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U.S. Department of Transportation
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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-064
Date: June 2001
You won't find this team in the same office or even the same State. But you can tap into the collective expertise of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) new "virtual" team for fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites on the Web at www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/frp/. Team members, who represent FHWA, State highway agencies, industry, and academia, are developing the site as a one-stop shop for information on FRP composites, which are high-performance, nonmetallic materials being used in new bridge construction and bridge repair and rehabilitation.
For the 28 students in the Thompson Scholars Program at Michigan Tech University this past year, devising pavement designs for a local airport slated for reconstruction, analyzing the current process for measuring pavement noise, and learning how to put together a bid estimate for a paving project were all in a day's work. Established in 1999 with a $3.5 million contribution from Bob Thompson, President of Thompson-McCully Company, and his wife Ellen, the innovative program combines a traditional undergraduate engineering education with hands-on experience in the program's Pavement Design, Construction, and Materials (PDCM) Enterprise. This initiative mimics a real-life asphalt paving firm, with students working together to solve problems, complete projects, and devise improved methods for getting the work done.
The skills and services offered by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) four Resource Centers (RC) can now be easily researched through a new Web-based service, the RC Expertise Locator (EL). The EL provides an accessible entryway into the many resources that the Centers have to offer. Users can search by topic area, such as Engineering or Highway Safety, or by office.
Public satisfaction with the overall condition of the Nation's major highways has risen 15 percentage points over the last 5 years, according to a recently released survey by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Moving Ahead: The American Public Speaks on Roadways and Transportation in Communities, reveals an increase in traveler satisfaction in such areas as pavement condition, safety, bridge conditions, visual appeal of highways and associated infrastructure, and travel amenities, including roadside assistance and number of rest areas. Overall, 65 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the highways that they travel on.
Two preventive maintenance videos coproduced by the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) were recently recognized with the Crystal PACE Award, one of the highest honors in the public relations field. Presented by the Public Relations Society of America, the award is conferred upon programs that have successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary skill, creativity, and resourcefulness.
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