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Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

February 2010: 

Highway Research: 

The Second Strategic Highway Research Program Addresses the Four 
Required Areas, but Some Anticipated Research Was Not Funded: 

GAO-10-248: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-248, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity 
Act: A Legacy for Users authorized the Department of Transportation to 
establish a highway research program to address future challenges 
facing the U.S. highway system. In 2006, the Second Strategic Highway 
Research Program was established to conduct research in four areasó
safety, renewal, reliability, and capacity. The Transportation 
Research Board manages this program in cooperation with the Federal 
Highway Administration and others. 

The legislation also required GAO to review the program no later than 
3 years after the first research contracts were awarded. This report 
provides information about the process for selecting the programís 
projects for funding, the projectsí status, and what, if any, research 
was eliminated because of funding and time constraints. To address our 
objectives, GAO reviewed the programís authorizing legislation, 
analyzed studies and reports related to the program and its projects, 
and interviewed officials from relevant transportation agencies and 
organizations. 

GAO is not making recommendations in this report. The Department of 
Transportation and the Transportation Research Board reviewed a draft 
of this report and provided technical clarifications, which we 
incorporated, as appropriate. 

What GAO Found: 

The programís oversight committee funded research projects based on 
the recommendations of its four technical coordinating committees of 
experts (one for each of the four research areas), which considered 
the input of other experts and factors, such as available program 
funds and time frames. Prior to the programís establishment, detailed 
research plans were developed by panels of experts in 2003 that 
identified 106 possible research projects. However, these research 
plans were significantly modified on two occasionsóin 2006, when less 
funding and time were provided for completing the program than had 
been assumed in 2003, and in 2008, when about $20 million in 
additional program funding became available. On both occasions, the 
programís oversight committee relied on experts to prioritize and 
recommend projects for funding. As a result of this process, 56 of the 
106 projects either evolved into, or were partially merged with, one 
or more of the currently funded projects, while 50 projects were 
eliminated entirely. 

As of December 31, 2009, the programís oversight committee had 
allocated about $123 million of the approximately $171 million 
available to fund 85 projects in the four research areas of highway 
safety (40 percent), renewal (26 percent), reliability (16 percent), 
and capacity (17 percent). These funding allocations closely followed 
the overall funding percentages recommended by the Transportation 
Research Board in 2001. Of the 85 funded projects, 11 were completed, 
52 were ongoing, 22 were anticipated, and all of the projects were 
expected to be completed by 2013. The outcomes are expected to vary by 
research area, ranging from useful data sets and related analyses to 
improved technologies, guidelines, and techniques for advancing the 
goals of each research area. Among other outcomes, the program staff 
expects: 

* the safety research will produce the largest, most comprehensive 
database on driver behavior available to date and, thus, provide the 
foundation for significant improvements in highway safety; 

* the renewal research will produce a variety of tools and techniques 
to promote rapid and durable highway renewal; 

* the reliability research will develop methods to provide highway 
users with relatively more consistent travel times between locations; 
and; 

* the capacity research will provide strategies for better decision 
making in highway planning processes to increase the capacity of U.S. 
highways. 

Because of funding and time constraints, 50 of the 106 research 
projects identified in 2003 were eliminated entirely from funding, 
while many of the remaining 56 projects had one or more portions of 
their planned research eliminated. Overall, most of the funded 
projects are for applied research, but many of the implementation-
related activities identified in 2003 were eliminated. While 
activities to (1) translate research results into products, (2) train 
and disseminate research findings, and (3) provide technical support 
for implementing the research are often needed to widely implement 
research results, program staff are hopeful that other researchers 
will initiate some of the eliminated research activities after the 
programís completion. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-248] or key 
components. For more information, contact David Wise at (202) 512-2834 
or wised@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

SHRP 2 Research Projects Were Selected Based on Expert Input and 
Program Funding and Time Frames: 

The SHRP 2 Oversight Committee Allocated about $123 Million for 85 
Projects: 63 Are Completed or Ongoing and 22 Are Planned: 

Because of Funding and Time Constraints, 50 of the 106 Projects 
Identified in 2003 Were Eliminated Entirely, while Many of the 
Remaining 56 Projects Had Portions of Their Planned Research 
Eliminated: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Safety Research Projects: 

Appendix III: Renewal Research Projects: 

Appendix IV: Reliability Research Projects: 

Appendix V: Capacity Research Projects: 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Timeline of Key Events Related to SHRP 2: 

Table 2: Amount and Duration of SHRP 2 Funding, as of December 31, 
2009: 

Table 3: Information on the Number of Projects Identified in 2003 That 
Evolved or Merged to Form a SHRP 2 Project or Were Eliminated: 

Table 4: Recommended and Actual Funding Levels and Percentages of 
Funding for the Four Research Areas, as of December 31, 2009: 

Table 5: How Safety Projects Identified in 2003 Were Reprioritized for 
Funding: 

Table 6: The 16 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Safety Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Table 7: How Renewal Projects Identified in 2003 Were Reprioritized 
for Funding: 

Table 8: The 28 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Renewal Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Table 9: How Reliability Projects Identified in 2003 Were 
Reprioritized for Funding: 

Table 10: The 21 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Reliability Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Table 11: How Capacity Projects Identified in 2003 Were Reprioritized 
for Funding: 

Table 12: The 20 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Capacity Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Allocation for SHRP 2 Funding, as of December 31, 2009: 

Figure 2: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Safety Projects: 

Figure 3: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Renewal Projects: 

