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Public Roads - Winter 2019

Winter 2019
Issue No:
Vol. 82 No. 4
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Guest Editorial

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead


It is my honor to serve as the executive director of the Federal Highway Administration. Being selected for this position is the ultimate capstone to what has been an exciting and rewarding career with FHWA. I understand the critical responsibilities that come with the position, and I fully intend to carry them out to the best of my ability. I am passionate about the work we do and believe we have some of the most dedicated, talented, and professional staff in all of government.

FHWA and our partners face a number of challenges and opportunities in the coming years—expiration of the current Federal surface transportation authorization, the future of the Highway Trust Fund, rapid technological advancements, saving lives on our roadways, and development of our future transportation workforce, just to name a few. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao has defined goals for the Department in the U.S. Department of Transportation Strategic Plan, and FHWA Acting Administrator Brandye Hendrickson has built off that agenda with the recent issuance of the FHWA Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2019–2022.

The FHWA Strategic Plan not only states what is important to FHWA as an organization, but it also sends a message to FHWA’s partners and stakeholders that we strive to deliver outstanding customer service and that we will measure our success by the success of those we serve. I am extremely excited to work toward reaching the goals outlined in these guiding documents and putting the strategic plans into action.

FHWA is not alone in this effort. Part of our future success depends on how we continue to work with and learn from our partners, public and private, here and abroad. In my previous experience working in FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure, I learned firsthand how critical it is to continue to develop and deploy innovative ways to design, build, inspect, and manage roads and bridges. I also learned that no one has a monopoly on good ideas, and that many of the innovations we deploy today—and will deploy tomorrow—result from an exchange of ideas with partners.

That theme of collaboration is demonstrated in this issue of PUBLIC ROADS. For example, one article describes an information exchange between FHWA and our colleagues in Australia about freight policy, which is crucial to any nation’s economic success. See “Exchanging Solutions Across the Globe” on page 4. Another article describes work by State transportation agencies to explore solar power technologies to reduce energy costs and promote energy security. FHWA supports highway renewable energy by providing resources and funding workshops where agencies can learn about efforts to implement renewable energy projects. See “Renewable Roadsides” on page 16.

In addition, the Innovation Corner article on page 2 highlights the Special Experimental Project Number 16, also known as SEP-16. The project will test and evaluate delegation of program areas to States. This project is a continuum of the risk-based stewardship and oversight approach FHWA has been pursuing for years.

I look forward to working with those of you within FHWA and also with our partners on these and other initiatives. The future is filled with challenges waiting to be turned into opportunities, and opportunities waiting to become successes.







Thomas D. Everett
Executive Director
Federal Highway Administration