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State DOT Product Evaluation Processes (2024)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Literature Review

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Literature Review." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. State DOT Product Evaluation Processes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27809.
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10 The literature review summarizes background information, recent research, and current prac- tices regarding product evaluation processes and programs at state DOTs. An array of resources exists, ranging from theoretical to application-based documentation and guidance for the evalu- ation of products for use in state DOTs’ construction and maintenance operations. The informa- tion in this chapter provides an overview of construction and maintenance products, along with the processes and programs used by state DOTs to evaluate such products, and includes associ- ated practices and policies employed by state DOTs. This information was used in the develop- ment of the survey questionnaire, which can be found along with accompanying responses in Chapter 3. The literature review also informed the collection of the case examples described in Chapter 4. 2.1 Overview of Product Evaluation Processes and Programs State DOT PEPs have existed for some time. They help agencies respond to and analyze poten- tial materials, equipment, processes, devices, and technologies that may positively impact high- way and transportation construction, maintenance, and operations. Typically, state DOT PEPs are designed to review and analyze new products that are commercially available for application and are often proposed to individual agencies by external suppliers and manufacturers (Carr 2004). While internal state DOT staff and external contractors may recommend products for evaluation, suppliers and manufacturers would still need to be the party applying for product evaluation. In some cases, only authorized manufacturer representatives may submit a product for evaluation. State DOT PEP staff focus on responding to requests for product evaluation, conducting objec- tive evaluations for proper consideration, and approving products for use in practice that ben- efit transportation construction and maintenance. Examples of evaluation techniques that are used to assist with product evaluation include certifying that products meet established standard specifications, field and laboratory testing, and piloting or conducting demonstrations on specific projects. National and certified testing center information, NTPEP, and other states’ experiences also are considered by some as criteria for product approval. State DOTs may also encounter product evaluations for which there is no standard specification, supplemental specification, or general special provision already in place for a specific product. Some DOTs evaluate products that have never been used or evaluated previously (Carr 2004). However, some state DOTs, such as Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Texas, agree that the product must fill a need, improve current processes, be more cost-efficient, or provide economic benefits, and if a product does not do this, it is not considered for evaluation or use. C H A P T E R 2 Literature Review

Literature Review 11   Traditionally, product evaluation is the responsibility of the state DOT, which develops inde- pendent product evaluations requiring various resources and staff levels. While state DOT PEPs vary, a common approach to product evaluation found from investigating all 50 state DOTs is outlined in Table 2. 2.2 NTPEP National resources exist to assist state DOTs in their product evaluation processes. NTPEP is a technical service program established by AASHTO in 1994. It combines the professional and physical resources from AASHTO-member DOTs to evaluate materials, products, and devices that are of general interest for use in highway construction and maintenance (AASHTO 2021). The goal, therefore, of NTPEP is to provide cost-effective product evaluation information for state DOTs. However, NTPEP does not pass/fail products, set performance requirements and limits, or make decisions about approving or not approving a product. Furthermore, NTPEP information should not replace the quality assurance activities performed by state DOTs, and the information cannot supersede state or federal requirements. The NTPEP technical committees determine the evaluation processes for a product through testing and assessing product samples, auditing product manufacturers, or both. The results of the product evaluation are then posted on DataMine. NTPEP resources help DOTs efficiently evaluate products and make their own acceptance decisions. Figure 2 outlines the NTPEP technical committees, categorized as either an NTPEP audit program or an NTPEP evaluation program. Audit programs are conducted at the product manu- facturer’s facility and include a review of the quality management system, production process, and testing capabilities. Audits are not considered inspections, and while the results of audits are posted on the NTPEP website, they do not imply acceptance of a product, as that is up to the state DOT (AASHTO 2021). Although NTPEP does not provide approval, the information that state DOTs can use from NTPEP may be vital and can help eliminate the duplication of product testing and evaluations. Yet the use of NTPEP varies across state DOTs. In some cases, state DOTs require the use of spe- cific evaluation programs within NTPEP, while some state DOTs may allow or may not require the use of NTPEP evaluation programs. The NTPEP webpage provides access to the results of a survey on which state DOTs require, allow, or do not use the NTPEP evaluation programs. Steps Process Description Step 1 Interested suppliers and manufacturers complete a product evaluation application that includes information on the specific product, potential applications, performance, and testing results. Applications may also include information on Buy America/Build America requirements and environmental information about the product (e.g., SDSs, environmental product declarations). In most cases, the applicant completes and submits the application digitally via an online system. Step 2 The applicant provides performance information and samples to the state DOT for review and testing. Information may include NTPEP testing results and information and certified laboratory testing results. Step 3 The state DOT forms an evaluation committee using subject-matter experts (SMEs) to review the performance information, test the product, and implement it as a demonstration or pilot on actual projects. Step 4 An approval or rejection letter is compiled that is provided to the applicant based on the evaluation results. Rejected products may be considered for re-evaluation if the manufacturer or supplier can demonstrate improvements to the product. Step 5 Approved products are added to the state DOT A/QPL and are available for use in construction and maintenance operations. Table 2. Common approach to state DOT product evaluation.

