Request for Proposal (RFP)
Active April 23, 2003
Requests Closed 6/23/03 at 4:00 PM (EST)

IPRF Project 01-G-002-02-2

Innovative Testing Standards for Acceptance Criteria for Concrete Pavement

Requests Closed


The reconstruction of the runway in 33.5 days at the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport is an example of a growing trend for the construction of rigid airfield pavement systems. But, acceptance criteria for payment for the delivered product is based on traditional strength based schedules. The traditional testing procedures may not necessarily reflect the requirements that result from modern construction practices and for fast track construction. Additionally, the reliability of those tests is sometimes questioned. The acceptance of concrete pavements using higher early strength may not accurately reflect the in situ product. New procedures that recognize new technologies must be adopted.

The intent of this study is to identify, validate precision statements and verify techniques and procedures that will provide or predict in situ strength at early ages as well as later age acceptance strength. Any new procedures that are recommended as a result of this study must be correlated to the current acceptance criteria, ASTM C-78, which forms the basis of the FAA design procedure. A new test should have a better variability than the ASTM C-78 procedure. The new procedures must also recognize the various aspects of the variability in the process that are usually encountered with "rapid track construction" methods.


  • The investigator shall evaluate traditional and new technologies that take advantage of alternate acceptance criteria to the traditional 28-day flexural strength.
  • The investigator shall evaluate practical and economical alternatives to destructive testing for in situ thickness determination. Alternatives cannot be comprised of proprietary instrumentation but must include concepts that can be validated through the use of several proprietary instruments.
  • This study should consider at a minimum,
    • maturity concepts,
    • cement and water content determination, and
    • techniques for curing fresh concrete.
    • Traditional tests for other properties such as air content, sand/aggregate gradation, and yield tests should not be ignored.
  • This study should include non-destructive or marginally invasive testing procedures applicable to in situ strength and thickness of hardened concrete.
  • This study should attempt to use industry-accepted standards wherever possible, such as ASTM and AASHTO procedures, or equivalent standards of practice in other countries. The study should not be used to attempt the development of new technology or theoretical approaches to new testing procedures. Proprietary devices should not be included unless all such devices within a family of theory are included in the study.
  • The research will require field sampling, side by side testing, and statistical analyses of test results.
  • The FAA requires certified technicians and certified accredited laboratories for doing acceptance testing. The investigator shall provide information as to how the requirement will enhance the capability/availability of existing certification/accrediting authorities to alternative testing regimens.
  • The FAA requires acceptance testing based upon random sampling and Percent Within Limits (PWL) concepts. The investigator shall recognize that the PWL concepts will continue under any new testing and acceptance regimens that may be proposed through this research. The study must therefore provide a quality control and/or acceptance testing recommendation for any change in proposed procedures. The procedures must include the timing, location and number of tests, lot size, accept and reject quality levels and, where applicable, pay factors, if the proposed technology forms the basis for payment. Process control variability assumed to be reasonable for quality construction should be assumed when recommending PWL parameters.
  • Several major airports have completed fast track projects of both short duration (i.e. panel replacement) and high volume projects. This investigation must include a review of a select number of those projects and the procedures that were used for acceptance. A list of those projects may be available through the IPRF based as a result of project 02-3, Document Practices for Accelerated Airfield Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. The investigator should plan to review at least 6 projects for the purpose of comparing the use of any proposed technology with the techniques actually used for completed projects.
  • The evaluation of any proposed technology, tests or procedures should, at a minimum, consider cost, reliability, precision and accuracy as compared to existing techniques. The recommended technology or techniques must show benefits in time and cost savings, reliability, and precision. Precision may not be in the form of accuracy of the test result specifically but may include such items as the time period that data becomes available. An example would be "opening to traffic."
  • There may be an opportunity for a limited amount of additional field sampling and testing on FAA funded projects above and beyond the fieldwork anticipated in this research project. Therefore, an early submittal will include the use of specification inserts and instructions to the contractor/engineer for delivery of the test results to the investigator that can be included in the contract documents for some candidate projects. The inserts and instructions must identify the party responsible for sampling and testing and must be consistent with the approved research plan with the intent of providing supporting test data for analyses. The investigator should assume that this testing will be the responsibility of the Engineer of Record for the construction project on which testing may be performed and that this testing is for informational purposes only.
  • The investigator should give consideration to the concrete production process and when does it make sense to do the testing. Should materials be tested before, during or after the concrete production process? The study should answer the question "Where in the process does the highest rate of return on acceptance testing occur?" Rate of return being measured by effectiveness of testing as compared to accuracy and time that results can be used to refine the process.