Figure 4: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Reliability 
Projects: 

Figure 5: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Capacity Projects: 

Abbreviations: 

DOT: Department of Transportation: 

FHWA: Federal Highway Administration: 

TRB: Transportation Research Board: 

AASHTO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials: 

SAFETEA-LU: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users: 

SHRP: Strategic Highway Research Program: 

SHRP 2: Second Strategic Highway Research Program: 

TCC: Technical Coordinating Committee: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office:
Washington, DC 20548: 

February 5, 2010: 

Congressional Committees: 

As the United States entered the 21st century, the nation's highway 
infrastructure and transportation system faced critical challenges 
that demanded practical solutions. The highway system is the backbone 
of the U.S. economy and provides passenger and freight links to all 
other modes of transportation. However, the network of U.S. roadways, 
bridges, and other related structures constituting the system has been 
in constant use for decades, often exceeding original design life and 
expected traffic volumes. As a result, the system is deteriorating and 
has become heavily congested. For example, the average age of a bridge 
in the inventory of bridges nationwide is 35 years, and about a 
quarter of them are considered either structurally deficient or 
functionally obsolete.[Footnote 1] Also, increased traffic congestion 
causes travel disruptions and delays that, in 2007, cost travelers 
about $87 billion and an estimated 4.2 billion additional travel 
hours.[Footnote 2] Furthermore, the number of deaths and injuries each 
year from highway accidents--the leading cause of death in 2006 for 
all persons between 3 and 34 years of age--constitute a major public 
health concern.[Footnote 3] 

Research and innovation play an important role in addressing the 
challenges of managing and using the highway system. Research efforts 
generally focus on incremental improvements that address a wide range 
of highway challenges and lead to a variety of user benefits across 
the highway system, including (1) lower construction and maintenance 
costs, (2) better system performance, (3) added highway capacity, (4) 
reduced highway fatalities and injuries, and (5) reduced adverse 
environmental impacts. In contrast, strategic highway research 
programs are designed to focus on fewer highway challenges and 
typically result in more rapid and significant transportation-related 
improvements. 

To address challenges facing the nation's highway infrastructure and 
transportation system and develop potential solutions to those 
challenges, in 1998, Congress requested the Transportation Research 
Board (TRB), a unit of the National Research Council within the 
National Academy of Sciences, to conduct a study for creating a 
strategic highway research program.[Footnote 4] TRB conducted the 
study and, in 2001, issued Special Report 260: Strategic Highway 
Research: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life 
(Special Report 260), which concluded that a large-scale, special-
purpose, and limited-duration research program focused on four 
research areas--safety, renewal, reliability, and capacity--could help 
the highway system meet customer demands over the next several 
decades.[Footnote 5] To advance such a program, in 2002, the 
Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Highway Administration 
(FHWA) and the states' departments of transportation funded work to 
develop detailed research plans and specific projects for carrying out 
each of the four areas outlined in Special Report 260.[Footnote 6] The 
results of this effort were completed and published in 2003.[Footnote 
7] In addition, section 5210 of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, 
Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) 
authorized the creation of the Future Strategic Highway Research 
Program.[Footnote 8] SAFETEA-LU required that the program focus on the 
four research and development areas specified in Special Report 260 
(i.e., highway safety, renewal, reliability, and capacity) and tasked 
DOT with establishing and carrying out the program through the 
National Research Council. The resulting program, initiated in 2006, 
is referred to as the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 
2). The program is managed by TRB in cooperation with FHWA, the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the American 
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). 
[Footnote 9] 

SAFETEA-LU directed us to review SHRP 2 no later than 3 years after 
the first contracts for research projects were awarded. This occurred 
on February 5, 2007. This report provides information about (1) the 
process for selecting SHRP 2 projects for funding, (2) the status of 
these projects, and (3) what, if any, planned research was eliminated 
from the program because of funding and time constraints. To address 
these issues, we reviewed the program's authorizing legislation, 
requirements, goals, and objectives. We also reviewed and analyzed 
literature, studies, and reports related to SHRP 2, and available 
agency and program documentation on the SHRP 2 research projects that 
were funded or identified for funding in the 2003 detailed research 
plans, as well as the revised plans for reprioritizing project for 
funding. In addition, we compared the current SHRP 2 projects with the 
four research areas identified in Special Report 260 and the projects 
identified in the 2003 detailed research plans to identify projects 
that were partially or fully eliminated from program funding. Finally, 
we interviewed officials from DOT, FHWA, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, the National Research Council, TRB, and AASHTO. 

We conducted this performance audit from June 2009 through February 
2010 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. See 
appendix I for more information about our scope and methodology. 

Background: 

Research and innovation play an important role in addressing issues 
associated with building, maintaining, operating, and using the U.S. 
highway system. Highway research is an essential national investment 
because it helps address broad issues related to highway planning, 
safety, traffic operations, pavement durability, maintenance, and the 
impact of the highway system on the environment. In addition, research 
helps transportation professionals to (1) understand how the highway 
transportation system functions and (2) anticipate future demands. 
Past research has yielded many advances and innovations that have 
saved money, improved performance, added capacity, reduced fatalities 
and injuries, and minimized the impact of the highway system on the 
environment.[Footnote 10] For example, in the late 1950s, the American 
Association of State Highway Officials sponsored research, called the 
AASHO Road Test, to study how traffic contributes to the deterioration 
of highway pavements.[Footnote 11] This research, which contributed to 
the creation of nationwide design standards for the new Interstate 
highway system, was designed to complement existing highway research 
programs and is credited with critical advances related to the 
structural design and performance of pavements, and to understanding 
the effects of various climates on pavements. 

