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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / November 1996

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-SA-96-022
Date: November 1996

Lead States: A New Paradigm in Technology Transfer

States that have moved out ahead of the pack in implementing technologies developed or evaluated under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) are now working to pass their practical experience on to others.

This "Lead State" initiative was advanced at a September conference in St. Louis, Missouri, with the goal of shortening the learning period for others. Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the conference brought together 115 representatives from 22 State transportation agencies, FHWA, AASHTO, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the private sector to share information on SHRP technologies.

Highway agencies that are among the first to adopt new technologies generally do so because the technology addresses a problem significant to their States or because they and their contractors are particularly comfortable with the change. The highway agencies may have played a major role in developing the technology, or they might have used the technology for many years before it was even tried in other States.

The conference participants are filling this leadership role and want to transfer their proficiency so learning periods for new users will be greatly reduced. By sharing their experiences working with high-payoff technologies, they hope to increase understanding and encourage widespread practical application of these technologies.

Bobbie Templeton, Texas Department of Transportation; Joe Toole and Byron Lord, FHWA; and Joe Mickes, Missouri Department of Transportation; set the tone for the conference by sharing their vision for the Lead State technology transfer initiative.

"These technologies are the only way we can meet the needs of the future," said Mickes, who is also the chairman of the TRB-SHRP Committee. "Implementation of the SHRP technologies will return the investment a hundredfold, but the numbers show the big winners are our customers."

Emphasizing the importance of developing new partnerships and supporting innovations, Lord called the Lead State concept "a new paradigm in technology transfer."

Templeton, chairman of the AASHTO Task Force on SHRP Implementation, reminded participants that being farsighted and proactive has far-reaching effects. "We don't want to leave unsolved problems for future generations," he said. "If we act now, not only will we reap the benefits, but our children, as well as their children, will enjoy significant improvements to their quality of life."

The conference participants then divided into Lead State teams for seven SHRP technology areas. Each team established a mission, goals, strategies, and action steps that can be used to encourage the exchange of information vital to the successful implementation of SHRP technologies by others. Coordinators were selected for the following Lead State teams:


Team Coordinator: Paul Mack, New York State DOT, (518) 457-4445

Lead States: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Texas, and Utah

High-Performance Concrete

Team Coordinator: James Moore, New Hampshire DOT, (603) 271-2731

Lead States: Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas, Virginia, and Washington

Anti-Icing/Road Weather Information Systems

Team Coordinator: Rick Nelson, Nevada DOT, (702) 688-1250

Lead States: Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington

Innovative Pavement Maintenance Materials

Team Coordinator: Leland Smithson, Iowa DOT, (515) 239-1519

Lead States: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, and Pennsylvania

Pavement Preservation

Team Coordinator: Wayne Swinford, Georgia DOT, (404) 656-5315

Lead States: Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin

Assessment, Protection, and Rehabilitation of Reinforced Concrete Structures

Team Coordinator: Michael Sprinkel, Virginia DOT, (804) 293-1941

Lead States: Florida, Missouri, and Virginia

Alkali-Silica Reactivity

Team Coordinator: Margaret Thomson, Pennsylvania DOT, (717) 787-1931

Lead States: North Carolina, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania

The Lead States initiative will be highlighted at the 1997 SHRP Coordinators Meeting and Road Savers Fair, to be held in conjunction with the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in January.

To obtain more information about the Lead State teams, contact the team coordinators. For general information on the Lead States program, contact Bobbie Templeton at 512-305-9504 (fax: 512-463-0283) or Mike Halladay at FHWA, 202-366-6503 (fax: 202-366-7909; email: michael.halladay@fhwa.dot.gov).

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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