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Meeting the Challenge: Infrastructure

The United States has one of the most extensive transportation systems in the world, representing trillions of dollars of public and private investment. To fulfill its role as the guardian of this critical highway infrastructure, FHWA is engaged in forward-looking research that supports safety and environmental sustainability while modernizing bridges and roads through better materials, new construction techniques, and consistent quality control. This research increases the highway system's productivity and performance, reduces operational and replacement costs, and ensures a world-class highway system long into the future.

The strength of the infrastructure in the United States depends on quality materials, sound construction techniques, and reliable maintenance practices. Infrastructure research explores emerging technologies that will improve the safety and reliability, structural integrity, and longevity of the Nation's bridges and roadways. A strong infrastructure must also be sustainable and environmentally sound. New pavement materials will have fewer impacts on air quality and ambient noise levels.

Consistent quality assurance methods developed through FHWA research are enhancing design, materials testing, construction, and inspection procedures for roads and bridges. These methods improve how programs are delivered.

Objective 1: Implement and Enhance the Effectiveness of Transportation Performance Management


  • Develop and deploy reliable performance prediction models and practices in the design, construction, and management of the highway infrastructure.
  • Develop and deploy sound measures and practices to assess infrastructure condition and assure data quality in infrastructure management and performance predictions.

Showcase Activities

  • Understanding Infrastructure Performance
  • Improving Infrastructure Condition Monitoring and Data Management
  • Quantifying Pavement Albedo
  • Application and Validation of Remaining Service Interval Framework to Pavements Using State Highway Agency Pavement Management Data

 Visit the Objective 1: Showcase Activities page for more details.

Objective 2: Deliver Projects Faster and More Efficiently


  • Develop and deploy expanded and consistent use of the elements of a quality assurance program to improve infrastructure design, materials testing, construction, and inspection procedures.

Showcase Activities

  • Providing Guidance and Tools to Improve the Core Elements of State Quality Assurance (QA) Programs

 Visit the Objective 2: Showcase Activities page for more details.

Objective 3: Achieve and Sustain a State of Good Repair of Pavements, Bridges, and Tunnels


  • Develop and deploy construction, inspection, maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation practices that minimize impact to users.

Showcase Activities

  • Accelerating Infrastructure Construction and Preservation

 Visit the Objective 3: Showcase Activities page for more details

Objective 4: Improve the Sustainability of Highway Infrastructure


  • Advance and increase the use of renewable, reusable, and recycled materials in highway-related infrastructure.

Showcase Activities

  • Advancing the Use of Renewable, Reusable, and Recycled Materials to Achieve Durable Highway Infrastructure

 Visit the Objective 4: Showcase Activities page for more details

Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018