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HEP Research Program Frequently Asked Question

  1. What is the main focus of the research program within the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty?
    • The research funding mechanism was changed by legislation, but the research program areas remain similar and are focused on strengthening transportation planning and environmental decision-making.
    • The research program area has a national focus to improve transportation planning, processes, programming, operations, and coordination.
  2. How is HEP's research coordinated with other transportation research?
    • Research is coordinated through all programs including:
    • The Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) funding will help transportation agencies begin deploying products developed under the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).
    • The Center for Environmental Excellence, developed in cooperation with FHWA, continues to promote environmental stewardship and innovative ways to streamline the transportation delivery process.
    • The National Cooperative Highway Research Program conducts research in problem areas that affect highway planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance nationwide.
    • The Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center which provides FHWA and the world highway community with research and development related to new highway technologies.
  3. How is research funded?
    • o The FHWA Office of Planning, Environment and Realty (HEP) receives funding from two programs under MAP-21:
      • The Highway Research and Deployment Program (HRD) $13.5 million is reserved for activities that strengthen transportation planning and environmental decisionmaking and replaces the STEP program with a new program focused on environment, planning and real estate services.
      • The Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) provides $2.5 million annually for technology deployment in environment and planning.
  4. What happened to HEP's STEP Research Program?
    • HEP's Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) expired on September 30, 2012, and funding ended on September 30, 2014.
    • MAP-21 enacted on July 6, 2012 repealed the STEP Program but established similar policies, principles, and planning practices for our national research program.
    • Information on research products from the STEP program can be found here.
    • How can FHWA Divisions and State departments of transportation (DOTs) become involved in FHWA research? Feedback is used by the research coordinator and technical experts in each of HEP's program area to help develop and implement research projects that address national needs and priorities under MAP-21.
    • Each program area or office within the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty has a research coordinator who is familiar with the planned research projects in that office. The coordinatorcan also direct you to the specific technical expert in a research program area.
  5. Who can I contact for more information?
Updated: 5/5/2015
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