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Publication Number:      Date:  Fall 1996
Issue No: Vol. 60 No. 2
Date: Fall 1996


Editor's Notes:

by Azim Eskandarian, Nabih E. Bedewi, and Leonard Meczkowski

FHWA Highway Problem-Solvers

In a recently produced videotape about the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC), the narrator refers to the TFHRC researchers as highway problem-solvers. Indeed, most folks at TFHRC and throughout the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are "professional highway problem-solvers." That is, they are directly involved in: (1) developing innovative solutions to specific problems, or (2) eliminating obstacles to enable state highway agencies and other FHWA partners to solve specific problems, or (3) transferring information and technology around the world to help others solve specific problems.

Every article in this issue deals, in one way or another, with solving problems and with the FHWA's quest to continuously improve the efficiency and safety of the nation's highways.

In "Eight Steps Toward a Smarter' National Highway System" and "Smart Road, Smart Car: The Automated Highway System," we take a look at how information and technology are being linked to maximize safety and efficiency and to increase highway capacity without building more roads. "Congestion Pricing" is a concept to reduce the problems created by traffic congestion. "Epoxy-Coated Rebars" protect against the problem of corroded reinforcing steel in concrete bridge decks. FHWA's "New Nationwide Seismic Bridge Design Training" will enable bridge designers to overcome the problems they have had in applying the standard seismic analysis and design requirements. "Aftermath of the Kobe Earthquake" and "Intelligent Transportation Systems in Japan" provide some insight about how the lessons learned and innovations of other nations can be applied to deal with problems and requirements in the United States. The articles about "WesTrack" and other "Test Roads" discuss efforts to develop better engineered roads, and "The Promise of High-Performance Concrete" is stronger and more durable bridges.

Feedback From our Readership Survey

It has often been said that good communication between partners is the key to a successful relationship. That's why at Public Roads, your partner in highway problem-solving, we are continuously soliciting your comments about the information in the magazine, your suggestions for articles, and your ideas for making the magazine more useful to you.

Last year, to gauge how well Public Roads was meeting your needs, we conducted a readership survey of all readers who regularly receive the magazine through the mail. We are gratified that the results generally confirm that we have been moving on the right track, and we appreciate the sense of direction provided by the survey respondents to guide us as we strive for continual improvement. Now it is our turn to provide some feedback to you and report some of the most significant results of the survey. These results are from about 700 respondents -- 40 percent of the survey audience:

Again, I extend my sincerest thanks to the participants in this survey.

Bob Bryant




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Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101