12 State DOT Product Evaluation Processes Figure 3 shows the usage of the NTPEP programs, which illustrates that many of the programs are not widely used [e.g., Asphalt Mixture Additives (AMA), Concrete Coating Systems (CCS), Crack Sealant (CS), Detectable Warning Systems (DWS), Epoxy and Resin-Based Adhesive Bonding Systems (ERB), High Friction and Thin Overlays (HFTO), Joint Sealants (JS), Portland and Blended Cement (PBC), and Raised Pavement Markers (RPM)], while only a few are shown as required [e.g., Asphalt Release Agents (ARA), Geosynthetics (GTX & REGEO), Pavement Marking Materials (PMM), Structural Steel Coatings (SSC), and Sign Sheeting Materials (SSM)]. Each NTPEP evaluation program is available for use by willing state DOTs. The AASHTO NTPEP also includes DataMine, which is an online repository of data and audit reports for NTPEP evaluation and audit programs. The results of product evaluations are NTPEP Evaluation Programs (18) Asphalt Mixture Additives (AMA) Pavement Marking Materials (PMM) Asphalt Release Agents (ARAs) Portland Cement Concrete (PCC)Joint Sealants (JS) Concrete Admixtures/Concrete Curing Compounds Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Crack Sealant (CS) Concrete Coating Systems (CCS) Portland and Blended Cement (PBC) Detectable Warning Systems (DWS) Raised Pavement Markers (RPM) Epoxy and Resin-Based Adhesive Bonding Systems (ERB) Rapid Set Concrete Patch Materials Erosion Control Products Sign Sheeting Materials (SSM)/Roll-Up Signs GTX & REGEO Structural Steel Coatings (SSC)/CCS High-Friction and Thin Overlays (HFTO) Temporary Traffic Control Devices (TTCD) NTPEP Audit Programs (8) Asphalt Binder Suppliers Composite Concrete Reinforcements Corrugated Metal Pipe Elastomeric Bridge Bearing Pads Geosynthetics (GTX & REGEO) Guardrail/Guiderail Reinforcing Steel and Wire (Rebar) Thermoplastic Pipe Figure 2. AASHTO NTPEP technical committees for audit and PEPs. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Pe rc en t o f S ta te D O Ts NTPEP Evaluation Programs Required Not Used Allowed Source: https://transportation.org/product-evaluation-and-audit-solutions/ Figure 3. Usage of NTPEP from NTPEP state DOT survey.

