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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses SPECIAL REPORT 295 The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009 Strengths and Weaknesses Research and Technology Coordinating Committee TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses Transportation Research Board Special Report 295 Subscriber Category I planning, administration, and environment Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or national-academies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The federal investment in highway research 2006–2009 : strengths and weaknesses / Research and Technology Coordinating Committee. p. cm.—(Transportation Research Board special report ; 295) 1. Highway research—United States. I. Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (U.S.) II. National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board. TE192.F42 2008 354.77’2742460973—dc22 2008048473 ISBN 978-0-309-12605-2
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses Research and Technology Coordinating Committee E. Dean Carlson, Carlson Associates, Topeka, Kansas, Chair Frances T. Banerjee, Banerjee and Associates, San Marino, California John Conrad, Washington State Department of Transportation (ret.), Olympia1 Arthur Dinitz, Transpo-Industries, Inc., New Rochelle, New York Daniel C. Murray, American Transportation Research Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota Timothy Neuman, CH2M Hill, Chicago, Illinois Lawrence H. Orcutt, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento Leonard A. Sanderson, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Raleigh, North Carolina Constance S. Sorrell, Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond Les Sterman, East–West Gateway Council of Governments, St. Louis, Missouri Joseph M. Sussman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Albert H. Teich, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. Paul Wells, New York State Department of Transportation (ret.), Albany Kevin Womack, Utah State University, Logan Transportation Research Board Staff Walter Diewald, Senior Program Officer (through June 2006) Stephen Godwin, Director, Studies and Special Programs Division, Study Director 1 During the first 5½ years of his term, Conrad was with the Washington State Department of Transportation. After retiring from that organization in 2008, he joined CH2M Hill.
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses Preface Since 1992, the Research and Technology Coordinating Committee (RTCC) has served as an independent advisor on national and federal highway research. Its work over the past 15 years has been supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). During the years in which it has advised FHWA and other highway research sponsors, the committee has issued a number of reports addressing highway research topics, funding, and research management. It has also issued two previous reports addressing highway research at the national and federal levels. In Special Report 244: Highway Research: Current Programs and Future Directions (1994), RTCC described and analyzed for the first time the wide range of highway research activities funded through government and industry and made recommendations regarding funding levels for research and development and priority areas for future investment. In 2001, RTCC issued Special Report 261: The Federal Role in Highway Research and Technology. In that report, the committee assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the federal program and made recommendations with respect to funding levels and priorities. In particular, the committee stressed the need for improved stakeholder involvement in the FHWA program and urged that research funding be allocated through merit review of competitively solicited proposals. In both of these reports, RTCC emphasized the importance of allocating a greater share of the federal investment in highway research to longer-term, higher-risk research and made recommendations regarding priority areas for future highway research investment. In 2007 RTCC’s statement of task was renegotiated with FHWA and was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. It states:
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses This project will provide an ongoing review of the FHWA research program. It will also analyze the federal investment in highway research made in the 2005 reauthorization of surface transportation programs and make recommendations to enhance the value of that investment. The criteria to be used for the committee’s analysis will be those articulated by Congress in the eight basic principles for research and technology innovation in Section 5201 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This report continues RTCC’s tradition of periodically assessing the state of highway research and making recommendations to policy makers. In this report, and consistent with its statement of task, the committee evaluates the investments made in highway research through SAFETEA-LU. The committee conducted its work over a 3-year period, during which it invited and received briefings from research program managers in FHWA and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), as well as from a broad range of stakeholders in highway research. Appendix A lists the many people who made presentations on and discussed various highway research programs. This report reflects the committee’s analysis of the information gathered and its collective, consensus judgment. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This project would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of many individuals. The committee extends its appreciation and thanks to all the presenters and discussants listed in Appendix A who provided essential information about specific research programs and activities. In particular, the committee thanks staff at FHWA and RITA who facilitated the production of this report. The encouragement and support of Dennis Judycki, Associate Administrator for Research, Development, and Technology at FHWA, was vital to the production of this report. Other staff from the U.S. Department of Transportation who were particularly helpful in preparing presentations and descriptions of their programs include Susan Binder, Nelda Bravo, Debra Elston, Ewa Flom, Ian Friedland, Jack Jernigan, Marci Kenny, David Kuehn, Jeff
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses Lindley, Tom Marchessault, Jeff Paniati, Cheryl Richter, Gloria Shepherd, and Felicia Young. Several FHWA staff members—Flom, Friedland, Jernigan, Richter, and Young—were particularly gracious in responding to follow-up questions. Members of the staff of the Strategic Highway Research Program 2, including Neil Hawks, Ann Brach, Walter Diewald, and William Hyman, were also helpful. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that assist the authors and NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee thanks the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Robert L. Lytton, Texas A&M University, College Station; Susan Martinovich, Nevada Department of Transportation, Carson City; Michael D. Meyer, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta; Debra L. Miller, Kansas Department of Transportation, Topeka; Carl L. Monismith, University of California, Berkeley (emeritus); and David E. Newcomb, National Asphalt Pavement Association, Lanham, Maryland. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the committee’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by C. Michael Walton. Appointed by NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Stephen Godwin, Director of Studies and Special Programs, managed this study and drafted the report under the guidance of the committee. Walter Diewald staffed RTCC from 1991 through the middle of 2006. Diewald, Beverly Huey, and Tom Menzies assisted with various portions
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses of the draft report. Suzanne Schneider, Associate Executive Director of the Transportation Research Board, managed the report review process. Special appreciation is expressed to Rona Briere, who edited the report; Alisa Decatur, who prepared the prepublication manuscript; and to Jennifer J. Weeks, who prepared the prepublication files for web posting; Norman Solomon, who provided final editorial guidance; and Juanita Green, who managed the production and printing, under the super vision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications. Amelia Mathis, Laura Toth, and Nikisha Turman assisted with meeting arrangements and communications with committee members.