While highway research has resulted in transportation advances, 
implementing research results can be difficult because of the number 
of stakeholders involved. The network of highway transportation 
stakeholders is large and complex, consisting of federal and state 
transportation agencies, universities, industry associations, and 
private organizations. In total, more than 35,000 highly decentralized 
public agencies manage the U.S. highway system, and thousands of 
private contractors, materials suppliers, and other organizations 
provide support services. The federal government supports highway 
research through FHWA, whose mission, in part, is to deploy and 
implement technology and promote the use of innovative approaches to 
address highway challenges. For example, to enhance mobility on U.S. 
highways, FHWA conducts and funds research on current and emerging 
nationwide transportation issues to, among other matters, enhance the 
transportation system's overall performance; reduce traffic 
congestion; improve safety; and maintain infrastructure integrity. 
However, according to a report issued by TRB in 2001, the majority of 
FHWA's highway research focuses on short-term, incremental 
transportation-related improvements.[Footnote 12] Although 
transportation agencies are generally responsive to implementing small 
innovations with the promise of short-term benefits, according to this 
report, it takes considerably longer to implement changes that realize 
large, long-term benefits. 

Although the establishment of a national strategic highway research 
program, like SHRP 2, has been rare, it is not unprecedented. 
Specifically, in 1987, Congress established the first Strategic 
Highway Research Program (SHRP) to achieve large-scale, accelerated, 
and innovative highway research on topics not adequately addressed by 
prior or existing research programs.[Footnote 13] SHRP focused on a 
few critical infrastructure and operational problems faced by state 
transportation agencies, such as the quality of asphalt used in 
highway construction, the integrity and longevity of road pavements, 
and the deterioration of concrete bridge decks and other components. 
The program, concluded in 1991, was considered ambitious because of 
its limited duration and its concentration on previously neglected 
research areas related to asphalt pavements, structural concrete, and 
winter maintenance. Two of the better known and more widely 
implemented results of SHRP are (1) the Superpave materials selection 
and design system, which resulted in more durable asphalt pavements, 
and (2) a collection of methods and technologies that significantly 
improved approaches for controlling snow and ice on roadways. 

The success of SHRP prompted Congress and others to take several key 
steps that, ultimately, led to the establishment of SHRP 2. Table 1 
provides a timeline of key events related to SHRP 2. 

Table 1: Timeline of Key Events Related to SHRP 2: 

Date: 1998; 
Event: The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century reauthorized 
the federal-aid highway program and requested TRB to study the 
feasibility of creating a new strategic highway research program. 

Date: 2001; 
Event: TRB issued Special Report 260. 

Date: 2002; 
Event: AASHTO's board of directors passed a resolution supporting a 
new national strategic highway research program and authorized funding 
for a project to develop detailed research plans and specific projects 
based on the goals of Special Report 260. FHWA provided matching funds 
to develop the plans, which was conducted under the National 
Cooperative Highway Research Program[A]. 

Date: 2003; 
Event: The National Cooperative Highway Research Program completed the 
detailed research plans. The plans, which included specific projects 
in each of the four research areas, were summarized in the National 
Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 510, Interim Planning for 
a Future Strategic Highway Research Program. 

Date: 2005; 
Event: SAFETEA-LU authorized, among other matters, the creation of a 
strategic highway research program to address challenges affecting the 
U.S. highway system and funding for that program. The law also 
required TRB to report on the strategies and administrative structure 
for implementing the results of SHRP 2 no later than February 1, 2009; 
In December, FHWA, AASHTO, and the National Research Council signed a 
memorandum of understanding that (1) established a partnership among 
the three organizations to carry out SHRP 2, (2) selected TRB to 
manage the program, and (3) described the program's governance 
structure. 

Date: 2006; 
Event: SHRP 2 was officially inaugurated in March when FHWA provided 
TRB with funding to initiate the program through a cooperative 
agreement with the National Research Council. 

Date: 2007; 
Event: TRB awarded the first SHRP 2 research contracts in February. 

Date: 2008; 
Event: The SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 provided 
additional obligation authority for SHRP 2[B]. 

Date: 2009; 
Event: As required by Congress in 2005, TRB issued Special Report 296: 
Implementing the Results of the Second Strategic Highway Research 
Program: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life 
in January 2009[C]. 

Date: 2013; 
Event: Planned completion of SHRP 2 research. 

Source: GAO. 

[A] AASHTO and FHWA funded work to develop the detailed research plans 
and specific projects for each of the four research areas identified 
in Special Report 260 through the National Cooperative Highway 
Research Program. These plans and projects, known as the National 
Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-58, are available at 
[hyperlink, http://www.TRB.org/SHRP2]. 

[B] Pub. L. No. 110-244, 122 Stat. 1572, 1604 (June 6, 2008). 

[C] TRB, Special Report 296: Implementing the Results of the Second 
Strategic Highway Research Program: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, 
Improving Quality of Life, (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 2009). 

[End of table] 

Special Report 260 recommended that the program address the following 
four research goals: 

* safety--to prevent or reduce the severity of highway crashes through 
more accurate knowledge of driver behavior and other crash factors; 

* renewal--to develop a consistent and systematic approach to 
performing highway rehabilitation that is rapid, causes minimum 
disruption, and produces long-lived (durable) transportation 
facilities, such as roadways and bridges; 

* reliability--to provide highway users with improved travel time 
reliability (more consistent travel times between locations) by 
preventing and reducing the impact of relatively unpredictable events, 
such as traffic accidents, work zones, special events, and weather; 
and: 

* capacity--to develop approaches and tools for systematically 
integrating environmental, economic, and community requirements into 
the decision-making processes for planning and designing projects to 
increase highway capacity. 

While Special Report 260 provided strategic direction and a general 
framework for developing SHRP 2, additional planning had to be 
conducted before the research program could begin. Therefore, in 
January 2002, TRB assembled five panels--an oversight panel and four 
technical panels of experts--to provide leadership and technical 
guidance for the development of detailed research plans for each of 
the four research areas. The panels consisted of a wide range of 
highway transportation experts, including representatives from state 
departments of transportation, FHWA, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, universities, industry associations, and 
private companies. 

The planning effort, completed in September 2003, resulted in detailed 
research plans for each of the four research areas, which identified, 
among other matters, the objectives, scope, and anticipated projects 
and budgets for each of the four areas. Each technical panel of 
experts prioritized the research projects identified in its area after 
considering, among other matters, the (1) probability of each 
project's success and (2) likelihood that each project would improve 
transportation practices. In total, the four plans identified 106 
projects--15 for safety, 38 for renewal, 33 for reliability, and 20 
for capacity projects--designed to achieve the overall research goals 
specified in Special Report 260. 

SAFETEA-LU, enacted in 2005, established several requirements for 
carrying out SHRP 2. For example, Congress required that the program 
(1) address the four research areas described in Special Report 260 as 
well as the detailed research plans completed in 2003 and (2) involve 
state transportation officials and other stakeholders in the 
governance of the research program. SHRP 2 began in December 2005, 
when FHWA, AASHTO, and the National Research Council formed a 
partnership to carry out SHRP 2 through a memorandum of understanding. 
In doing so, these entities specified that TRB should manage the 
program's daily operations and budget and establish a structure for 
carrying out the program. Similar to the 2003 detailed planning 
effort, TRB established the following organizational structure, 
composed of experts at all levels, to carry out SHRP 2: 

* an oversight committee to approve annual work plans, budgets, and 
contractor awards, among other activities; 

* a technical coordinating committee (TCC) for each of the four 
research areas to develop annual research plans and monitor the 
progress of contracts, among other matters;[Footnote 14] and: 

* numerous expert task groups, as needed, to provide technical input 
to each of the four research areas, develop the requests for project 
proposals, recommend contractor selections, and monitor research 
projects.[Footnote 15] 

According to SHRP 2 staff, the extensive involvement of experts to 
define, prioritize, and oversee research in each of the four areas was 
intended to maximize the usefulness of the research results. 

Special Report 260, which was requested by Congress, recommended that 
SHRP 2 receive $450 million over 6 fiscal years, with 9 years to 
complete the research.[Footnote 16] In 2005, SAFETEA-LU authorized 
$205 million for SHRP 2 over 4 fiscal years (fiscal years 2006 through 
2009). SHRP 2 was officially inaugurated in March 2006, when FHWA 
provided about $36 million to TRB to initiate the program and 7 years 
to complete the research (i.e., by 2013) through a cooperative 
agreement with the National Research Council.[Footnote 17] However, 
the initial amount provided for fiscal year 2006 constituted less than 
one-half of the annual recommended amount in Special Report 260 ($75 
million) and about $15 million less than the annual amount authorized 
in SAFETEA-LU ($51.25 million). SAFETEA-LU contained other funding 
limitations, which ultimately reduced SHRP 2's funding below its 
authorized amount.[Footnote 18] The 2008 SAFETEA-LU Technical 
Corrections Act provided additional obligation authority for the 
program, which resulted in about $20 million in additional funds. TRB 
currently expects about $171 million in total SHRP 2 funding. Table 2 
provides a comparison of the (1) funding and duration for SHRP 2 as 
recommended in Special Report 260, (2) program funding authorized in 
SAFETEA-LU, and (3) amount actually funded. 

Table 2: Amount and Duration of SHRP 2 Funding, as of December 31, 
2009: 

Annual funding level; 
Recommended: $75.0 million; 
Authorized: $51.25 million[A]; 
Actual funding: $42.7 million[B]. 

Years of funding; 
Recommended: 6; 
Authorized: 4; 
Actual funding: 4. 

Years for program duration; 
Recommended: 9; 
Authorized: 7. 

Total funding; 
Recommended: $450 million; 
Authorized: $205 million; 
Actual funding: $171 million. 

Source: GAO analysis. 

Note: All funding amounts are in nominal dollars. 

[A] The SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act changed the funding 
source for SHRP 2 and resulted in about $20 million in additional 
funding for the program for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. Consistent 
with a recommendation in TRB's Special Report 260, this legislation 
authorized the funding to come from state federal-aid highway 
apportioned funds, rather than from FHWA's research program budget. 
The legislation authorized an amount not to exceed 0.205 percent from 
state federal-aid highway apportioned funds. 

[B] The actual funding level represents the average amount of funds 
received by the program across the 4 fiscal years: $36.2 million in 
2006, $39.7 million in 2007, $46.8 million in 2008, and $48.2 million 
in 2009. 

