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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This summary report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-16-071    Date:  August 2016
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-16-071
Date: August 2016


FHWA Research and Technology Evaluation Program Summary Report Spring 2016


Executive Summary

The Federal Government has the responsibility to fund and conduct research and technology (R&T) activities of national interest that will lead to solutions to highway transportation issues and significantly advance technology innovation with a clear public benefit when private investment is neither present nor sufficient.(1) In 2003, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) leadership adopted a strategic management framework called the Corporate Master Plan (CMP) for Research and Deployment of Technology & Innovation.(2) Performance evaluation and measurement together form a major part of the CMP. FHWA shapes and executes a national R&T program comprising eight research components. Four of these components take place under the guidance of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) in McLean, VA. TFHRC leadership has adopted a Strategic Plan to guide the Center’s continued development and capitalize on its significant accomplishments.(3) The research evaluation efforts described in this report focus directly on Goal 5 of the Strategic Plan: Research activities and outcomes are appropriately advanced through effective alignment of resources, dissemination of knowledge, and technology transition. In support of the CMP and the Strategic Plan, FHWA’s R&T program has developed a research agenda to:(4)

This report furthers the research agenda, summarizing 16 evaluations currently being conducted by staff at Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center sponsored by FHWA’s R&T Program. The evaluations are grouped into two waves. The first wave consists of six retrospective evaluations and four prospective evaluations. The second wave consists of six evaluations, all prospective. The report provides more detail about evaluations that are closer to completion. Many of the evaluations leverage both qualitative data (e.g., document review, semistructured interviews) and quantitative data (e.g., website statistics) to trace the diffusion of FHWA R&T recommendations, track the adoption of those recommendations, and determine the impact of adoption. An overview of the initial findings for the six retrospective evaluations is provided below. All findings can be found in the main text of this report and are discussed in more detail in the respective final reports for each project.

Adaptive Signal Controls (ASC) (5)

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS)(6)

Gusset Plates (7)

National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)(8)

Roadside Revegetation (9)

Roundabouts (11)

The remaining 10 evaluation teams do not yet have initial findings. The prospective wave 1 projects are continuing to refine evaluation plans with results expected over the next few years. Wave 2 projects have recently launched and evaluation planning will continue throughout the next year.

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

Abbreviations and acronyms.
Acronym or Abbreviation Meaning
ABMS Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation
ALF Accelerated Loading Facility
APT Accelerated Pavement Testing
ASC Adaptive Signal Control
ASCT Adaptive Signal Control Technology
CMAQ Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
CMP Corporate Master Plan for Research and Deployment of Technology & Innovation
EDC Every Day Counts
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
GRS-IBS Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System
NHTS National Household Travel Survey
PCP Precast Concrete Pavements
R&D Research and Development
R&T Research and Technology
RAS Reclaimed Asphalt Shingles
SHRP2 Second Strategic Highway Research Program
TFHRC Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
TIM Traffic Incident Management
VASTO Evolutionary Agent System for Transportation Outlook
VOC Vehicle Operating Costs
WMA Warm Mix Asphalt




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