Request for Proposal (RFP)
Posted April 20, 2005

Requests Closed 6/21/05 at 4:00 PM (Central)

IPRF Project FAA-01-G-002-04-2

Improved Overlay Design Parameters for Concrete Airfield Pavements

Requests Closed


Current trends in pavement design philosophy utilize sophisticated analytical modeling coupled with correlations acquired through accelerated trafficking and empirical knowledge. Following this trend, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will release an advanced airfield pavement design procedure in 2006 that is based upon finite element modeling.

Overlay design philosophy lags behind this trend. The current rigid pavement overlay design techniques were developed from full scale loading tests accomplished in the 1950's. The material characterizations and data from those full scale tests do not necessarily provide information that is compatible with today's analytical tools and procedures. A better understanding of the influence of design parameters on pavement overlay design is required.

The Innovative Pavement Research Foundation (IPRF) report, Improved Design Parameters (01-G-002-2), written by ERES Consultants, identifies the parameters that need to be developed for rigid pavement overlay design using advanced pavement design tools. The report, also sets forth a full scale test protocol that is intended to be accomplished at the FAA National Airport Pavement Test Facility (NAPTF) near Atlantic City, NJ. The implementation cost of that plan is more than $2M. That cost exceeds the annual budget authority of the IPRF. A plan to prioritize and execute an initial test series, including data analysis, within budget limits (in bite size chunks) is necessary.

The Principal Investigator (PI) will organize and assemble a master test matrix that will result in the development of improved rigid pavement overlay design techniques. The PI will prepare work statements for construction and instrumentation of a test section (or sections) that the PI elects to accomplish based on the master test matrix. The PI will solicit qualification statements, accept proposals and make recommendations to the IPRF for award of contracts to construct the test section(s) according to plans and specifications prepared by the PI. The money to accomplish the construction and the instrumentation of the test section(s) will come from the budget available for this work. The FAA (NAPTF) can provide some support to the testing, subject to agreements being signed by the IPRF and the FAA. Those support items include, but not limited too, subgrade preparation and operation of the test machine (refer to the special conditions section of this document). The PI is responsible for data collection and analysis. The final report will include updating the master test matrix and presenting the findings from this work. Recommendations for successive testing will be included in the final report.


The PI will build a master test matrix and subsequently design and execute the management of at least one of a series of experimental programs intended to expand the knowledge of the design parameters used for thickness determination of rigid overlay on rigid airfield pavements. The work will be accomplished in multiple tasks - including benchmark evaluations of progress. Validation testing and data analysis will be accomplished using full scale pavement construction and loading at the NAPTF. The first test section(s) is expected to be limited in scope because of resources available but that test section(s) must provide information that is considered critical to follow on testing. Therefore, it should be manifest, that the first test section(s) will control the tone and temper of the total program. The first test sequence must answer a question(s) that is critical to understanding the impact of the variables on rigid pavement overlay design thickness.

As a minimum,

  • The PI will review the current IPRF report and layout a master test matrix that provides a roadmap for an experimental program, that when completed in total, will result in a new rigid pavement overlay protocol. Each of the test plan elements must be consistent with projected funds. The funds projection will be provided after selection of a proposal and award of a contract.
  • Update the current IPRF report based upon the review.
  • Prioritize the testing to assure that critical data is obtained at the advent of the program. The follow on program elements should build upon the initial results. The test sequence should get the program to the point of diminishing returns while defining the exact nature of the impact of the variables on the design solution. As a part of the process, the sensitivity of the variables must be defined and quantified.
    • An initial prioritization of the variables, based upon the experience of the PI, is a requirement. The variables include but are not limited to:
      • Base Pavement support - includes sub-grade and sub-base.
      • Structural Condition Index (SCI) of base pavement. What is the best way to measure and analytically represent the material properties and physical condition of the base pavement?
      • How is the effective modulus of the base pavement quantified?
      • What is the influence of ASR/D-Cracking on the effective modulus of the base slab?
      • What interface conditions exist between the base slab and the overlay? How is the interface assessed and measured? Are there materials used to separate the base pavement from the overlay that would influence the interface in either in a positive or negative manner.
      • Is the joint location of the overlay with respect to the existing pavement a variable or a design practice?
      • How does Gear Configuration and Tire load for specific aircraft overlay thickness design?.
    • Develop cost estimates for accomplishing each element of the master test plan.
  • Prepare construction documents and receive proposals to construct the first test section(s). The entity selected to accomplish the construction will be managed by the PI, including doing QC, but they will be under contract to the IPRF. The funds for the construction will come from funds available for this work.
    • Develop the statement of work for pre-qualification of the contractor that will be used to construct the test section.
    • Develop the statement of work for pre-qualification of the contractor that will be used to instrument the test section.
    • Contractors and specialty teams must be familiar with the facilities at the NAPTF.
  • The PI will oversee the tesoting, collect the data, and analyze the data.
  • Based upon the results, revise the master test plan developed as the initial task and recommend successive testing.