The deliverable will be a single document that provides recommendations for the adoption of new technology and/or techniques that can be used to accept for payment the concrete pavement as a product. The document will incorporate substantiating data that provides information on reliability, precision, benefits, and implementation directives. Advantages and disadvantages of recommended testing regimen and traditional techniques must be provided. Limitations must also be specified. The final report will include an appendix with recommendations for implementing the requirements in Advisory Circular format.

Two interim documents will be prepared by the investigator and submitted for formal review and approval. The documents will be developed along two Tracks that are assumed to progress as parallel development. However, the completion of Track 1 is necessary before a final notice to proceed can be provided for Track 2.

Track 1 involves the development of a report that documents the research approach, identifies the field and laboratory procedures, provides insight into the results and finally, provides a rational description of the intended approach to the development of alternative testing techniques and procedures consistent with accelerated pavement construction practices.

Track 2 includes the development of the deliverable. The deliverable will provide recommendations for those techniques and procedures that could be used with fast track construction. The report should also include recommendations for applicability to traditional construction practice.

The investigator will provide two originals, in a camera ready format, of the final deliverable document developed under this program including any artwork, graphics or photos. There will also be a submittal in an electronic format compatible with off-the-shelf desktop computer publication software. The investigator will not be responsible for the reproduction and printing of the final document(s) but will assist with minor editing requirements generated by the printing and reproduction process.

The investigator will develop sub-tasks that, when completed, will result in completion of the project within the time and budget available. It is not necessary that the proposal reflect the exact budget or the planned time given in this RFP. However, any deviation from the designated resources must be justified and clearly explained in the proposal. The following are the minimum tasks that are considered necessary to complete the project.

Task 1A - Literature and Airfield Construction Project Review. Review existing literature and/or source documents from which engineers determine materials compatibility, thickness, strength, and construction acceptance criteria for concrete pavement. Identify airports that have accomplished fast track or accelerated construction or rehabilitation of airfield pavements. Determine from project reviews the variables that may or could demonstrate the success and failure variables related to design and construction of airfield concrete pavements.

Task 1B - Identify opportunities for a limited amount of additional field and or acceptance testing on FAA funded projects. Identify candidate airport projects that are or will be FAA funded that may qualify for additional testing regimens. These projects would be in addition to at least one field validation study accomplished with a qualified FAA pavement project. This Task must be completed and the candidate projects identified within 60 days of notice to proceed. Candidate projects may be available from the IPRF.

IMPORTANT: The investigator will not accomplish the initial data acquisition by conducting a written survey. A survey is defined as the random distribution of a standard list of questions that seek trends or forecasting information. The use of such surveys must receive approval through the IPRF from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That process requires a minimum of 90 days from the date of application for the survey approval. The 90 day approval period is not included in the time designated as the performance period. The investigator is encouraged to use a means other than "survey" to identify the candidate airport projects.

Task 2 - Document a Research Plan. Develop a detailed plan of research for the entire project scope. The plan should include details for acquiring test equipment, field testing equipment, lab testing, and the proposed method of data analysis and interpretation. The IPRF discourages the use of research money for the acquisition of real property in the form of equipment exceeding a cost of $5000. If the acquisition amount is greater than $5000, there is a requirement to manage the property and designate the custody of the equipment at the end of the research.

A 20% on-board review will be accomplished. The investigator will not proceed to Task 3 without the written approval of the IPRF. The on-board review must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the actual meeting. Documents that are prepared for technical panel review must be provided at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The location of the meeting will be coordinated with the IPRF. The investigator is responsible for documenting the comments of IPRF technical panel members and the disposition of each comment.

Task 3 -Field and Laboratory Testing. Conduct the testing in the field and the laboratory in accord with the research plan. As the testing proceeds, provide updates to the IPRF for the necessity to modify the research plan.

Task 4 - Data Analysis. Consolidate data from all testing sources and analyze. Develop preliminary recommendations about adopting new technologies or modification of technology evaluated as a part of the research. Develop a draft in Advisory Circular format that would be used to implement the findings of the research.

A 60% on-board review will be accomplished. The review will be a meeting between the investigator and the IPRF Technical Panel. A draft report will be provided to the technical panel at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The investigator is expected to present to the technical panel discussion items that will result in policy decisions for critical elements of the final report. Additional research may be needed to respond to questions that are developed as a result of the on-board review. The location of the meeting will be coordinated with the IPRF. The investigator is responsible for documenting the comments of IPRF technical panel members and the disposition of each comment.

