AASHTO Journal, 26 February 2016
The Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials will host webinars in March as they prepare to offer at least $7.8 million in incentives for state transportation agencies to use research products from the second Strategic Highway Research Program.
Pam Hutton, AASHTO’s SHRP2 implementation manager, said this seventh and final round of implementation assistance will reach that level, on top of about $122 million in financial aid the program awarded in earlier rounds.
It has also provided state departments of transportation and other agencies 6,155 hours of technical assistance as they incorporated SHRP2 research tools into their programs or construction projects.
“We are expecting a lot of people to participate, given the fact that is the last formal opportunity for financial and technical assistance through the SHRP2’s Implementation Assistance Program,” Hutton told AASHTO Journal.
To get ready for the applications, the FHWA and AASHTO will host a series of eight webinars March 8-22, which will explain 13 research products eligible for incentive awards. Those wanting to participate in the webinars will need to register to obtain login credentials. Registration is already open, and details are explained in a program brochure.
Afterward, SHRP2 will take applications for the incentive awards from April 1 through April 19.
The funding and technical aid is open to state DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations, tribal nations and other transportation agencies to use SHRP2 innovations that can help them improve safety, rebuild infrastructure with less disruption to traffic and increase mobility for their system users.
The webinars include a bundle of utility-related research products, such as technologies for locating utility assets in a transportation project. Some sessions deal with reliability data and analysis, or performance measures.
Others involve bridge or tunnel research “solutions,” including nondestructive testing of tunnel linings and bridge decks. And there will be webinars on pavement, railroad-DOT mitigation and overall project planning.
“These webinars are opportunities for transportation officials to determine how beneficial these products really are, and to help improve the way we do business,” Hutton said.
The entire SHRP2 program has generate more than 60 products to help transportation professionals. They are grouped in four categories – safety, reliability, renewal and capacity.
Some other examples are products to reduce utility relocation costs, methods to track materials using portable devices and using web-based resources to deliver transportation projects.