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 (TRB Special Report 260
) 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.
The objectives of this interim work are (1) to develop detailed research plans to allow requests for proposals to perform the research to be released as soon as the research funding is available and (2) to develop an administrative structure for the program. Five panels provide leadership and technical guidance for the interim work. The leadership guidance for the overall program is provided by an oversight panel of highway industry leaders. Technical guidance is provided in each research topic area by a technical panel with the appropriate mix of technical expertise. The four technical panels provide oversight and guidance to contractors who are developing the detailed research plans under NCHRP Projects 20-58(1), 20-58(2), 20-58(3), and 20-58(4).
NCHRP Project 20-58 covers the work of the oversight panel, which functions both as an NCHRP panel and as an AASHTO task force. It is responsible for the overall direction of the program, development of an administrative structure for F-SHRP, and decisions about overall funding and coordination matters.
The oversight panel approved the publication of NCHRP Report 510, which summarizes the interim planning work for F-SHRP (see Products Available below). Work continues on the study of administration issues for F-SHRP.
The following products are available: