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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(21) [Completed]

Characteristics of the 21st Century Operations-Oriented State DOT
[ NCHRP 20-24 (Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Research Agency: PB Consult
Principal Investigator: Steve Lockwood
Effective Date: 5/29/2002
Completion Date: 10/30/2004

Background: Goal 4 of the AASHTO Strategic Plan is to facilitate institutional change. Subpart C of that goal is to define the characteristics of the 21st century transportation agency. In support of this objective, the plan states "The trend in transportation agencies is shifting from an emphasis on constructing new infrastructure to operating, maintaining and improving current systems and services. Clearly, revamped organizational mission and structure need to accompany this transition. This objective seeks to assist this institutional change by defining the new model(s) based on best practices, research results and other parameters."

Objective: The objective of this project is to support the facilitation of institutional change in state DOTs towards an increased commitment to real time operations of the existing transportation system for maximum performance. Overall, it is the intent of this research to: (a) identify the objectives associated with an increased state DOT orientation to system operations and management, (b) describe the necessary preconditions to mainstreaming a significant commitment to operations, (c) clarify the principal challenges/barriers to need transitions, (d) suggest potential alternative models of institutional configurations/activities consistent with an increased operations orientation (internal and eternal), and (3) identify supportive activities (technical, policy, and programmatic) by AASHTO and other associations and other levels of government and stakeholders.

Tasks: Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks: (1) describe current state DOT orientations to operations; (2) describe the key factors potentially associated with operations orientation preconditions to significant institutional "mainstreaming" of operations; (3) conduct an Operations Vision Workshop; (4) describe desirable internal and external state DOT institutional configurations; (5) describe steps that can be taken by AASHTO and its partners to support positive transitions at the state DOT level; and (6) prepare a final report summarizing tasks 1 through 5.

Status: The project is complete. The final report has been delivered to AASHTO for their consideration in publication.

Product Availability: The final report is available for loan from the NCHRP.

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