AASHTO Board Approves Technical Service Program to Help Fund New Operations Center of Excellence

AASHTO Journal, 6 June 2014

The AASHTO Board of Directors last week approved the establishment of a new Operations Technical Service Program during the association’s annual Spring Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, that will help fund the establishment of a new National Operations Center of Excellence.

The technical service program will allow individual state DOTs to participate in the National Center of Operations, which is being developed in partnership with the Institute of Transportation Engineers and ITS America, with funding and support from the Federal Highway Administration.

Establishing the National Operations Center of Excellence is important to state transportation departments because “the public expects us to get more out of the systems that we have already built,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Director Don Hunt, who chairs the AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Systems Management and¬†Operations.

According to the formal AASHTO resolution, the new center of excellence will provide technical support to states through a web site, webinars, workshops, and summits in order to “both promote and improve best practices for systems operations and management for practitioners, policymakers and researchers.” It also will eventually establish programs and support activities in the areas of transportation systems management and operations; freight operations; and security and emergency management.

AASHTO, ITE, and ITS America executed a memorandum of understanding last year to start a national center of excellence. The associations worked together to establish a business plan for the center, as well as scope, content, and an ongoing business model for the center.

States will be invited to participate in the new technical service program later this year. A copy of the formal resolution is available here.

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