In the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Congress requested the TRB to conduct a study to determine the goals, research agenda and projects, administrative structure, and fiscal needs for a new strategic highway research program. In response to this request, TRB formed a committee of highway industry leaders to develop recommendations. The committee engaged in an extensive outreach process to gather input from throughout the highway community regarding strategic priorities and promising research approaches. The committee's report was published in October 2001 and recommends a Future Strategic Highway Research Program (F-SHRP) focused in the following areas: (1) Accelerating the Renewal of America's Highways; (2) Making a Significant Improvement in Highway Safety; (3) Providing a Highway System with Reliable Travel Times; and (4) Providing Highway Capacity in Support of the Nation's Economic, Environmental, and Social Goals. It is hoped that the program will be authorized in the next surface transportation authorizing legislation due in October 2003.
In preparation for the program, should it be funded in the next reauthorization, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has allocated NCHRP funds, to be matched by FHWA funds, for development of a detailed research plan in each of the four research program areas identified by Special Report 260
and for additional planning work required to carry out F-SHRP. Four studies will be conducted to develop the research plans:
NCHRP 20-58(1) Detailed Planning for Research on Accelerating the Renewal of America's Highways ("Renewal"),
NCHRP 20-58(2) Detailed Planning for Research on Making a Significant Improvement in Highway Safety ("Safety"),
NCHRP 20-58(3) Detailed Planning for Research on Providing a Highway System with Reliable Travel Times ("Reliability"), and
NCHRP 20-58(4) Detailed Planning for Research on Providing Highway. Capacity in Support of the Nation's Economic, Environmental, and Social Goals ("Capacity").
The objective of this project was to develop a specific research plan for the first F-SHRP program area dealing with "Renewal".
The contract agency was responsible for obtaining input from a wide spectrum of the highway community--including public, private, domestic, and foreign organizations--as well as from nonhighway sources as appropriate. However, the intent of this research is not to duplicate work already done and presented in Special Report 260.
The purpose of input from outside the research team was to focus the research plan in addressing critical research needs as opposed to broadening the plan to provide a blanket approach covering many areas.
The final report contains the following items:
· A description of specific desired outcomes and impacts of the planned F-SHRP research.
· A discussion of the problem area and the required research, building on and not restating the content of TRB Special Report 260
· An overview of relevant work being done in the United States and abroad, including relevant expertise outside of traditional highway disciplines and promising technologies from other industries.
· A research plan for accomplishing the program objective that clearly shows specific research projects and their role in accomplishing the overall program objective.
· A comprehensive statement of scope and objectives for each project identified.
· For each project, a description of the proposed research.
· A project-by-project, and, where appropriate, a task-by-task, estimate of resources required in terms of the following:
· Researcher-hours by discipline
· Support-staff hours
· Special equipment and instrumentation
· Special facilities or data-management requirements
· Other special requirements
· A project-by-project budget and annual cash-flow estimate.
· A discussion of the needs and opportunities for integration and coordination among the various tasks, projects, and research program areas.
· A schedule and work-flow diagram for the research plan.
· Identification of any particular issues, problems, or opportunities related to the research and recommendations for actions to be taken.
· Identification of decision points in the research plan where evaluations should be made and alternatives and reallocations considered.
· An initial implementation plan that describes activities to promote application of the products of F-SHRP research, including the following: (a) expected products to be delivered through F-SHRP as a result of the research plan, (b) the audience or market for each product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in applying the research product, (e) the activities necessary for successful implementation, and (f) the criteria for judging the progress and consequences of implementation.
· Estimates of expected measurable benefits of F-SHRP research when implemented.
Research is complete. The revised final report for this study (Study 1, "Renewal") was received from Iowa State University in May 2003. A presentation of the research results for this study, as well as the other F-SHRP studies, was made on January 12, 2004 at the TRB Annual Meeting.
The revised final report for Study1, "Renewal" is available from the NCHRP as F-SHRP Web Document 1
A summary report that provides an overview of all the interim planning conducted for a Future Strategic Highway Research Progam is available as NCHRP Report 510
"Interim Planning for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program.
" A four page brochure that provides a brief overview of the F-SHRP is available at http://trb.org/publications/f-shrp/F-SHRP%20Brochure.pdf