Literature Review 13   added to DataMine (https://data.ntpep.org/Home/Index), which contains product information for traffic safety, construction, and maintenance operations. Figure 4 illustrates the products included in DataMine, which are categorized by traffic safety, pavement, materials, and mainte- nance. In addition, NTPEP resources help DOTs efficiently evaluate products and make accep- tance decisions. A part of DataMine is the UP3 service, formerly known as the AASHTO Product Evaluation List (APEL), which is a program that assists DOT AASHTO members who wish to use innova- tive and proprietary transportation products by exchanging product evaluation information, certifications, and AASHTO-coordinated laboratory testing. The purpose of UP3 is to eliminate the duplication of testing performed by state DOTs and the duplication of effort expended by the manufacturer or supplier providing the product for evaluation. UP3 is controlled by the UP3 Council, operating under the NTPEP Steering Committee. The UP3 evaluation review process follows the flowchart shown in Figure 5 and comprises four main stages: Stage 1 – Initial product evaluation request. A manufacturer submits a product or material to be evaluated for possible inclusion in the UP3 listing. The UP3 Council reviews the application and determines whether the product fails to meet the acceptance criteria. If the product does not meet the criteria, the manufacturer or supplier is notified and encouraged to follow other means more appropriate for their product. If the product meets the criteria, the UP3 Council reviews and discusses the potential for evaluation and decides whether the product will move to Stage 2. Stage 2 – Detailed product evaluation application submittal and processing. Once the detailed product application and fees have been received, the UP3 Council reviews the application and provides basic direction when further questions or information is required. When all the rel- evant details of the test program have been identified, the UP3 Council communicates with the laboratory to describe the testing guidelines and obtain a scope of work and cost estimate for testing. The estimate is provided to the manufacturer to decide whether proceeding with the evaluation is in their best interest. If the manufacturer confirms participation and payment, the Traffic Safety Pavement Materials Maintenance DWS Asphalt binder suppliers Corrugated metal pipe CCS PMM ARAs Elastomeric bridge bearing pads HFTO Portable, changeable message signs Concrete admixtures ERB PCC JS and HMA CS Flashing arrow panels Concrete curing compounds Erosion control products Pipe lining systems RPM PBC Geosynthetic reinforcement Rapid set concrete patch materials SSM Reinforcing steel and wire Geotextiles and GTX & REGEO SSC Warm mix asphalt technologies Guardrail/Guiderail Subgrade stabilization GTX & REGEO Thermoplastic pipe TTCD Figure 4. NTPEP DataMine online repository and audit reports for products used for traffic safety, pavement, materials, and maintenance.

14 State DOT Product Evaluation Processes laboratory is asked to proceed. The laboratory may at this point contact the manufacturer to acquire an appropriate number of product samples and proceed with conducting tests. Stage 3 – Posting of evaluation data. After receiving the laboratory testing reports, the UP3 Council reviews the results for proper content and formatting and forwards the report to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then decides whether to publish the data or not. If the data are published, the test reports become available for review and use by state DOTs. Stage 4 – Product certification request. When a state DOT has conducted testing on a manu- facturer’s product and certified it for use, the DOT may post their certificate and the resulting data. A manufacturer may also submit a request through the UP3 Council to have the state DOT post their certificate. 2.3 A/QPLs Each state DOT has either an approved or qualified list of products available for use in construc- tion and maintenance operations. Once products have been evaluated and approved by a state DOT Product Evaluation Committee (PEC), the product is added to the A/QPL. The A/QPL then contains various approved products and materials that are categorized based on the DOT’s opera- tions. Therefore, the structure of A/QPLs varies among state DOTs, as well as their re-evaluation criteria and timelines. While A/QPLs may include similar products and materials for multiple state DOTs, the layout and structure can be different among these DOTs. Timelines for acceptance can be relatively quick if information and testing are available but longer for those materials lacking performance information or a specification. The length of time a product remains on the list varies, from 1 year to indefinitely. The following sections provide examples of A/QPLs for sample DOTs. 2.3.1 Iowa DOT At Iowa DOT, the approved product list is called the Materials Approved Product List Enterprise, or MAPLE (https://maple.iowadot.gov/). MAPLE is a searchable online database of approved Detailed application received from manufacturer. Application reviewed by UP3 Council. If approved, non- refundable application invoice is issued. If rejected, the manufacturer is notified. After confirming application fee payment, scope of work is developed, reviewed by the UP3 Council, and shared with the manufacturer. Manufacturer approves or rejects the scope of work. Testing facility is selected and formal quote for testing is shared with the manufacturer. Manufacturer approves or rejects quote. Invoice for evaluation fee is generated if approved. After evaluation, fee payment is confirmed and sampling instructions are sent to the manufacturer. Evaluation results are shared with UP3 Council and manufacturer for review. Evaluation data posted to the UP3 website. Figure 5. UP3 evaluation flowchart.

