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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 - Spring 1996

FHWA's Quality Journey

by Fred Jones

Serving the movement of people, products, and services is what the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is all about. Deeply imbedded in the tradition and core values of FHWA is the commitment to providing the highest quality services to our partners and, together with them, delivering the very best highway transportation system to the nation.

Lately, there has been talk about the "quality journey" in FHWA. Quality isn't new in FHWA; we have long been devoted to working with our partners to provide high-quality highway transportation to users and all those affected. And it won't be over, not for a long time, not ever. Getting better - continuous improvement - is always going to be the goal.

The National Highway System is going to provide the future focus for applying quality improvement ideas, practices, approaches, and new technology.



To help us focus on quality, we're going to need a road map for the journey. The principles and guides, proven by their use throughout the public and private sectors in their pursuit of quality, are reflected in the parts of the arrow diagram. It all fits together:

  • Customers are the "drivers" (both meanings) because they set the expectations and reap the benefits of good government.
  • Our shared vision, mission, and values point the way for all agency employees.
  • Strategic planning with high employee and customer-partner involvement keeps us on the path.
  • Integrated processes support "systems thinking."
  • Information helps us adapt and respond to change.
  • Empowered employees bring creativity, energy, and commitment to the job.
  • Leadership creates a climate that promotes growth and learning.
  • Everybody keeps focused on results/outcomes.

The FHWA Quality Council, established in February 1995, will be a catalyst for quality improvement activities at all levels and in all parts of the agency. The council, which is chaired by the executive director and includes leaders from headquarters and field offices, will:

  • Try to facilitate and shape an agencywide dialogue about what quality means for FHWA and how to achieve customer-focused continuous improvement through strengthened cooperation with partners and with employees.
  • Encourage improvement and integration of the systems and processes that support employees and strengthen program delivery.
  • Promote locally initiated quality improvement activities through communication, recognition, and idea sharing.

The quality journey promises to be a great trip for everyone, with opportunities for leadership and satisfaction all around.


Anthony R. Kane, Chairman

Executive Director

Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-2242

Joseph S. Toole, Director

Office of Technology Applications (HTA-1)

Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-9218

Gerald L. Eller, Director

Office of Engineering (HNG-1)

Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-4853

Leon J. Witman,
Regional Administrator

Federal Highway Administration

KOIN Center, Suite 600

222 S.W. Columbia Street

Portland, OR 97201

(503) 326-2048

Thomas O. Edick, Administrator

Federal Lands Highway Office (HFL-1)

Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-9494

Dwight A. Horne,
Division Administrator

Federal Highway Administration

628-2 Hebron Avenue, Suite 303

Glastonbury, CT 06033

(203) 659-6703

Madeleine S. Bloom, Director

Office of Policy Development (HPP-1)

Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-0587

Dennis C. Cook,
Division Administrator

Federal Highway Administration

249 Cumberland Bend Drive

Nashville, TN 37228

(615) 736-5394

Michael F. Trentacoste, Director

Office of Program Management Support


Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-5370

Larry S. Bonine, Director

Arizona Department of Transportation

206 S. 17th Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85007

(602) 255-7226

Charles J. Nemmers, Director

Office of Engineering and Highway Operations

Research and Development (HNR-1)

Federal Highway Administration

(703) 285-2001

Hal Kassoff, Administrator

Maryland State Highway Administration

707 North Calvert Street

Baltimore, MD 21203

(410) 333-1111

Michael J. Vecchietti, Director

Office of Information and Management Systems (HMS-1)

Federal Highway Administration

(202) 366-9062


Fred Jones is chief of the Information Resources and Analysis Division of FHWA's Office of Information and Management Services. He provides staff coordination support for the Quality Council.