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Publication Number:      Date:  Winter 1996
Issue No: Vol. 59 No. 3
Date: Winter 1996


Editor's Notes

In this issue

In the last issue of Public Roads, I described that issue (Autumn 1995) as "a microcosm of the broad spectrum of interests, concerns, and projects that make up the work of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)." Well, this issue is positively eclectic, covering an incredibly diverse set of stories. The old expression "everything from soup to nuts" doesn't even come close to describing the wide range of articles in this issue. Bats to welding would be more like it for this Winter 1996 issue.

We remember the lives and deaths of our 11 FHWA brothers and sisters who perished in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City ("A Living Memorial"). We celebrate the birth of new legislation that will profoundly affect, directly and indirectly, the lives of every American ("The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995"). We honor the longevity and achievements of an organization that, by providing appropriate information and training, contributes to improving roads and highway operations in this country and in many others around the world ("The National Highway Institute: A 25-Year Record of Achievement"). The work of the National Highway Institute and FHWA's Office of International Programs in the Republic of South Africa is featured in "New Links to South Africa."

We discuss efforts to control or mitigate the forces of Mother Nature (snow and ice in "A Revolution in Winter Maintenance" and the wind in "Aerodynamic Design of Highway Structures") and, on the other hand, to live in harmony with nature ("Attention Motorists ... The Bats Have Landed on our Bridge!"). Bats? What do bats have to do with highways and bridges? Paul Garrett explains how the Texas Department of Transportation is protecting bat habitat and how the city of Austin is bat crazy.

We continue our focus on new and innovative technologies with articles on advancing new traffic control systems ("Demonstration Project 93 Making the Most of Today's Technology), developing a more effective welding method ("Narrow-Gap Improved Electroslag Welding for Bridges"), and producing high -performance construction materials and systems for the 21st century ("The CONMAT Initiative: Charting an Innovative Path to the Next Century").

We also recognize how a unique region in the very heart of America is making great strides in creating jobs and in economic development, to a large extent due to improving the transportation infrastructure ("Linking the Delta Region With the Nation and the World").

In the next issue

The Spring 1996 issue will be a very special issue of Public Roads. It will cover a range of subjects, but they will all have something in common. All of the articles in the next issue will be related to the National Highway System: the importance of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, the impact of this legislation on the federal role in transportation, and the future of FHWA.

Readership survey update

To the readers who took the time to complete our survey, I want to express my deep appreciation. Each of you will receive a copy of the 1995 Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology Program Highlights . The report will be published in January, and the Government Printing Office will mail your copy to you as soon as possible.

A readership survey can be a very effective way of gauging where we hit the mark and where we fall short in meeting the needs and interests of our readers, and we will use your comments to ensure we hit the mark more often and more consistently. As we promised previously, we will report the survey results to you when the analysis is completed.

Requesting your feedback

You don't have to wait until the next readership survey to let me know what you think about the magazine or a particular article or what you would like to read about in Public Roads. You can contact me anytime. I am continuously soliciting direct input and feedback from our readers.

Providing feedback should be quick and easy. You don't have to write me a treatise; a simple note, e-mail, or phone call will do nicely. The "mast" information in the light blue section of this page contains my address, phone number, FHWA e-mail address, and Internet email address. Please, when the mood strikes you, pass along your comments, suggestions, and ideas to me. I'd be much obliged.

Bob Bryant





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