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses Acronyms 3E engineering, enforcement, and education AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACS adaptive control software ASR alkali–silica reactivity BAA Broad Agency Announcement BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis BTS Bureau of Transportation Statistics CA4PRS Construction Analysis for Pavement Rehabilitation Strategies CADD computer-aided drafting and design CAD-TMC computer-aided dispatch traffic management center CAFE corporate average fuel economy CFS Commodity Flow Survey CICAS Cooperative Intersection Collision Avoidance System CLARUS Latin word for clear—a road weather information initiative CO2 carbon dioxide CSS context-sensitive solution DOD Department of Defense DOT department of transportation EFM electronic freight management EMS emergency medical services EPA Environmental Protection Agency ETG expert task group FAA Federal Aviation Administration
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRP fiber-reinforced polymer FTA Federal Transit Administration FY fiscal year GAO Government Accountability Office GDP gross domestic product GHG greenhouse gas emission GIS geographic information system GPRA Government Performance and Results Act GPS Global Positioning System HCC hydraulic cement concrete HCM Highway Capacity Manual HOT high-occupancy toll (lane) HPC high-performance concrete HPMS Highway Performance Monitoring System HPS higher-performing steel IBRD Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment IDEA Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis IDIQ indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (contract) IHSDM Interactive Highway Safety Design Module IPRD Innovative Pavement Research and Deployment Program ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers ITS intelligent transportation system LTAP Local Technical Assistance Program LTBP Long-Term Bridge Performance (Program) LTPP Long-Term Pavement Performance (Program) MCEER Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research MDOT Missouri Department of Transportation MPO metropolitan planning organization NADO National Association of Development Organizations NAPA National Asphalt Pavement Association NBIS National Bridge Inspection Standards
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NDE nondestructive evaluation/testing NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association NHS National Highway System NHTS National Household Travel Survey NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NGO nongovernmental organization NIST National Institute for Standards and Technology NTIMC National Traffic Incident Management Coalition NTOC National Transportation Operations Coalition NOx oxides of nitrogen NRC National Research Council NSF National Science Foundation OMB Office of Management and Budget psi pounds per square inch QC/QA quality control/quality assurance R&D research and development R&T research and technology RAP reclaimed asphalt pavement RD&T research, development, and technology REDARS Risk for Earthquake Damage to Roadway Systems RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration RFP request for proposals RTCC Research and Technology Coordinating Committee SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users SHRP Strategic Highway Research Program SP&R State Planning and Research STEP Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program STRDD Surface Transportation Research, Development, and Deployment TBD to be determined TCC Technical Coordinating Committee TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century TELUS Transportation, Economic, and Land Use System
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses TFHRC Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center TIM Traffic Incident Management TMIP Travel Model Improvement Program TRANSIMS Transportation Analysis and Simulation System TRB Transportation Research Board TTI Texas Transportation Institute TWG technical working group UHPC ultra–high performance concrete USDOT U.S. Department of Transportation UTC University Transportation Center VDOT Virginia Department of Transportation VIUS Vehicle Information and Use Survey VMT vehicle miles traveled VOC volatile organic compound WRI Western Research Institute
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses Contents Summary 1 1 Introduction 7 Background 8 Organization of the Report 13 2 Highway Research Programs in the United States 15 Federal Programs 15 State Programs 20 Private-Sector R&D 23 Comparative R&D Investments 25 Summary 25 3 Highway Research Programs Funded Under Title V 28 Advanced Research 28 Infrastructure Research, Development, and Technology 31 Operations RD&T 43 Planning and Environmental RD&T 55 Safety RD&T 62 Policy Research 68 University Transportation Centers Program 72
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The Federal Investment in Highway Research 2006–2009: Strengths and Weaknesses 4 Principles for Highway Research and Technology Investments 80 Eight Principles for Highway Research 80 Six Principles Informing This Assessment 87 5 Assessment of Authorized Programs 89 Advanced Research 89 Infrastructure RD&T 92 Operations RD&T 103 Planning and Environmental RD&T 107 Safety RD&T 114 Policy Research 118 University Transportation Centers Program 121 Summary 125 6 Summary Findings and Recommendations 131 Summary Findings 131 Recommendations 138 Concluding Observations 141 Appendices A Presentations and Discussions on Highway Research Programs That Informed This Report 142 B Research Projects Under the Strategic Highway Research Program 2 as of July 3, 2008 146 C Conformity of Individual FHWA Infrastructure Research, Development, and Technology Programs with SAFETEA-LU Principles 149 D SAFETEA-LU University Transportation Research Centers 165 Study Committee Biographical Information 168