The final document will be an Innovative Pavement Research Foundation (IPRF) report that addresses all of the stated objectives.

The PI will provide two original documents, in a camera-ready format including artwork, graphics, and/or photos. The final report will also be submitted in an electronic format compatible with off-the-shelf desktop computer publication software. The PI will not be responsible for the reproduction and printing of the final documents but will assist with minor editing requirements generated by the printing and reproduction process.


The PI will be responsible for developing a series of sub-tasks that when completed will result in completion of this study within the time and budget available. It is not necessary that the proposal reflect the exact budget or the performance period indicated; however, any deviation from the available resources must be justified and clearly explained in the proposal.

The following are considered as the minimum tasks that are necessary to do the work under the limitations set forth in this document. The proposal may include an increase or decrease in the number of tasks. The number of "on-board" reviews will be retained. "On-board" reviews are face to face meetings between the PI and the Technical Panel (Please refer to the Program Formulation and Management Guide for the description of the Technical Panel and their role in the research).

Task 1 -Review the IPRF Report 01-G-002-2, Improved Design Parameters: The review will be accomplished for the purpose of doing four things.

  • Gaining an understanding of the capabilities and limitations at the FAA National Airport Pavement Test Facility (NAPTF).
  • Understanding the variables that are considered influential to the development of design solutions for rigid overlays. The investigator will prioritize the variables and accomplish a sensitivity analysis. The sensitivity analysis will be used to allocate resources for accomplishing the research objectives.
  • Developing a master plan that will be a roadmap of elements that when individually accomplished will result in an answer to a specific question or will establish the basis for doing a subsequent test. It should not be necessary to accomplish the elements in sequence - any one of the elements could be completed and provide a quantifiable understanding of a variable.
  • Allows the PI to understand the scope and conditions to accomplish the initial series of testing. The investigator will define the scope and requirements for the initial testing.

Task 2 - Prepare the Master Plan: The PI will develop the master test plan. The end result is a design protocol for rigid pavement overlays of existing rigid pavement. The plan will identify the minimum tasks necessary to achieve the objectives. The plan will discuss key elements, summarize the variables and their priority for investigation, and identify any holes in available information on rigid pavement overlay design protocol.

A 20 % "on-board" review meeting will be held at the end of Task 2. The PI will not proceed to Task 3 without the written approval from the IPRF. The review meeting must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the actual meeting. Documents that are prepared for the technical panel review must be provided at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

The location of the meeting will be coordinated through the IPRF. The PI will provide a recording secretary at the review meeting. The comments of the IPRF technical panel members and the disposition of each comment will be recorded. Minutes of the meeting will be developed by the PI.

Task 3 - Planning the Accomplishment of the First Test Series of the Master Plan: Once the plan the Technical Panel agrees with the test plan, the first test(s) shall be accomplished. The PI will include the following in their work plan as a minimum:

  • Qualification Statements of the construction Contractor
  • Qualification Statements for the Instrumentation Team
  • Project Plans and Specifications
  • Recommendations for Award of Contractor and Specialty Teams
  • Contract Awards and Management of Construction (Includes QC)
  • Oversight of Testing and Monitoring
  • Preliminary Data Analysis

Task 4 - Draft Report Preparation: A draft report will be prepared and submitted to the IPRF. The draft report will include documentation and results of the Task 3 efforts.

