HIGHWAY RESEARCH AND INNOVATION: ROLE OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Public agencies play a key role in directing, supporting, and delivering the results of highway research and in transferring technology. The efforts of the public sector in this capacity are of increasing importance as the nation's highway system faces serious problems, such as worsening traffic congestion, traffic accidents, continuing air quality problems, and a growing list of rehabilitation and repair needs that compete for declining public resources. Expenditures for highway research and technology have historically been low. The highway industry spends on the order of 0.3% of total highway expenditures on research and technology. Despite limited investment there have been significant successes in several areas of highway research, and the opportunity exists for further improvement. Without sufficient support for research, however, additional improvements and benefits will not be forthcoming. The major source of new products and innovation for the highway industry consists of three public-sector programs: the Federal Highway Administration's research, development, and technology transfer program, the research portion of the State Planning and Research Program, and the state-supported National Cooperative Highway Research Program administered by the Transportation Research Board. In 1993 expenditures for these programs totaled approximately $275 million and covered a broad range of topics. Among the many examples of success in these programs, two stand out: advances in highway safety and improved methods for pavement construction and maintenance. Further details on these two programs are provided in this article.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 8-10
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 186
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00728417
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 13 1996 12:00AM