Literature Review 15   products, sources, and suppliers of materials for Iowa highway projects. The structure of MAPLE includes four searchable categories: • Material names, • Instructional memorandums, • Producers, and • Brands. Each category has a drop-down menu of items for users to select from. Once an item is selected, a report of information is provided to the user. For example, when selecting a material name, such as asphalt emulsion, a list of approved brands and company names is provided along with the approval date. Instructional memorandums are reports that document the testing and approval processes for a product or material. For example, Instructional Memorandum #437 details the scope, source approval, documentation, and acceptance information for asphalt emulsion products (Iowa DOT 2022). 2.3.2 Minnesota DOT Minnesota DOT follows Policy #OE005, shown in Appendix D, for publishing the A/QPL that applies to materials, products, and engineered systems approved/qualified for use in Minnesota DOT construction and maintenance projects. Minnesota DOT structures its A/QPL in 21 categories, as listed in Table 3. The evaluation process for approval is specific to each of these categories. All standards, requirements, applications, and contact information are provided under each category so that manufacturers and suppliers know the requirements and process for getting a product approved or qualified for use. Minnesota DOT does not review any products or materials that do not meet the standards and requirements. Any product not approved can be re-evaluated once the manufacturer or supplier has changed the material, product, or engineered system. Further- more, Minnesota DOT may remove a material, product, or engineered system from the A/QPL if it determines that the product must be re-evaluated. In addition, inclusion of a product, material, or engineered system on the A/QPL does not mean that Minnesota DOT endorses the product or that the product will be used for construction or maintenance operations (Minnesota DOT 2022). Finally, Minnesota DOT’s stewardship agreement with FHWA requires performing an engineering and environmental evaluation of materials, products, and engineered systems before adding them to the A/QPL. 2.3.3 Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) uses its Approved Materials List, which replaced the Qualified Products List in 2014, to denote those products and materials that are approved for use in construction and maintenance operations. The Materials Section at Louisiana DOTD maintains the Approved Materials List database to provide products Table 3. Minnesota DOT A/QPL categories. Product Categories Approved/Qualified for Use in Construction and Maintenance Asphalt GTX & REGEO Signals Bridge Maintenance shop supplies Signing Concrete Paint/stain/coatings Snow fencing Crack and joint materials Pavement markings TTCD Detectable warning surfaces Precast concrete Treated wood Drainage Roadside barriers/hardware Vehicle lighting Erosion control and landscaping Lighting Walls