[End of table] 

SHRP 2 Research Projects Were Selected Based on Expert Input and 
Program Funding and Time Frames: 

The SHRP 2 oversight committee funded research projects for the 
program based on the recommendations of its TCCs, which considered the 
input of other experts and factors such as available program funds and 
time frames. These experts included highway transportation personnel 
from federal, state, and local government; private sector firms; 
academia; AASHTO liaisons; and other stakeholder organizations within 
the U.S. and international highway community. While the 2003 detailed 
research plans constituted the starting point for decisions about 
project selections, the 106 projects identified in these plans had to 
be significantly modified on two occasions because of program funding 
and time frames. The first major modification occurred in 2006, when, 
as discussed, considerably less funding and time were provided for the 
program's completion than had been assumed by the parties involved in 
the development of the detailed research plans in 2003. The second 
major modification occurred in 2008, when about $20 million in 
additional program funding became available because of the passage of 
the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act. 

On both occasions, the SHRP 2 oversight committee relied on the input 
of experts to select projects for funding. Given less funding and time 
than had been assumed for completing the program, in 2006, the 
oversight committee requested that the parties involved in the 2003 
planning effort reevaluate these plans for the purpose of rescoping 
the program and prioritizing projects for funding. In doing so, these 
parties assigned lower priority to projects that (1) were duplicative 
or similar to other research efforts, (2) could not be accomplished 
within SHRP 2's budget or time frame, or (3) could be deferred. In 
addition, they rescoped other projects under consideration for 
funding. After the four TCCs were formed later in 2006, the oversight 
committee requested them to review the revised research plans. As a 
result of this effort, the TCCs developed recommendations for project 
funding in each of the four research areas, which were approved by the 
oversight committee in November 2006. 

When more funds became available, in 2008, the oversight committee 
asked the TCCs to prepare prioritized lists of additional projects for 
funding. In doing so, the oversight committee requested the TCCs to 
assign higher funding priority to (1) ongoing projects that addressed 
gaps in existing research, (2) projects that were demonstrating the 
most promising results, and (3) potential projects that advanced SHRP 
2's strategic goals. This effort resulted in project recommendations 
for several new projects and additional funding for some existing 
projects, which were approved by the oversight committee in November 
2008. 

As a result of the reprioritization process, 56 of the 106 projects 
identified in 2003 either evolved into, or were partially merged with, 
one or more of the currently funded SHRP 2 projects, while 50 of the 
projects were eliminated entirely. Table 3 provides information on the 
number of projects identified in the 2003 detailed research plans (1) 
for each research area; (2) that either evolved into, or were 
partially merged with, one or more SHRP 2 funded projects; and (3) 
that were eliminated entirely from funding. Appendixes II through V 
provide more detailed information, by research area, on how specific 
projects identified in 2003 were reprioritized for funding. 

Table 3: Information on the Number of Projects Identified in 2003 That 
Evolved or Merged to Form a SHRP 2 Project or Were Eliminated: 

Research areas: Safety; 
Projects identified in 2003: 15; 
Projects that evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 5; 
Projects that had elements merged with other SHRP 2 projects[B]: 4; 
Projects that were eliminated entirely: 6. 

Research areas: Renewal; 
Projects identified in 2003: 38; 
Projects that evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 16; 
Projects that had elements merged with other SHRP 2 projects[B]: 5; 
Projects that were eliminated entirely: 17. 

Research areas: Reliability; 
Projects identified in 2003: 33; 
Projects that evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 12; 
Projects that had elements merged with other SHRP 2 projects[B]: 1; 
Projects that were eliminated entirely: 20. 

Research areas: Capacity; 
Projects identified in 2003: 20; 
Projects that evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 7; 
Projects that had elements merged with other SHRP 2 projects[B]: 6; 
Projects that were eliminated entirely: 7. 

Research areas: Total; 
Projects identified in 2003: 106; 
Projects that evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 40; 
Projects that had elements merged with other SHRP 2 projects[B]: 16; 
Projects that were eliminated entirely: 50. 

Source: GAO presentation of SHRP 2 information. 

[A] For the purposes of this report, projects that "evolved" are those 
that had their core research elements largely addressed in one or more 
funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[B] Some portion or portions of these projects were merged to form one 
or more currently funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[End of table] 

The SHRP 2 Oversight Committee Allocated about $123 Million for 85 
Projects: 63 Are Completed or Ongoing and 22 Are Planned: 

As of December 31, 2009, the SHRP 2 oversight committee had allocated 
approximately $123 million (about 72 percent) of the roughly $171 
million available to fund projects related to highway safety, renewal, 
reliability, and capacity.[Footnote 19] Of the 85 projects selected 
for funding, 11 were completed, 52 were ongoing, and 22 were expected 
to begin in the future. SHRP 2 staff expect all of the projects will 
be completed by 2013. The outcomes of the projects are expected to 
vary, ranging from the (1) production of data sets and related 
analyses to (2) development of improved technologies, procedures, 
guidelines, and techniques for advancing the goals of each of the four 
research areas. The oversight committee allocated the remaining $48 
million to fund administrative expenses, publication of research 
reports, and contingencies that may arise. Figure 1 illustrates how 
SHRP 2 funding was allocated as of December 31, 2009. 

Figure 1: Allocation for SHRP 2 Funding, as of December 31, 2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: pie-chart] 

Safety projects: $49 million (29%); 
Administrative expenses[C]: $39 million (23%); 
Renewal projects: $32 million (19%); 
Capacity projects: $21 million (12%); 
Reliability projects: $20 million (12%); 
Contingency fund[B]: $7 million (4%); 
Research reports[A]: $2 million 91%). 

Source: GAO analysis of SHRP 2 data. 

Note: Data do not add because of rounding. 

