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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - March/April 2004

Communication Product Updates

Communication Product Updates

by Zac Ellis of FHWA's Office of Research and Technology Services

Below are brief descriptions of products recently published online by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. Some of the publications also may be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies are available from the Research and Technology (R&T) Product Distribution Center.

When ordering from NTIS, include the NTIS publication number (PB number) and the publication title. You also may visit the NTIS Web site at to order publications online. Call NTIS for current prices. For customers outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the cost is usually double the listed price. Address requests to:

National Technical Information Service

5285 Port Royal Road

Springfield, VA 22161

Telephone: 703-605-6000

Toll-free number: 800-553-NTIS (6847)

Address requests for items available from the R&T Product Distribution Center to:

R&T Product Distribution Center, HRTS-03

Federal Highway Administration

9701 Philadelphia Court, Unit Q

Lanham, MD 20706

Telephone: 301-577-0818

Fax: 301-577-1421

For more information on research and technology publications from FHWA, visit the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center's (TFHRC) Web site at, FHWA's Web site at, the National Transportation Library's Web site at, or the OneDOT information network at

Office of Research, Development, and Technology

Fiscal Year 2004/2005 Performance Plan

Publication No. FHWA-RD-03-085

The performance plan describes the research that the FHWA Office of Research, Development, and Technology (RD&T) will conduct and the products and services it will provide in fiscal year (FY) 2004/2005. The document discusses the strategic framework for research, identifies challenges and commitments, and explains the organization of the Office of RD&T. In addition, the plan communicates the benefits of RD&T’s research and technical services and outlines specific activities planned for FY 2004/2005.

The plan is based on the RD&T mission of championing the advancement of highway technological innovation. It outlines RD&T’s key functions supporting FHWA’s strategic goals and performance objectives, including
highway research and development (R&D), outreach activities, and implementation of the strategic planning and budgeting outlined in the FHWA Corporate Master Plan for Research and Deployment of Technology & Innovation.

The publication includes charts listing research projects planned for FY 2004/2005 and target completion dates. The Office of Infrastructure R&D, which focuses on improving the performance and reducing the costs of highway infrastructure, plans to conduct research on pavement design and analysis, bridge innovations and safety, and infrastructure stewardship.

The Office of Operations R&D, which concentrates on mitigating congestion and improving operations safety, has proposed research in the areas of traffic control and operations, traffic analysis tools, and human-centered
systems. The Office of Safety R&D, whose mission is to reduce highway crashes and related fatalities and injuries, plans research on preventing and mitigating roadway departures, managing safety, improving intersections,
and protecting pedestrians.

The document is available online at

Long-Term Pavement Performance Information Management System Pavement Performance

Database User Guide

Publication No. FHWA-RD-03-088

This report provides information to help researchers understand and use the performance database of the Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program—a comprehensive study of pavements to improve design,
rehabilitation, and maintenance practices.

The document contains an introduction to the structure of the LTPP program, the relational structure of the LTPP database, a description of the location of various data elements, and contents of the data table. The publication offers tips on how to obtain data and efficient means of manipulating data for specific types of investigations. It also provides examples of structured query language (SQL) scripts for accessing and manipulating LTPP data. Users can apply the SQL scripts to build
and analyze custom data sets.

To access the guide online, visit

Key Findings from LTPP Analysis 2000–2003

Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-032

Cover of Key Findings from LTPP Analysis 2000-2003This document highlights key findings from analysis studies of the LTPP program completed between 2000 and 2003. The LTPP program, established in 1987, is a 20-year study of inservice pavements using a series of field experiments to monitor more than 2,400 asphalt and portland cement concrete pavement test sections across the United States and Canada. The program’s goal is to determine why some pavements outperform others.

About 50 projects are described in the report, including research reports and National Cooperative Highway Research Program projects using LTPP data. The publication includes sections on pavement site conditions, structural features, material characterization, initial roughness, and maintenance. It also includes a section on local calibration of the 2002 Pavement Design Guide (FHWA-RD-00-129).

The goal of the report is to provide information to those participating in the LTPP program that will help them design, build, and maintain cost-effective and longlasting pavements. The report follows the publication in 2000 of Key Findings from LTPP Analysis 1990–1999 (FHWA-RD-00-085).

The document is available online at .

LTPP: Year in Review 2003

Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-041

This report outlines the 2003 accomplishments of the LTPP program and previews the year ahead. In 2003, the LTPP program continued to emphasize the importance of collecting reliable data to help researchers answer how and why pavements perform the way they do. The LTPP program collects most of the data, although State agencies provide traffic and materials data for Specific Pavement Studies (SPS) projects.

LTPP developed a two-phase, pooled fund study in 2000 to address inconsistencies and inadequacies in traffic data supplied for SPS projects. The project is designed to improve the quality and quantity of traffic data from the projects. In August 2003, FHWA awarded the contract for Phase I, which consists of assessing, evaluating, and calibrating weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems.

FHWA plans to award the contract for Phase II— which involves procuring, installing, and maintaining the LTPP WIM equipment—in early 2004. Phase I traffic evaluations were completed in a few States in 2003 and are continuing in 2004.

FHWA achieved its goal of processing the 1999–2001 traffic data for all LTPP test sections nationwide by December 2003. Improvements made to the LTPP traffic quality control and analysis software helped the LTPP regions accomplish the goal. As a result, the pavement community has access to a large quantity of new traffic data in 2004.

The LTTP program also continued work on an action plan to address gaps in the materials database for SPS projects. Participating States worked to complete testing on their SPS project materials, and they continued their
resilient modulus testing on bound and unbound materials. New protocols were developed for the bending beam rheometer, dynamic shear rheometer, dynamic cone penetrometer, soil suction, and specific gravity for unbound materials.

The document is available online at