16 State DOT Product Evaluation Processes that are available for construction and maintenance personnel. However, inclusion of a product on the Approved Materials List does not mean it is approved for all projects, and all products are still subject to project-specific requirements. In addition, the Approved Materials List is to be used in tandem with the Materials Sampling Manual, Standard Specifications, Supplemental Specifications, Special Provisions, Maintenance Specifications, Plans, and any supplementary information available at the time of use. Information from the Approved Materials List is obtained using the search function. Addi- tionally, the Approved Materials List for aggregates is a separate system. The structure of the Approved Materials List follows the categories listed in Table 4. 2.3.4 Oregon DOT The Oregon DOT Structure Services Unit evaluates products to ensure compliance with construction project specifications. The results of the evaluations are published by Oregon DOT every 6 months in the QPL. The QPL (see Appendix E) is a comprehensive list of all finished products that are acceptable for use in Oregon DOT projects and is structured around 151 cate- gories of products and materials, including the relevant specification number for all products and materials. Products listed on the QPL are classified based on the information shown in Table 5. Louisiana DOTD Approved Material List Categories for Construction and Maintenance Adhesive lubricant Hydrated lime and quicklime Admixtures for PCC Impact attenuator Anti-strip additive Liquid membrane forming compound Asphalt mix release agents Metal beam for highway guardrail Asphaltic materials Micro-silica Barricade warning lights Mineral filler for asphaltic concrete Bituminous adhesive for pavement markers Noise reduction systems Cold galvanizing repair compound Patching materials Concrete anchor systems Plastic culvert pipe Corrugated steel pipe Plastic drums for traffic warning Dry batched sacked concrete revetment Polyurethane polymer joint sealant Elastomeric bridge bearing pads Portland and blended hydraulic cement Epoxy coatings for reinforcement bars Precast concrete pipe Epoxy resin systems Precast temporary barriers Erosion control products Preformed materials Fibers for concrete mix Protective coatings Flexible posts Qualified reinforcing steel mills Fly ash Railway-highway grade crossings Form release agents for PCC Raises pavement markings Gasket materials for culvert pipe Reflective sheeting Geocomposite drainage systems Silicone polymer joint sealant Geotextile fabrics Splicing devices for rebar Ground granulated blast furnace slag Temporary pavement marking tape Grout Thermoplastic pavement markings Guardrail end treatment Timber Guardrail composite blackout Traffic paint High-friction surface treatment Underdrain and yard drain systems High-performance cold mix for patch Warm mix asphalt additive material Hot-poured rubberized asphaltic joint seal Zinc paint systems for structural steel Source: www.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Engineering/Materials_Lab/Pages/Menu_QPL.aspx Table 4. Louisiana DOTD Approved Materials List categories.

Literature Review 17   2.4 State DOT PEP Examples A review of state DOT programs showed that all states have an internal PEP, A/QPL, or both. Literature, reports, procedure documents, flowcharts, and any other relevant information were collected from state DOTs. Information on state DOT PEPs from collected literature is discussed in the following sections. 2.4.1 California Department of Transportation The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has an established and formal PEP that focuses on the objective, impartial, consistent, and timely evaluation of construction, main- tenance, and operation products (Caltrans 2019). New products can be submitted by third-party manufacturers or suppliers. Internal staff may direct manufacturers and suppliers to the PEP submission process if they are interested in Caltrans using their product. Products are evaluated to determine whether they will be added to Caltrans’s authorized materials lists (AMLs), and products that are a part of the AMLs are then specified in Caltrans’s specifications for use. Manufacturers and suppliers may submit additions to an existing AML using the TL-9502: Authorized Material List Submittal Form, while the TL-9501: New Product Evaluation Submittal Form is used to submit new products that do not align with an existing AML and do not meet the current standard specifications (see Appendix F for both forms). The products listed in the AMLs (https://dot.ca.gov/programs/engineering-services/authorized-materials-lists) include criteria for authorization on how each product is evaluated. For example, one of Caltrans’s AMLs is admixtures for use in concrete, and Caltrans provides the authorization criteria for those who may want to submit a new type of admixture. This helps the product submitters under- stand how their product will be evaluated and, ultimately, whether it will be accepted. Table 5. Classification used for the Oregon DOT QPL. Label Classification Definition Q Qualified Products that have been evaluated and found suitable for a specific category. Further job sampling, testing, and certification may be required depending on specifications. A Approved Products that have been evaluated and found suitable for a specific category. Further job site testing is not necessary, and approval is normally based on product labeling and comparison with similar products listed on the QPL. C Conditional Product has been evaluated and is approved for limited use. Before the product can be used, the contractor has to get permission from Oregon DOT on a case-by-case basis. A warranty might be requested to use a conditional product. E Experimental A product has some features that provide interest but would require FHWA approval before use. Products in this category are referred to the Oregon DOT Research Unit. R Rejected The product has been evaluated and found unsuitable because the product does not meet specifications or shows poor performance. P Pending Product is under review. N/A No Application Product might be deemed acceptable but is used on a very limited and specific basis. N/L No List Product might or might not be suitable for use and would be for project-specific specifications. D Discontinued The product is no longer available for use. Product is then added to the archive list. I Information Needed Product is in review and awaiting additional information. Source: Oregon DOT 2016

18 State DOT Product Evaluation Processes Each product submitted is evaluated based on performance, department priorities and needs, and compliance with all health, safety, and environmental laws and policies. Products that do not perform, do not fill a need, or do not meet safety and environmental requirements are neither accepted nor used in Caltrans’s construction and maintenance operations. In addition, products are considered eligible for evaluation if the product is fully developed, commercially available, and ready for immediate use in construction, maintenance, or operations. Further information on Caltrans’s PEP can be found in Chapter 4. 2.4.2 Georgia DOT The purpose of Georgia DOT’s PEP is to provide a well-defined and organized system to handle requests from various sources (e.g., suppliers, manufacturers, and contractors) to consider new products for transportation roadway and bridge construction and maintenance. Georgia DOT’s policy is to only evaluate new products that show the potential to fill a need and economically pro- vide an acceptable level of service or products not currently covered by an existing specification. The applying manufacturer or supplier is required to demonstrate the need for the new product. Georgia DOT only considers products that are adequately developed, screened, and tested by the submitting firm. Georgia DOT created the New Products Evaluation Committee to act as a clearinghouse of proposals promoting new products to be properly considered. The committee is composed of subject-matter experts (SMEs) from the following offices: • Bridge Design, • Construction, • Maintenance, • Materials and Testing (serves as the chair of the committee), • Roadway Design, • Traffic Operations, • Design Policy and Support, • Utilities, • Environmental Compliance, • Transportation Data, and • Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Representative (Georgia DOT 2021). The evaluation follows a four-step process (Georgia DOT 2021). The first step is the preliminary review, where the lead committee member reviews all received documentation to determine whether the product will perform as stated, a need exists for the product, and the product will be economical. During the evaluation, the committee is responsible for assigning status classifica- tions, which are shown in Table 6. The second step is the evaluation. Following the preliminary review, the lead committee member shall decide to accept, reject, or make no decision. When no decision is made, the third step is to conduct the product evaluation with the New Products Evaluation Committee. The initial informa- tion is presented to the committee, which can decide to accept, reject, or request further infor- mation. This can include laboratory or field evaluations of the product. The fourth step is to conduct laboratory or field evaluations based on the committee’s recom- mendation. If laboratory evaluations are requested, it is the submitting firm’s responsibility to have the laboratory tests performed. Laboratory results are then provided to Georgia DOT for review. If field or pilot testing is requested, the submitting firm must provide samples for free to Georgia DOT for testing. Once the field or laboratory testing is complete, the committee makes a final decision.

Literature Review 19   2.4.3 Michigan DOT Michigan DOT uses the new materials and qualified products evaluation process. New materials are defined as those that have no current specification or use and are only considered by Michigan DOT when the material is fully developed and commercially available for construction or main- tenance activities. Qualified products are defined as those that are currently specified by stan- dard specifications, standard plans, supplemental specifications, special provisions, or the QPL (Michigan DOT 2022). Manufacturers and suppliers that seek product approval must submit one of two forms: (1) the New Materials Product Evaluation Request Form #1022N, including any pertinent information, or (2) the Qualified Product Evaluation Request Form #1022Q, including all important informa- tion. Both forms are provided for reference in Appendix G. The submitted form is then processed for evaluation (Michigan DOT n.d.). Michigan DOT assigns an SME to conduct the evaluation of new materials. The SME is then responsible for maintaining ongoing communication with the applicant and documenting any significant correspondence for future reference. The SME also determines whether the product is a new material or qualified product, whether the product is worthy of evaluation, and which department divisions within Michigan DOT need to be involved in the evaluation process. The evaluation includes the following information: • Review of independent laboratory test results, • Review of the field performance of the product used by other agencies, • Working with the applicant and other department divisions to secure a project for a field application of the product, and • Ongoing review of the field trial application performance (Michigan DOT n.d.). Table 6. Georgia DOT’s classification status assignments for products under evaluation. Classification Status Description Accepted Use of a product is limited to the applications for which it is “accepted” only if there is a need, if the product meets that need, and if Georgia DOT is willing to draft a specification or special provision for the product. There is no obligation to use an accepted product. Rejected A product is usually rejected for one or more of the following reasons: (1) product cost is prohibitive; (2) product does not perform as claimed by the manufacturer; or (3) the product does not perform in a way to meet a need. Field Test The product is under evaluation. Field testing is planned or in progress in order to obtain more information. Laboratory Test The product is under evaluation. Laboratory testing is planned or in progress in order to obtain more information. Action Pending Classification of the product is being delayed until additional information can be obtained from the manufacturer. No Application No need exists or missing application for the product. Withdrawn Withdrawn from consideration at the request of the manufacturer. Withdrawn/No Action Withdrawn from consideration due to no contact from the manufacturer for a period of at least 1 year. Project to Project Georgia DOT needs to review this product per project due to the product’s special use. Use of a product is limited to the applications for which the product meets the specification or special provision. Allow the Use When it is recommended to “allow the use” of this product on projects at the discretion of the contractor, the product is approved as a non-pay item. Use of a product is limited to the applications for which it is allowed. Meets Specifications There is a need, and it has been identified that the product meets an existing specification or special provision. Source: Georgia DOT 2021

