, FY 2000, "Strategic Plan for Bridge Engineering Research" (NCHRP staff). Bridge engineering has been evolving rapidly in recent years, and research has played an important role in supporting and guiding these changes. The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications
represent both the product of a specific research project and the compilation of findings of numerous other research projects. Research will continue to be needed to assure the rational evolution of bridge engineering.
Research topics have been traditionally selected on an individual basis, without explicit reference to the overall needs of the profession. Although this process has been effective in the past, a more strategic approach is desirable and achievable. To assure the most cost-effective use of limited research funding, it is essential that a strategic plan for the future development of bridge engineering be developed.
During a by-invitation workshop held February 14-16, 2000, a series of "thrust" documents were developed that identified specific business needs of the bridge community. The workshop report
, which contains these "thrust" documents, was adopted by the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures at their annual meeting in June 2000. (NCHRP Staff: D.B. Beal)