Oklahoma Transportation Center
Issued: April 12, 2004

1. Introduction

The Oklahoma Transportation Center (OTC) requests proposals for research on topics vital to solving some of the pressing transportation problems in Oklahoma and in the nation.

The OTC is a multi-disciplinary coalition of the Oklahoma State University (OSU), the University of Oklahoma (OU), and Langston University (LU) to serve as a resource for solving critical transportation problems in the state and in the nation in a cooperative manner. Founded in 2001, the OTC has over 30 “founding partners” including Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oklahoma Transportation Authority (OTA), and companies and associations representing all transportation modes.

During FY 2001-2003, the OTC faculty and students worked collaboratively on projects covering a broad spectrum of topics including improving work zone safety through remote monitoring, modeling state-wide freight movement, developing a computerized accident analysis system, analyzing impacts of highway construction, and implementing emerging technologies for structural health monitoring and material testing.

“Inter-modal transportation at the nation’s crossroads” will continue to be the OTC’s theme in pursuing projects having practical deliverables. The research focus or thematic areas are: (1) Intelligent Transportation Systems; (2) Materials/Construction/Maintenance; (3) Education/Training; (4) Logistics, Policy, Economics, Risk Assessment; (5) Transit.

2. Eligibility

Any full-time faculty member at OSU, OU, or LU, or a full-time staff member in any individual OSU, OU or LU Transportation Center is eligible to submit a proposal. The University with which the principal investigator is affiliated must officially process all proposals.

3. Size and Scope of Projects

Approximately $375,000 is available for this RFP. Additional funds, approximately $700,000, are anticipated to support projects to be selected from this RFP. Of these available and anticipated funds, approximately two-third will be used for “Top-Down” projects on topics identified by OTA/ODOT, while the balance will be used to support “Bottom-Up” projects suggested by the investigators. This RFP does not cover “transit” research; a separate RFP will be issued for transit research. Also, it is expected that there will be at least one more RFP issued this calendar year for “non-transit” research.

Three types of projects will be considered under this RFP:

(a) Single-phase projects that are limited in scope and can be completed within one year. The maximum budget (including indirect costs) for a project in this category is limited to $100,000.
(b) Multi-phase projects that are broader in scope but closely related to the OTC theme and focus areas. Since the OTC is funded on a year-to-year basis, it is important to clearly delineate the deliverables of each phase. The maximum duration of a phase is one year, with a budget of up to $150,000 per phase.
(c) IDEA projects are short-term projects (up to six months) that may or may not have an immediate application but are relevant to the OTC theme. There are two types of IDEA projects: 1. synthesis projects that summarize and analyze available research results regarding a specific topic; and 2. theoretical projects. The maximum budget of a project in this category is limited to $40,000.

4. Topics for Top-Down Projects

Investigators seeking funding for “Top-Down” projects must select a topic from the following list:

Crack-free bridge decks. Cracking in concrete bridge decks causes numerous problems including penetration and subsequent freezing of water, and corrosion of reinforcing steel. Research is needed to identify if such cracks relate to mix design issue, aggregate issue, performance specifications issue, or other issues, and how these issues be addressed to produce crack-free bridge decks.

Prestress losses in high strength concrete. The ride quality on a completed bridge deck supported by prestressed concrete beams is a function of the camber of the beams. Prestressed concrete beam camber is predicted by taking into account the relaxation of the steel prestressing tendons which works to flatten beam camber, and creep of the concrete under the load of the prestressing tendons which tends to increase beam camber. The factors of beam camber need to be investigated to improve this prediction and produce better ride quality on Oklahoma bridges.

Deterioration of prestressed concrete members at bridge ends. Research is needed to identify the causes of deterioration. Also, practical methods are needed to fix such problems.

Load rating of bridges. Research is needed to develop reliable methods for rating of bridges with weak/distressed elements.

Bridge replacement strategy. Many bridges (overpasses) on Will Rogers and Turner Turnpikes are over fifty years old and need to be replaced. Research is needed to develop a prioritization strategy for the replacement of these bridges.

Transportation infrastructure security. Man-made or natural disasters involving transportation infrastructure can pose serious threats to our national security. Research is needed to develop simulation techniques for identifying the vulnerability of transportation infrastructure.

Impact of nighttime construction. Construction-related delays are responsible for significant highway user costs. Research is needed to examine the impact of nighttime construction on such costs.

Infrastructure maintenance and intelligent transportation. Intelligent transportation systems require embedding sensors to bridges and pavements. Research is needed to develop pertinent construction and maintenance methods for both concrete and asphalt structures.

Database for unbound aggregates. Unbound aggregates are widely used by ODOT and OTA as pavement bases. A database is needed with relevant properties including resilient modulus that can be readily used in pavement design with such aggregates.

Effectiveness of contracts with special provisions. Evaluate the effectiveness of pavement contracts (at least two concrete and two asphalt) with “percent within limits special provisions.”

5. Bottom-Up and IDEA Projects

The topics of bottom-up and IDEA projects proposed by investigators should be consistent with the OTC theme, and pertain to one of the aforementioned focus areas, including “environmental” as one of the thematic areas.

6. Proposal Format

Each proposal should be limited to ten pages, with line spacing not less than 1.5 and font size Times New Roman 12 point or equivalent. One-inch margin should be maintained on all sides. The following outline must be followed: (1) Problem Statement; (2) Research Approach and Methodology; (3) Expected Results; (4) Deliverables; (5) Qualifications; (6) Facilities; (7) Itemized Budget (including indirect costs); (8) Budget Justification, and (9) Time Schedule. Each proposal should clearly indicate the “research focus or thematic area” it pertains to. Also, a proposal seeking funding for a “Top-Down” project must indicate the “topic.” All proposals must have institutional approval (appropriately routed) for submission.

7. Deadline

All proposals must be submitted on or before April 30, 2004 before 5:00 p.m. An electronic (MS Word) copy (CD) and a hard copy must be submitted to:

Dawn Sullivan
Planning and Research Division Engineer
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
200 N.E. 21st Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

8. Selection Process and Criteria

The proposals will be reviewed and ranked by the OTC Executive Committee, which includes ten persons, two from each OTC university, two from ODOT, and two from OTA. Additional reviews by others may be solicited, as needed. The following criteria will be used in selecting the proposals:

(i) Relevance and importance of results to OTC/ODOT/OTA mission 60%
(ii) Implementation potential (short-term/long-term) 10%
(iii) Degree of innovation 15%
(iv) Collaboration with industry and/or OTC institutions 15%

The OTC may ask the Principal Investigator of a selected proposal to revise the proposed budget and work scope, if necessary, depending upon the availability of funds and review outcome. Also, the number of proposals selected for funding will depend upon the availability of funds, quality of proposals and other factors.

9. Consultation Prior to Submitting Proposal

OTC strongly suggests proposal writers to consult with appropriate technical and operations personnel at ODOT and OTA prior to preparing and submitting proposals. Also, OTC encourages partnerships with industry (in kind and/or cash match), OTC institutions (OSU, OU, and LU), and with public agencies apart from ODOT and OTA. The selection criteria include up to 15% credit for such collaborations.

For questions regarding the submission and review of proposals, please contact: Gorman Gilbert, Oklahoma State University, Phone: (405) 744-5190, E-Mail: ggorman@okstate.edu; Sherman Lewis, Langston University, Phone: (405) 962-1660, E-Mail: cdbrice@lunet.edu; Musharraf Zaman, University of Oklahoma, Phone: (405) 325-4236, E-Mail: Zaman@ou.edu


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