20 State DOT Product Evaluation Processes Once the evaluation is complete, the SME decides whether to reject the product with appro- priate justification, continue to further study the product, or accept the product. Products that are accepted are then recommended for development as a standard or supplemental specification, a special provision for construction, a standard plan, or a qualified product evaluation procedure. In addition, the SME and the applicant determine the usage of the product, the method of how a product will be accepted for payment, proper material specification reference (e.g., ASTM, AASHTO), and measurement and payment of the work to be performed (Michigan DOT n.d.). Further information on Michigan DOT’s PEP can be found in Chapter 4. 2.4.4 Nebraska DOT Nebraska DOT follows a formal PEP flowchart (see Figure 6) for evaluating new products or products that currently do not have an existing specification for use in construction and mainte- nance projects. The initial step of the product evaluation is to check for relevant information from NTPEP and APEL (now known as the AASHTO UP3). If either source does not have any evaluation information, then Nebraska DOT testing is required. A product review team then conducts the testing and evaluation process using experts from the internal divisions at Nebraska DOT listed in the flowchart. If a product is approved, an acceptance letter is sent and the product is added to the APL. If a product is not approved, a rejection letter is sent and the product is added to the list of products not approved for use. Figure 6. Nebraska DOT product evaluation and approval process.

Literature Review 21   2.4.5 Pennsylvania DOT The Pennsylvania DOT New Product Evaluation Tracking System (NPETS) for highway con- struction and maintenance allows producers to submit product evaluation applications, track the progress of the application, and communicate with the agency. Pennsylvania DOT has also established the New Product Evaluation Program for Lower Volume Local Roads, which is a service provided by Pennsylvania DOT to evaluate and approve products that may be used by local transportation agencies (Gray and Roback 2007). Pennsylvania DOT created Bulletin 15 (Publication 35), which outlines the QPL for construction and the process to submit a product for evaluation (see Table 7). Bulletin 15 provides the material approval process used at Pennsylvania DOT, which includes two steps that provide instructions to producers on how to register with Pennsylvania DOT and complete the product evaluation application process (Pennsylvania DOT 2022). 2.4.6 Texas DOT The Texas DOT PEP exists to centralize and streamline the receipt and processing of requests to evaluate new products, expand the field evaluation of products, and communicate findings to manufacturers and department personnel. A new product is defined as a commercial product that is currently available for immediate acquisition for which Texas DOT does not have a current specification or a product that appears to be equal to or better than existing products covered by a specification. Texas DOT evaluates products to assist in the use of new or improved materials, products, or equipment that is beneficial to the agency’s operations and the total transportation effort. A primary goal in product evaluations is to determine whether a product is ready for use and potentially beneficial to Texas DOT. This evaluation may involve confirming manufacturer infor- mation and data to eliminate the spending of public funds on the research and development of commercial products. Texas DOT assigns employees to serve on the PEC. The Texas DOT PEP acts as the agency’s clearinghouse for coordinating product evaluations. New products evaluated by the PEC are assigned to a specific internal division for review. The division’s SME provides review comments, which are the basis for the final PEC decision. However, the PEC does not endorse products. The PEC typically includes representatives from the following divisions: • Research and Technology Implementation (RTI) Division, • Bridge Division, • Construction Division, Evaluation Products and Producers Manufacturers SSC Steel epoxy coaters or galvanizers Geotextiles Wood treaters ITS devices Steel, aluminum, or timber fabricators Pavement markings Machine shops Pipe Paint shops Roadside safety hardware Precast/Prestressed concrete producers Sign sheeting Cement plants or terminals Sound barriers Bituminous terminals or refineries Traffic signals Bridge and structural producers Work zone devices Source: Pennsylvania DOT 2022 Table 7. Producers and products for evaluation at Pennsylvania DOT.