[A] The oversight committee allocated these funds (about 1 percent of 
total funding) to publish research reports. This includes the cost of 
all contractors' final project reports and TRB's January 2009 report 
to Congress on the strategies and administrative structure for 
implementing SHRP 2 research results. 

[B] The oversight committee set aside these funds (about 4 percent of 
total funding) to meet future needs that may arise. According to SHRP 
2 staff, this funding will likely be allocated to research, the 
production of research reports, and efforts to facilitate 
implementation of some SHRP 2 projects. 

[C] The oversight committee allocated these funds (about 23 percent of 
total funding) for costs associated with travel for TCC and expert 
task group members, staff salaries, meetings, various publications 
other than research reports, and other administrative costs. 

[End of figure] 

Special Report 260 recommended different percentages of funding for 
each of the four research areas, ranging from 15 percent to 40 percent 
of available funding.[Footnote 20] As shown in table 4, the oversight 
committee closely followed the relative funding distributions 
recommended in this report. Table 4 compares the recommended funding 
levels and percentages in Special Report 260 with the actual funding 
levels and percentages. 

Table 4: Recommended and Actual Funding Levels and Percentages of 
Funding for the Four Research Areas, as of December 31, 2009: 

Research area: Safety; 
Recommended funding distribution: 40%; 
Recommended funding level: $180 million; 
Actual funding distribution: 40%; 
Actual funding level: $49 million. 

Research area: Renewal; 
Recommended funding distribution: 25; 
Recommended funding level: $113 million; 
Actual funding distribution: 26; 
Actual funding level: $32 million. 

Research area: Reliability; 
Recommended funding distribution: 20; 
Recommended funding level: $90 million; 
Actual funding distribution: 16; 
Actual funding level: $20 million. 

Research area: Capacity; 
Recommended funding distribution: 15; 
Recommended funding level: $68 million; 
Actual funding distribution: 17; 
Actual funding level: $21 million. 

Research area: Total; 
Recommended funding distribution: 100%; 
Recommended funding level: $450 million; 
Actual funding distribution: 100%; 
Actual funding level: $123 million. 

Source: GAO presentation of Special Report 260 and SHRP 2 data. 

Note: Some columns do not add because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

About $49 Million Has Been Allocated for 16 Safety Research Projects; 
12 Are Completed or Ongoing and 4 Are Planned: 

As of December 31, 2009, the SHRP 2 oversight committee had allocated 
about $49 million to fund 5 completed, 7 ongoing, and 4 future safety 
projects, for a total of 16 projects. The goal of the safety research 
is "to prevent or reduce the severity of highway crashes through more 
accurate knowledge of crash factors and of the cost-effectiveness of 
selected countermeasures in addressing these factors." The SHRP 2 
safety TCC expects that the collection of safety research projects 
will (1) provide objective and reliable information on driver 
performance and behavior and (2) help assess the risks associated with 
related crash factors. 

The 16 safety projects are part of two overall studies that are 
expected to produce a variety of data on driver behavior: the in- 
vehicle driving study and the site-based risk study. Most of these 
projects (15 of 16) and funding ($48 million of $49 million allocated) 
relate to the in-vehicle driving study, also referred to as the SHRP 2 
naturalistic driving study. This study involves the use of cameras, 
radar, and other sensors installed in the vehicles of about 3,000 
volunteer drivers in six locations for 1 to 2 years.[Footnote 21] 
Collectively, the devices are expected to record (1) real-time video 
from multiple angles of each volunteer while driving (e.g., the 
driver's face and interior views of the vehicle) and the driving 
environment (e.g., road characteristics and traffic) and (2) 
information about the vehicle (e.g., the vehicle's speed and 
information on whether the seat belt is being used). In addition, 
researchers will record information on roadway conditions, as well as 
demographic data and data on other factors that may affect the 
drivers' behavior. Overall, SHRP 2 staff expect this study will result 
in objective information on driver behavior that, for the first time, 
will allow researchers to determine the relative risk associated with 
various factors and circumstances related to the analysis of 
accidents, near collisions, and uneventful driving experiences. 
[Footnote 22] 

The oversight committee allocated the remaining $1 million for a 
project related to a site-based risk study. This project includes (1) 
a study to develop a portable, semi-automated video system and (2) a 
pilot field study, using multiple overhead video cameras, to record 
the relative position of traffic moving through selected locations to 
advance the understanding of driver behavior. While the intent of the 
naturalistic driving study is to passively observe individual drivers, 
the site-based study will allow researchers to observe multiple 
drivers at selected locations. SHRP 2 staff expect the project will 
allow researchers to observe how drivers resolve traffic conflicts; 
react to traffic controls, such as road signs and stoplights; and 
adjust to changing environmental conditions, such as light, weather, 
and pavement quality. Figure 2 provides the projected budget and 
timeline, by research category, for the SHRP 2 safety projects. 

Figure 2: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Safety Projects: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustrated timeline] 

Safety projects, by category: 

In-vehicle study or naturalistic driving study: 
2007 through 2012; 
15 projects; 
$48.2 million. 

Site-based study: 
2007 through 2010; 
1 project; 
$1.0 million. 

Total: $49.2 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of SHRP 2 data. 

