Virginia. The agency’s expertise encompasses most of the major disciplinary areas covered by SHRP 2: highway planning, design, and construction; environmental and safety concerns; and highway operations. In addition to being able to provide funding and technical assistance to state and local transportation agencies, FHWA can modify or waive regulations to facilitate testing and implementation of new technologies and methods.
FHWA administered a successful implementation effort for the first SHRP and learned many practical lessons from that experience. The committee believes the agency is best positioned to administer SHRP 2 implementation as long as it takes into consideration the specific differences between SHRP 1 and SHRP 2, as well as the unique challenges facing SHRP 2 implementation. The agency will need to engage in some reorganization to provide dedicated management and technical support for SHRP 2 implementation. It may need to recruit additional expertise or technical expertise different from that which is currently available among its staff and contractors.
While many stakeholders will be involved in the implementation program, several stand out as potential partners. Primary among these is AASHTO, because the state DOTs remain the principal user group. AASHTO can also play an important role in setting standards to facilitate adoption of innovations by both state and local government transportation agencies. TRB’s involvement is based on its current role in administering the research program and on its network of technical committees; its other communication and coordination mechanisms; and its ability to establish high-level advisory, oversight, and technical committees. The Safety component of SHRP 2 calls for a strong role for NHTSA. As the principal implementation agent, FHWA should consider funding senior staff at other organizations to serve as point persons for SHRP 2 implementation and to coordinate their organizations’ activities with FHWA. AASHTO, NHTSA, and TRB are among the organizations in which such a position could be beneficial.
Chapter 7 outlines the key attributes and activities of the proposed SHRP 2 principal implementation agent, which the committee believes FHWA should consider in establishing the implementation program. The committee wishes to emphasize three of those attributes here:
Adequate dedicated staff: FHWA will need sufficient staff with appropriate technical and managerial expertise to guide the program successfully, providing support to volunteer stakeholders and overseeing the technical