22 State DOT Product Evaluation Processes • Design Division, • Environmental Affairs, • Maintenance Division, • Materials and Tests Division, • Procurement Division, • Traffic Safety Division, and • Texas DOT Districts (Texas DOT 2022). Product information is submitted directly to the RTI Division via the New Product Evaluation Form #1684 (see Appendix H). Initial new product evaluations are performed based on the prod- uct information submitted. These initial reviews do not include testing but may conclude that testing the product is necessary. Initial reviews also help determine whether a product should not be evaluated if the agency has no interest in the product. If testing is needed, the manufacturer will be notified of the need to provide a product sample for testing. Only those products provided at no cost to Texas DOT will be further tested. Docu- menting evidence of a product evaluation includes criteria for testing, timelines for testing, and site visits with observations of the testing and performance results. A representative of the agency division assigned to the product evaluation monitors the pro- cess and makes the final decision. The representative develops the criteria by which to accept, reject, or defer a product for further testing. Once the RTI or division representative makes a decision, they develop a letter to communicate the final determination of the product evaluation. The final determination can be one of the following: • The evaluation process found an existing specification that the product is already addressed by and the RTI Division responds to the submitter and closes out the new product evaluation. • Texas DOT currently has no interest in the product and the RTI Division replies to the sub- mitter with a No Interest Letter. Products that receive a No Interest Letter may be resubmitted after 12 months. • The agency completes the evaluation and the RTI Division replies with an unfavorable product evaluation because the product does not meet the requirements/industry standards or failed testing. Products that receive an unfavorable evaluation may be resubmitted after 6 months. • The agency completes the evaluation and approves the product for use at Texas DOT. The product is placed on the new product APL with a special specification that is created by the agency division to address the use of the product. The RTI Division replies to the submitter with a New Product Approval Letter and adds the product to the APL (Texas DOT 2022). Approved products as a result of the Texas DOT PEP are added to the APL, require a special specification for use, and are listed for 3 years. An approved product requires recertification via the Approved Product Recertification Form #2789 (see Appendix H). Recertification of a product shall occur within 30 days prior to and 30 days after the 3-year expiration date (Texas DOT 2022). 2.5 Literature Review Summary Although the academic literature related to state DOT PEPs is minimal, most state DOTs have relatively accessible documentation regarding the approaches to PEPs. A review of these programs indicated wide variability in approach, approvals, timelines, and process. This review provided a basis from which to design a survey to collect the breadth of state DOT PEP approaches for this synthesis. The survey and its responses are discussed in the following chapter.

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The construction, maintenance, and operation of transportation infrastructure requires immense amounts of products and materials. New products, materials, engineered systems, and innovative technologies are presented to state departments of transportation (DOTs) by suppliers and manufacturers, as well as sometimes by contractors and internal DOT staff.

NCHRP Synthesis 616: State DOT Product Evaluation Processes, from TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, documents current state DOT practices, funding, policies, management techniques, tools, and workflows of product evaluation processes.

Supplemental to the report is a dataset of various administrative documents from different state DOTs.

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