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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-11-054    Date:  December 2011
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-054
Date: December 2011


Telling The R&T Story: The Value of Research

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Working with its partners in the public and private sectors, academia, industry, and the international community, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) plays a vital leadership role in developing and implementing a coordinated highway research and technology (R&T) agenda that addresses national needs, meets future demands, and maximizes the strengths of all research entities.

The technological advances resulting from the FHWA R&T agenda come at a crucial time. While America’s highway network is the backbone of the country, this network is aging and many roadways and bridges are now in need of rehabilitation or reconstruction.

Just as technology and innovations built the national highway network, technology is now the key to overcoming today’s challenges and sustaining that network. Among the components of FHWA’s nationally coordinated highway R&T agenda are:


From improving the durability of the Nation’s highways and bridges to designing and building safer roadways, FHWA’s R&T initiatives are meeting today’s national needs. Recent R&T accomplishments include advancements in:

Improving Highway Safety

Coralville, IA Roundabout Isebrands FHWA.jpg. Figure 1. Photo. A roundabout in a rural area with roadways entering from the top, bottom, and left sides of the photo. A raised brickwork median separates traffic lanes where the roadways enter the circle. On the left side of the roadway is a sidewalk, and on the right side there is a low stone wall with shrubbery behind it. In the center of the circle is a landscaped area containing a low stone wall in the shape of a circle dissected by a taller stone wall in the direction of the roadway that enters and leaves the circle; and at right angles, a lower wall pointing to the roadway that completes the junction. Just outside this structure are white cube-shaped markers with black arrows pointing clockwise (the direction of traffic flow). Outside this central area is a wide patterned brickwork circle incorporating white arrow heads that also point counterclockwise. A car is entering the circle in the foreground. On the other side of the circle a pedestrian is crossing the road. Four sets of streetlights are visible. Houses and trees appear in the distance.

Improving Infrastructure Integrity

Strengthening Transportation Planning and Environmental Linkages

Reducing Congestion, Improving Highway Operations, and Enhancing Freight Productivity

Assessing Policy and System Financing Alternatives

Exploring Next Generation Solutions

FHWA’s research is also looking at the infrastructure that will define tomorrow.

Moving Innovation

New FHWA initiatives are accelerating the deployment of innovation.

More information on FHWA’s array of R&T initiatives is featured in Telling the R&T Story: The Value of Research (Pub. No. FHWA-HRT-11-053), which is available online at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/general/11053/index.cfm. For additional details, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/research.


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101