Task 5 - Advanced Final Design Guide(s). Make corrections using the 60% review, additional data gathered as a result of the 60% review and the test construction. Include in the 90% report all artwork, graphical presentations, format, etc. The 90% document shall be in a form that for all intent is complete with the exception of final comments made by the technical panel.

A 90% on-board review will be accomplished. The review will be a meeting between the investigator and the IPRF Technical Panel. The draft design guide(s) (as an IPRF Report) and specifications (in Advisory Circular format), will be provided to the technical panel at least 30 days prior to the meeting. The location of the meeting will be coordinated with the IPRF. The investigator is responsible for documenting the comments of IPRF technical panel members and the disposition of each comment.

Task 6 - Final Report. Make corrections to the 90% document and submit the final documents to the IPRF. Assist the IPRF with publication related editing.

Products Summary:

1. A final report in the form of an IPRF Report and recommended specifications (in Advisory Circular format) complete with all artwork, graphics, tables, pictures, documentation, etc. ready for reproduction and distribution. The report will be submitted in two original documents and one on electronic media.

2. A list of projects that could be candidates for an additional amount of funded field sampling and testing. This product is due within 60 days of the notice to proceed for Track 1.

3. A proposed research plan. Submit 8 copies. This is defined as the 20% level of completion. The project list and the proposed methods on obtaining information will be reviewed at an on-board meeting at a location to be determined. The investigator will host the meeting. Location will be determined in coordination with the IPRF.

4. The 60% on-board review will be accomplished approximately 30-days after submittal of a draft report. The draft report (8 copies) will include a summary of data collected and recommended discussion items. The investigator will host the meeting. Location will be determined in coordination with the IPRF.

5. Advanced final report submittal (8 copies) and 90% on-board review. The investigator will host the meeting. Location will be determined in coordination with the IPRF.

6. Final report review (8 copies) and comment by IPRF technical panel.

Other Considerations and requirements.

1. The investigator will be responsible for the preparation of quarterly reports that describe the progress of the research effort. Reports are due in the offices of the IPRF on the last day of the fiscal year quarter. The reports will be limited to two pages in a format specified by the IPRF. The first page will be a word document describing the progress of the work. The second page will provide a summary of the estimated costs versus the costs incurred to the report date.

2. Because of the limited resources, it is not possible to have an exhaustive list of projects to document. Therefore, in proposing candidate projects, the investigator should consider thermal regimes (sub-tropical, central, and northern tier), pavement features (taxiways, intersections, runways, aprons), and projects that involve rehabilitation and reconstruction.

3. The investigator will initiate contact with the airports that are selected for detailed study and documentation of projects through the IPRF. The investigator will provide a draft letter. The IPRF will edit the letter of introduction to the airports and may include an endorsement of the letter by the FAA. This is intended to encourage participation by the airports and their sponsors.


After the technical panel completes the evaluation of proposals, each of the proposals will be rank ordered. The organization, group, or individual that is ranked as the first and second choice for the recommendation to award may be asked to make a presentation to the project technical panel. The Principal Investigator, and one other person, representing the entity ranked first and second choice by the technical panel may be asked to participate in an interview to discuss the project details, goals, and objectives. The IPRF will reimburse the expenses (up to 2 people) to make this presentation at a location yet to be determined. The interview will occur within a 45-day window subsequent to the proposal submittal deadline.


IPRF procedural guidance documents are available on the web at in the section titled "Airfields Research." Persons preparing proposals are urged to review the following documents to be sure that there is a full understanding of IPRF procedures and requirements. Proposals must be prepared in the format specified in the instruction documents. The proposal will be submitted as one (1) original and 8 copies.

The documents required as an aide to the preparation of the proposal include:

PDF files require Acrobat Reader to view.

FUNDS AVAILABLE: Not to Exceed $640,000

CONTRACT TIME: Not to exceed 16 Months

PROJECT DIRECTOR: James L. Lafrenz, P.E., (202) 842-1131,


PROPOSAL DUE DATE: June 23, 2003 not later than 4:00 P.M. (Eastern Time)


Proposals will be delivered to:
Innovative Pavement Research Foundation
Cooperative Programs Office
1010 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 200
Washington DC 20001
(202) 842-1131
FAX: (202) 842-2022
Attention: Research Proposal Log

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