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


National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)


The National Cooperative Highway Research Program was created in 1962 as a means to conduct research in acute problem areas that affect highway planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance across the country. The NCHRP disseminates information throughout the transportation community and conducts independent research that benefits various transportation agencies throughout the country. Each year, States are asked to contribute 5.5 percent of their State planning and research (SP&R) funds to the NCHRP to ensure its continued successful operation.

NCHRP primarily focuses on the following research areas: pavements; economics; operations and control; general materials; illumination and visibility; snow and ice control; traffic planning; forecasting; bituminous materials; specifications, procedures, and practices; law; bridges; equipment; maintenance of highways and structures; general design; roadside development; safety; concrete materials; finance; special projects; testing and instrumentation; vehicle barrier systems; mechanics and foundations; and impact analysis. Information on NCHRP projects can be found at the NCHRP Web site at

The NCHRP is funded by the States from Federal-aid highway program funds apportioned to them. The amount is calculated each year as 5.5 percent of the 2 percent State Planning and Research funding set-aside. Annual NCHRP funding has been approximately $37 million in recent years. Funds are transferred by the States to FHWA according to this calculation. FHWA provides the funds to the NCHRP through a cooperative agreement with the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization for the Transportation Research Board.