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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / November 1999

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-109
Date: November 1999

TRB Workshop Develops FY 2001 LTPP Project Recommendations

For the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program, a September 1999 Transportation Research Board (TRB) workshop marked the start of the annual process that determines future projects and funding. Participants representing a broad spectrum of interests, including State highway agencies, pavement industries, academia, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) convened in Washington, DC, to start defining the program of LTPP analysis and research to be conducted in fiscal year (FY) 2001.

Approximately 45 project descriptions developed and considered but not recommended for funding at last year's workshop were provided to all participants. Also provided were new project descriptions received in response to a call for projects. Workshop participants then formed small working groups to develop additional project descriptions and to redefine, combine, and/or reject the candidate projects. Each working group addressed a general topic related to the use of the LTPP database to develop products needed by the States. Those topics were:

Charles Churilla of FHWA says, "LTPP is the States' program. They pay for it, and their highway sections are the core of the program. This workshop reflects State people using the database to answer their own problems. The LTPP database and the ability to apply it used to be seen as something in the future. But this year, the State representatives are talking about it in the present. It's become an accepted resource and is taken as a given."

This year's workshop was notable for the participation of a broad cross-section of the highway community. Two State chief engineers attended, Gary Hoffman of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) and Gary Taylor of Michigan DOT. Taylor says, "There's no question that the data being accumulated will have benefits for every State. LTPP will lead to benefits in how pavements are designed and ultimately to longer-lasting and better-performing pavements. The information from LTPP is also of great benefit to decisionmakers. It's important that we participate so that the workshops aren't just a technical or academic exercise."

The projects identified at the workshop as worthy of further consideration for funding in FY 2001 have been submitted to the TRB Expert Task Group (ETG) on LTPP Data Analysis for refinement and consolidation into a formal proposal of analysis research projects. The ETG's proposal will then be submitted to the TRB LTPP Committee at its meeting in November, where the proposal's cost and consistency with LTPP program objectives will be evaluated. The committee will develop a recommendation on the FY 2001 program of LTPP analysis projects that will be submitted to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Research to be considered for funding by AASHTO.

For more information, contact Robert Raab at TRB (phone: 202-334-1430; fax: 202-334-3471; email: rraab@nas.edu) or Charles Churilla at FHWA (phone: 202-493-3142; fax: 202-493-3161; email: charles.churilla@fhwa.dot.gov).

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