[End of figure] 

According to SHRP 2 staff, the naturalistic driving study is expected 
to produce the largest and most comprehensive database on driver 
behavior available to date because, unlike most previous studies that 
generally relied on simulations and subjective post accident 
observations, the naturalistic driving study is expected to provide 
objective information on driver behavior in real-world circumstances. 
These data are expected to help transportation officials (1) better 
understand risk factors, such as driver distractions, associated with 
different crash factors, and, ultimately, (2) develop practical 
measures to effectively reduce collisions or otherwise improve highway 
safety. SHRP 2 staff stated that while some data analysis is planned 
(about $5 million), significantly more analytic work will be needed 
after the conclusion of SHRP 2 to fully realize the benefits of these 
data. According to these staff, future analyses of these data likely 
will lead to significant improvements in highway safety, particularly 
related to accidents that occur when vehicles run off the road--a 
major cause of highway fatalities.[Footnote 23] In addition, the 
safety TCC expects the results of the site-based project likely will 
lead to similar future studies that may provide more comprehensive 
information on, for example, accidents resulting from collisions at 
intersections, where many accidents occur.[Footnote 24] See appendix 
II for additional information on how these projects were reprioritized 
for funding and selected information about the currently funded safety 
projects. 

About $32 Million Has Been Allocated for 28 Renewal Research Projects; 
27 Are Completed or Ongoing and 1 Is Planned: 

As of December 31, 2009, the SHRP 2 oversight committee had allocated 
about $32 million to fund 3 completed and 24 ongoing projects, and 1 
future project, for a total of 28 renewal projects. The goal of the 
renewal research is "to develop a consistent, systematic approach to 
performing highway renewal that is (1) rapid, (2) causes minimum 
disruption, and (3) produces long-lived facilities." The SHRP 2 
renewal TCC expects the collection of renewal projects will promote a 
systematic approach to highway rehabilitation and reconstruction 
(i.e., highway renewal) and result in quicker, more efficient, and 
improved repairs because the projects are designed to, among other 
matters, minimize travel disruptions and produce long-lived (i.e., 
more durable) facilities. 

Nineteen of the 28 funded projects focus on developing rapid 
approaches to highway renewal and are expected to reduce the time 
involved in preparing and executing construction projects. In total, 
the oversight committee allocated about $21.5 million (about 67 
percent of total renewal funding) for these 19 projects. In addition, 
the oversight committee allocated about $2.5 million to fund 4 
projects to minimize disruptions to travelers, communities, or 
utilities while renewal construction is under way, and about $8 
million to fund 5 projects for producing more durable facilities 
needed to minimize the frequency of highway-related repairs. Figure 3 
provides the projected budget and timeline, by research category, for 
the SHRP 2 renewal projects. 

Figure 3: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Renewal Projects: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustrated timeline] 

Renewal projects, by category: 

Rapid approaches: 
2007 through 2012; 
19 projects; 
$21.5 million. 

Minimize disruption: 
2007 through 2012; 
4 projects; 
$2.5 million. 

Long-lived/durable facilities: 
2007 through 2012; 
5 projects; 
$8.2 million. 

Total: $32.2 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of SHRP 2 data. 

[End of figure] 

The renewal TCC expects research in this area will promote rapid and 
durable highway rehabilitation and reconstruction and result in the 
production and implementation of various tools (i.e., hardware or 
technology) and techniques (i.e., strategies, procedures, 
recommendations, guidelines, or specifications). Overall, the renewal 
TCC expects 19 of the 28 projects will primarily develop tools, while 
the remaining 9 will primarily develop techniques for promoting rapid 
highway renewal. Specifically: 

* To advance rapid approaches to highway renewal, 15 projects are 
expected to primarily develop tools, while 4 projects are expected to 
primarily develop techniques. For example, regarding tools, some of 
the 15 projects are expected to produce technologies for efficiently 
locating and characterizing underground utilities. This is necessary 
because studies show that locating utilities, such as water mains and 
electrical and gas lines, is the most significant source of delay in 
highway renewal work.[Footnote 25] Regarding techniques, one of the 4 
projects is expected to produce best practices and recommendations for 
addressing worker fatigue, which, according to SHRP 2 staff, can (1) 
negatively affect performance and the quality of work performed and 
(2) increase the potential for time-consuming and costly mistakes, 
accidents, and injuries among workers who often are required to work 
for extended periods of time. 

* To minimize disruptions during renewal work, each of the 4 funded 
projects is expected to produce techniques for foreseeing and avoiding 
or mitigating travel disruptions. For example, 1 project is expected 
to establish cooperative strategies that help transportation agencies 
and utility companies effectively manage utilities throughout the 
renewal efforts, thereby minimizing disruptions to highway users and 
utility users in surrounding communities. 

* To produce durable highway facilities, 4 of the 5 projects are 
expected to primarily develop tools, such as technologies for 
designing and constructing bridges to increase the service life of 
bridges, while the other is expected to primarily develop techniques 
for preserving pavements to promote a longer service life. 

See appendix III for additional information on how these projects were 
reprioritized for funding and selected information about the currently 
funded renewal projects. 

About $20 Million Has Been Allocated for 21 Reliability Research 
Projects; 11 Are Completed or Ongoing and 10 Are Planned: 

As of December 31, 2009, the SHRP 2 oversight committee had allocated 
about $20 million to fund 1 completed, 10 ongoing, and 10 future 
projects, for a total of 21 reliability research projects. The goal of 
the reliability research is "to provide highway users with reliable 
travel times by preventing and reducing the impact of nonrecurring 
incidents." Thus, projects in the reliability area are designed to 
address highway congestion caused by nonrecurring (i.e., relatively 
unpredictable) events--such as traffic accidents, work zones, special 
events, and weather. The SHRP 2 reliability TCC expects these research 
results will help transportation practitioners provide highway users 
with reliable travel times by, for example, helping to ensure that an 
individual's commute to work is consistently the same and minimally 
affected by congestion caused by relatively unpredictable events. 

