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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 2, 2000
Contact: Karen Whitney
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 60-00

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Partnerships with 10 Minority Universities Through New Competitive Assistance Program

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) cooperative agreements with 10 Minority Institutions of Higher Education (MIHEs) for transportation research and technology activities valued at more than $1.2 million.

"These cooperative agreements are a win-win for everyone - promoting educational achievement and transportation innovation will lead to improved highway safety and help protect the environment," Secretary Slater said. "They underscore President Clinton and Vice President Gore's commitment to education and the application of technology to meet the needs of America in the 21st century and new millennium."

The agreements, made through FHWA's new competitive assistance program, are part of the agency's ongoing commitment to educational and minority outreach.

"This is a win-win scenario for everyone - FHWA, the schools, and the public at large who will ultimately benefit from the research results," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "This unique approach to outreach and contracting is unprecedented at the FHWA and will go a long way toward advancing our strategic goals and strengthening the ties between our agency and MIHEs."

FHWA's competitive assistance program is a new approach to contracting that allows MIHEs to compete solely with one another for cooperative, cost-sharing agreements.

The program's goal is to foster MIHE research and technology activities that will contribute substantially to the FHWA's mission and help prepare the faculty and students at these institutions to successfully participate in the competitive research arena.

The agreements matched the expertise and capabilities of 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) with FHWA's specific research needs. The list of recipients follows:

FHWA/MIHE Competitive Assistance Program
Cooperative Agreement Recipients
September 2000

Recipient

Amount

Program

Description

University of New Mexico (HSI)

Albuquerque, N.M.

$62,499

Determining Advisory Speed Limits

The research team will conduct surveys and review existing research on setting "advisory" speed limits. The team will document existing best practices for setting advisory speed limits and will develop further guidance material.

Texas Southern University (HBCU)

Houston

$62,500

Using ITS Technology to Improve Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety

Researchers will survey states, local jurisdictions and ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) companies to document the best practices and develop guidance material for using ITS technology to improve highway-rail grade crossings.

Florida A&M (HBCU)

Tallahassee, Fla.

$62,516

Identify Processes to Reduce Highway Construction Project Times

Researchers will conduct a detailed examination of the current highway construction processes and identify potential changes that could lead to reducing highway construction project duration.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (HSI)

Mayaguez, P.R.

$67,754

Location Marker Signs for Incident Management

Researchers will survey states and local jurisdictions to document "best practices" for providing highway location signage/markers, develop guidance material and assess the need for additional experimentation.

Howard University (HBCU)

Washington, D.C.

$43,750

Base Crash Model for Interchanges

The research team will develop base accident models for all major interchange types. Data analysis will be performed to determine the best modeling forms and procedures for the development of crash models. Crash models will be developed and the results will be evaluated.

South Carolina State University (HBCU)

Orangeburg, S.C.

$62,500

Safety Concerns Related to Design/Build Projects

Researchers will seek to determine the nature and extent of safety-related issues on design/build projects and document best practices to reduce and/or alleviate them. The study will offer language that may be incorporated into contractual agreements between governmental agencies and design/build contractors at the state level to address safety issues.

Texas Southern University (HBCU)

Houston

$62,500

Noise-Compatible Land-Use Planning

Researchers will survey state and/or local governments to identify successful noise-compatible land-use planning activities and develop informational materials highlighting the successes.

Jackson State University (HBCU)

Jackson, Miss.

$75,000

Academic Forum

The team will plan and execute a one-day academic forum for representatives of a maximum of 50 community colleges and universities and members of the FHWA research community to share information about transportation-related academic programs and encourage communication between institutions.

Texas Southern University (HBCU)

Houston

$50,000

Transportation Expertise Pool

The team will develop a database of student beneficiaries of FHWA university-based programs and make the information available to the transportation community-at-large via a web site. Such information will aid students' job searches and employment transitions and benefit the transportation industry's search for top talent.

Florida International University (HSI)

Miami

$79,895

Environmental Justice: Working with Community-Based Groups on Transportation

The team will identify opportunities and provide support for government agencies to partner with community-based organizations. The team will also report on the successes and issues in using community-based groups to support agency planning and project development activities.

University of New Mexico (HSI)

Albuquerque, N.M.

$56,250

Highway Safety Challenges on Low-Volume Roads

Researchers will examine highway safety issues on rural roads with traffic volumes of less than 200 vehicles per day to identify the principal safety-related problems that exist on these facilities and treatments that might be cost-effective.

New Mexico State University (HSI)

Las Cruces, N.M.

$157,130

Mitigating Reflection Cracking

Researchers will assess state-of-the-practice in design of asphalt pavement overlays, develop and perform laboratory tests to study pavement cracking, and identify asphalt pavement overlay design improvements

University of New Mexico (HSI)

Albuquerque, N.M.

$75,260

Improving Pavement Sub-Surface Drainage Systems

Researchers will assess state-of-the-practice in pavement drainage systems, develop a computer simulation, conduct data analysis and develop guidelines for design improvements.

Howard University (HBCU)

Washington, D.C.

$68,800

Concrete Admixture

Researchers will provide technical expertise to help develop a seminar series on concrete admixtures to strengthen practitioners' basic and advanced knowledge of the process.

North Carolina A&T (HBCU)

Greensboro, N.C.

$274,458

Integration of Road Closure Information

The team will develop a Web-based system to provide road closure information on all or part of the National Highway System in case of a national emergency, severe weather, or national disaster.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater and transportation ministers from more than 80 countries will participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation's historic "International Transportation Symposium: Moving to the 21st Century -- Best Practices of Today and Lessons for Tomorrow," the first global transportation planning meeting of its kind. The three-day conference runs from October 9-12 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. , and is open to press.

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