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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

FY 2012 Research Plan Overview

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning, Environment and Realty's (HEP) Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) ended on September 30, 2012. For current HEP research information, please see HEP's research web site.

The FY2012 STEP budget totals $13.9 million. It is organized into 5 program areas and 21 emphasis areas.

Each STEP emphasis area has a contact person who reviews stakeholder feedback submitted through the STEP website and receives feedback via other sources to develop and implement research priorities and projects within the expected STEP funding levels.

Priorities and projects are also developed by considering information in the existing databases of transportation planning and environment research. They are also coordinated with other research across the Federal Highway Administration, the Future Strategic Highway Research Program, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and with other U.S. DOT agencies to ensure that STEP priorities and projects are not duplicative of other research initiatives.

Because STEP projects are at various stages of implementation (including some multi-year efforts), the STEP emphasis area contacts are the best resource for information regarding the status of research efforts within a specific emphasis area.

The STEP continues to evolve over time with stakeholder input and feedback. To help our stakeholders continue to work with us in the future, the general timeline for implementing STEP each year will be as follows:

STEP Implementation Timeline

December Post current fiscal year plan on STEP Website.


Begin to implement current fiscal year, through appropriate procurement methods, agreements and partnerships.
(May shift depending on appropriations)


Refine STEP Implementation Strategy/Goals/Emphasis Areas. Publish Federal Register Notice and update website information to solicit feedback on next fiscal year STEP activities. Conduct outreach for next fiscal year by emphasis area, review research needs, and identify gaps.


Develop priorities for and fund critical research. Develop next draft fiscal year STEP Plan for comment.


Post current fiscal year plan on STEP website.
(May shift depending on appropriations)
Updated: 9/30/2012
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