A 60% review meeting will be held after the submission of the draft report. The draft report will be provided to the Technical Panel at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Comments of the Technical Panel will be discussed at the review meeting. The PI is expected to present to the Technical Panel discussion items that will result in policy decisions for the critical elements that will be a part of the final report. Additional research, subject to resources available, may be needed to respond to questions that are developed as a result of the review meeting.

The meeting will be coordinated through the IPRF. The PI will provide a recording secretary for the meeting. The comments of the IPRF Technical Panel and the disposition of each comment will be recorded. Minutes of the meeting will be developed by the PI.

Task 5 - Accomplish the Data Analysis: The PI will accomplish the data analysis and provide the results of findings in a final report. The work will include the revision of the master test plan as written under Task 2 as necessary.

Task 6 - Advanced Draft Final Report: The investigator will make corrections using the 60% review comments of the Technical Panel and the data analysis. All artwork, graphical presentations, format, etc. will be included in the advanced Draft Final Report. For all intent and purpose, the advanced Draft Final Report shall be complete with the exception of the incorporation of final comments made by the technical panel.

A 90% "conference call" review meeting will be held after the submission of the advanced Draft Final Report. The draft report will be provided to the Technical Panel at least 30 days prior to the date of the conference call. The investigator will provide a recording secretary and the comments of the Technical Panel and the disposition of each will be recorded. The Technical Panel may, at its discretion, mandate that the 90% review be an "on-board" review depending upon the completeness of the advanced Draft Final Report.

Task 7 - Final Report: The investigator will submit the final report to the IPRF and assist with editing that is related to the publication process.


1. The 20% deliverables include seven (7) copies of a master test plan report that outlines the results of review of the IPRF report and the scope of the elements to accomplish the objectives of the research.
2. The 60% deliverables include seven (7) copies of the draft report.
3. The 90% deliverables include seven (7) copies of the advanced Draft Final Report.
4. Final deliverables include a Final Report (as two originals) complete with all artwork, graphics, tables, pictures, documentation, etc. ready for reproduction. The report will also be submitted on electronic media compatible with desktop publication software.


1. The investigator is responsible for the preparation of quarterly reports that describe the progress of the research effort. Quarterly reports are due in the offices of the IPRF on the last day of the last month of the fiscal year quarter. The reports will be limited to two pages. 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 through the end of the quarter.
2. The full scale testing program will be accomplished at the FAA National Airport Pavement Test Facility near Atlantic City, NJ. The investigator will be responsible for daily coordination with the staff at the NAPTF during the construction, testing and data acquisition.


1. As part of the selection process, the IPRF Technical Panel will evaluate each proposal and each of the proposals will be rank ordered. The organization, group, or individual ranked as the first and second choice for the recommendation to award may be asked to participate in a telephone interview with the Technical Panel. The PI and one other person representing the investigating team will be asked to participate in the interview. The interview, if it does occur, will occur within a 45-day window subsequent to the proposal submittal deadline. The IPRF will attempt to notify the people that submit proposals of the approximate date that interviews will be accomplished if they are required.
2. The FAA NAPTF can provide support for the test program subject to appropriate agreements being signed. The items that should be considered by the PI as "subject to discussion pending the development of appropriate agreements" for the purpose of preparing the proposal. The support agreement, in Draft form, is provided as supplemental information to this document.


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 6 copies.

The documents required to assist in the preparation of the proposal include:

PDF files require Acrobat Reader to view.

FUNDS AVAILABLE: Not to Exceed $780,000

CONTRACT TIME: Not to exceed 22 Months

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Mr. Jim Lafrenz, PE, (785) 742-6900,


PROPOSAL DUE DATE: June 21, 2005 not later than 4:00 P.M. (Central Time)


Mr. Jim Lafrenz, P.E.
Innovative Pavement Research Foundation
Cooperative Programs Office
201 Shawnee Street
Hiawatha, KS 66434
(785) 742-6900
FAX: (785) 742-6908

Return to IPRF Airfields Research