, local, and pooled-fund sponsored research. 


Task 1b. Map the practices found in Task 1a to TOM topics and identify gaps between TOM and the existing body of knowledge found in Task 1a.


Task 1c. Prepare and submit a technical memorandum to summarize the findings from Tasks 1a and 1b.


Task 1d. Prioritize the list of TSMO effective practices for each TOM topic and document the prioritization methodology.


Task 1e. Categorize the remaining practices that fall outside of TOM topics to be used for potential future TOM updates. 


Task 2a. Establish a framework and outline for a standalone guide for TOM implementation and content, including material identification, selection criteria, and minimum amount of data elements to be included for each practice. The framework shall support digital integration of the guide with the TOM through NOCoE.


Task 2b. Develop a draft communication plan for delivery of communication/outreach materials to various audiences, such as NOCoE peer exchange, AASHTO leadership, and non-TSMO professionals.


Task 3. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 documenting the results of Tasks 1 through 2 and provide an updated plan for the remainder of the research no later than 6 months after contract award. The updated plan must describe the tasks and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II. 



PHASE II – Execution  


Task 4. Address the gaps identified in Tasks 1b and 2a through collecting additional practices and additional data elements for practices with incomplete information.


Task 5. Based on approved Interim Report No. 1, develop the proposed guide.


Task 6. Conduct a workshop with at least 15 representatives of state department of transportation (DOTs) and other stakeholders to demonstrate and collect feedback on the draft guide. Revise the draft guide and workshop materials taking into account feedback gathered during the workshop and submit for the NCHRP project panel’s review.

Task 7. Refine and update the guide based on comments from the NCHRP project panel. 


Task 8. Present the draft guide to AASHTO CTSO and other appropriate AASHTO technical committees for comments and propose any revisions to NCHRP. Revise the draft guide after consideration of review comments. 


Task 9. Prepare the final deliverables including the final guide, and the following: 

a.    A conduct of research that documents the entire research effort and any lessons learned;  

b.    A technical memorandum for potential future TOM update based on findings of Task 1e;

c.     Media and communication material (e.g., presentations, 2-page executive level flyer, graphics, graphic interchange format (GIF)s, press releases); and 

d.    A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” 




STATUS: Research in progress. 


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