U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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

 

 

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development (R&D)

 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Infrastructure R&D conducts and oversees research and development programs and projects that address critical highway infrastructure needs and priorities of national importance. Studies focus on the design, materials, construction, operation, and preservation of highway pavements, bridges, culverts, tunnels, and other structures. In addition, the Office of Infrastructure R&D provides expert technical assistance to other FHWA offices, other Federal agencies, State and local transportation organizations, industry and academia.

Through an integrated and interdisciplinary research approach, the Office of Infrastructure R&D provides state–of–the–art knowledge and tools with the goal of improving the safety, performance, and cost effectiveness of the Nation’s highway infrastructure, while minimizing the impacts that highway construction, operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation may have on the environment. The contributions of stakeholders from across the highway infrastructure spectrum in the development and execution of multiyear R&D plans and roadmaps are key to the success of the office.

The work of the Office of Infrastructure R&D is carried out by six teams of highly experienced engineers and scientists. The specific roles and responsibilities of these teams are as follows:

Team Name

Team Responsibility

Pavement Materials Team

The Pavement Materials Team focuses on advancing all aspects of pavement materials technology, including evaluation of both traditional (aggregates, asphalt, and Portland cement concrete) and innovative materials and additives. The team develops procedures and specifications for materials used in pavement design, maintenance, and rehabilitation, to further improve performance and optimize mixture design.

Pavement Design and Construction Team

The Pavement Design and Construction Team advances knowledge and technology associated with all aspects of pavement design, performance assessment, prediction technology, and construction. This includes developing procedures and processes to enable pavement performance modeling to optimize pavement performance and safety, and life-cycle costs for design selection, forensic analyses, and the development of performance based specifications. The team also develops construction management guidelines, specifications, and other technologies to ensure that what gets constructed meets the intent of design.

Long–Term Pavement Performance Team

The Long-Term Pavement Performance Team (LTPP) provides oversight and management of the LTPP program, a comprehensive study of in-service pavements. Originally part of the Strategic Highway Research Program, the LTPP program is now administered by the FHWA with active input from all U.S. State departments of transportation and with the cooperation of all 10 Canadian provincial transportation agencies. The LTPP team collects pavement performance data and conducts studies that help practitioners improve pavement design, construction, maintenance, and preservation practices.

Bridge and Foundation Engineering Team

The Bridge and Foundation Engineering Team advances knowledge and technology associated with the design, construction, repair, preservation, and rehabilitation of highway bridges and other highway structures. This includes the development of recommended design and construction specifications, and the forensic evaluation of in-service structures.

Infrastructure Management Team

The Infrastructure Management Team focuses on advancing knowledge and technology associated with infrastructure performance throughout the entire life cycle, inspection, rating, evaluation, nondestructive testing, corrosion and durability, sensor technology, data infrastructure, field instrumentation and testing, health monitoring, asset management, performance and program management.

Hazard Mitigation and Specialty Materials Team

The Hazard Mitigation Team develops new knowledge and technology associated with the design and performance of highway bridges and structures under extreme events. This team is also responsible for R&D of materials such as wood and advanced polymer composites for highway structures, and for historic covered bridges.

 

The work conducted by the Office of Infrastructure R&D teams is supported by a number of research laboratories at the Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center. These laboratories include:

 

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