U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-00-056
Date: February/March 2000
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Task Force on SHRP Implementation, which has been a key player in the nationwide program to get the products of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) into the hands of State agencies and industry, has embarked on its "farewell tour," says Task Force Chairman John Conrad of the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT). The Task Force is scheduled to sunset in fall 2000, with its mission largely accomplished.
TASK FORCE ON SHRP IMPLEMENTATION MEMBERS
In spring 1999, after reviewing the accomplishments of the Task Force on SHRP Implementation, the AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways called for the establishment of a senior-level steering group to spearhead the deployment of innovative technologies in highway agencies. This new committee would build on the successes of the Task Force. A resolution was presented and adopted at the AASHTO annual meeting in October 1999, resulting in the formation of the AASHTO Steering Group for Technology Deployment. The new Steering Group will begin its operations at this year's AASHTO annual meeting.
"SHRP set a model for research, development, and implementation," says Conrad. "Personally, the SHRP implementation effort is one of the most satisfying endeavors that I have been involved in. And I am pleased that AASHTO has decided to establish a follow-on committee to the Task Force on SHRP Implementation. "
The Task Force on SHRP Implementation is currently developing its final report, which will include a transition plan, accomplishments, lessons learned, and issues that need to be addressed by its successor, the Steering Group for Technology Deployment.
Much as the Task Force did, the Steering Group will focus on partnerships, communications and outreach, technology champions, resources and support, and continuous performance measurement. The Steering Group, which will report to the Standing Committee on Highways (SCOH), will be chaired by a SCOH member, and the vice-chairman will come from the ranks of the Standing Committee on Research. The secretary will be appointed by the Federal Highway Administration. To ensure regional representation, two SCOH members from each AASHTO region will be appointed to the Steering Group. In addition, liaison members will be appointed from the Transportation Research Board, the private sector, and other organizations. It is anticipated that funding will come jointly from AASHTO and FHWA.
"The first order of business for this new steering group will be to develop a business plan, outlining how they will operate," says Conrad. "This plan will then be presented to SCOH."
One of the cornerstone activities of the Task Force has been the establishment and support of the seven Lead States Teams for SHRP implementation. "We had 23 States and more than 100 individuals involved in Lead State activities over the years," says Conrad, "and their efforts have paid off." To ensure that its work will continue, each of the Lead States teams has prepared a transition plan, in which responsibility for its programs and activities will shift to an AASHTO committee. Many of the Superpave, alkali-silica reactivity, and high-performance concrete for pavements activities previously handled by the Lead States will be transferred to the Subcommittee on Materials; the anti-icing/road weather information systems, pavement preservation, and innovative pavement maintenance materials activities will be transferred to the Subcommittee on Maintenance; and the concrete assessment and rehabilitation, as well as the high-performance concrete for bridges, activities will be transferred to the Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures. In addition, the Subcommittee on Construction will play a supporting role in the high-performance concrete, Superpave, and alkali-silica reactivity areas.
Last summer, to kick off the transition activities, the subcommittees appointed liaison members to the Lead States teams. The liaisons participated in the Lead States workshop held in August 1999. The transition plans that have since been developed will be discussed at this year's AASHTO spring meeting (April 7-11, St. George, Utah). The final Lead States workshop will be held in September 2000.
For more information on the Task Force on SHRP Implementation, contact John Conrad at 360-705-7801 (fax: 360-705-6823; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information on SHRP implementation and the Lead States teams, visit the AASHTO Innovative Highway Technologies Web site (leadstates.tamu.edu).