New Round of SHRP2 Assistance Kicks In, Available to Help Implement Four Products

AASHTO Journal, 16 January 2015

The Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials announced the opening of the latest applications process for assistance to help state agencies implement software and planning products offered through the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2).

This is the fifth round of implementation assistance, which can be in the form of monetary or technical support, and is available for four new SHRP2 products.

Those eligible to apply are state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, tribal agencies and Federal Lands Highway Divisions. Applications are due Feb. 13, and recipients will be announced in late March.

The technical products this assistance can cover include software to store, sort and retrieve three-dimensional utility location data; templates for new performance specifications; strategies to reduce railroad and transportation agency conflicts; and new planning tools for more collaborative transportation planning, programming and project development.

The SHRP2 program says the implementation assistance is available at three levels.

One is a “proof of concept pilot,” under which applicants help evaluate the readiness of a particular product. A “lead adopter incentive” is available to help offset costs associated with product implementation and risk mitigation. And a “user incentive” is available for various implementation activities, including internal assessments, executing system process changes and organizing peer exchanges.

Assistance applications and more detail on the product offerings are available at the GoSHRP2 Web site. The site also contains product information, assistance opportunities, and recordings of product specific webinars for each Round 5 product.

That information is also available through AASHTO’s separate SHRP2 site.

Transportation agencies in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are now using the SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Program on more than 250 transportation projects across the country. SHRP2 officials say this widespread adoption demonstrates fundamental benefits of the SHRP2 program by offering solutions to challenges transportation agencies are facing to improve safety, better manage and expedite projects, and save scarce financial resources.

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