NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY
well-designed research provides the most effective approach to the
solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers.
Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by
highway departments individually or in cooperation with their state
universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway
transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to
highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated
program of cooperative research.
In recognition of
these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Officials initiated in 1962 an objective
national highway research program employing modern scientific techniques.
This program is supported on a continuing basis by funds from
participating member states of the Association and it receives the full
cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United
States Department of Transportation.
Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association
to administer the research program because of the Board’s recognized
objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. The Board is
uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee
structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may
be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with
federal, state and local governmental agencies, universities, and
industry; its relationship to the National Research Council is an
insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation
staff of specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the
findings of research directly to those who are in a position to use them.
The program is
developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief
administrators of the highway and transportation departments and by
committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research needs to be
included in the program are proposed to the National Research Council and
the Board by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation
Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the
Board, and qualified research agencies are selected from those that have
submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts
are the responsibilities of the National Research Council and the
Transportation Research Board.
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