The reliability TCC divided research in this area into four principal 
categories addressing different aspects of travel time reliability. 
The oversight committee allocated most of the funds, $11.6 million 
(about 57 percent of total reliability funding), to 14 projects in two 
of the four reliability research categories--"data and analysis" and 
"institutional and human components." Collectively, the 14 projects 
are expected to (1) develop data, analytical tools, and procedures for 
monitoring travel time reliability; (2) develop performance measures 
and models to evaluate the effectiveness of actions to control and 
mitigate the impact of relatively unpredictable events that cause 
congestion; and (3) identify how the institutional behaviors of 
transportation and public safety agencies and the human behaviors of 
travelers contribute to unpredictable events that affect congestion. 

The oversight committee allocated the remaining funds--about $8.6 
million (or, approximately, 43 percent of total reliability funding)-- 
for projects in the three remaining research categories. Specifically, 
the committee allocated about $5.3 million to 4 projects for 
"incorporating reliability into planning, programming, and design" of 
highways. Further, the oversight committee allocated about $1.5 
million to 2 projects to encourage the development of innovative ideas 
related to "future needs and opportunities to improve travel time 
reliability." Finally, in November 2008, the oversight committee 
allocated about $1.8 million for a project to produce a framework for 
integrating the results of the reliability research, potentially 
providing transportation decision makers and practitioners with a 
guide to (1) understand travel time reliability and (2) incorporate 
reliability strategies into their project planning and design. Figure 
4 provides the projected budget and timeline, by research category, 
for the SHRP 2 reliability projects. 

Figure 4: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Reliability 
Projects: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustrated timeline] 

Reliability projects, by category: 

Data and analysis component of reliability programs: 
2007 through 2012; 
6 projects; 
$6.7 million. 

Institutional and human component of reliability programs: 
2008 through 2012; 
8 projects; 
$4.9 million. 

Incorporating reliability into planning, programming, and design: 
2008 through 2012; 
4 projects; 
$5.3 million. 

Future needs and opportunities to improve travel time reliability: 
2010 through 2012; 
2 projects; 
$1.5 million. 

Framework integrating reliability results: 
2007 through 2012; 
1 project; 
$1.8 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of SHRP 2 data. 

[End of figure] 

Overall, the reliability TCC expects this research will develop and 
promote programs and strategies that monitor and improve travel time 
reliability. For example, one project focuses on developing guidance 
for establishing programs to monitor travel time reliability. 
Additionally, some projects are expected to use data collected from 
the SHRP 2 safety projects to understand how driver behavior is 
affected by relatively unpredictable events that cause congestion. 
Other projects are expected to develop measures for understanding the 
effectiveness of strategies used by transportation agencies, while 
some focus more on the managerial aspects of agencies, such as the 
identification of the optimal organizational structure to monitor 
travel time reliability. Moreover, the oversight committee funded 2 
projects to incorporate some of the reliability research results into 
two widely used reference manuals for highway designers--TRB's Highway 
Capacity Manual and AASHTO's Policy on Geometric Design for Highways 
and Streets.[Footnote 26] According to SHRP 2 staff, the inclusion of 
some of the research results into these reference manuals, such as 
research on cost-effective highway design features that can reduce the 
effects of relatively unpredictable events, represents a significant 
step toward the systematic implementation of the reliability research 
findings. SHRP 2 staff noted that the incorporation of travel time 
reliability into highway design, construction, and management is a 
relatively new concept for the transportation community. The staff 
said that they are hopeful that research in this area will result in 
innovative methods for reducing congestion. See appendix IV for 
additional information on how these projects were reprioritized for 
funding and selected information about the currently funded 
reliability projects. 

About $21 Million Has Been Allocated for 20 Capacity Research 
Projects; 13 Are Completed or Ongoing and 7 Are Planned: 

As of December 31, 2009, the SHRP 2 oversight committee had allocated 
about $21 million to fund 2 completed, 11 ongoing, and 7 future 
projects, for a total of 20 capacity research projects. The goal of 
the capacity research is "to develop approaches and tools for 
systematically integrating environmental, economic, and community 
requirements into the analysis, planning, and design of new highway 
capacity." The SHRP 2 capacity TCC expects this research will promote 
a holistic approach to addressing highway capacity issues. 

The capacity TCC divided the capacity projects into two categories: 
the (1) development of a "collaborative decision-making framework," to 
establish a decision-making process that includes environmental, 
economic, and social impacts of highway capacity efforts, and (2) 
"improvement in methods" to address common issues that arise during 
the design, planning, and execution of capacity-enhancing efforts. The 
oversight committee allocated most of the funds, $13.9 million (about 
66 percent of total capacity funding), for 13 projects related to the 
first category of projects and $7.2 million for 7 projects in the 
second category. Figure 5 provides the projected budget and timeline, 
by research category, for the SHRP 2 capacity projects. 

Figure 5: Projected Budgets and Timelines for SHRP 2 Capacity Projects: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustrated timeline] 

Capacity projects, by category: 

Collaborative decision-making framework and related projects: 
2007 through 2012; 
13 projects; 
$13.9 million. 

Improvement in methods: 
2007 through 2012; 
7 projects; 
$7.2 million. 

Total: $21.1 million[A]. 

Source: GAO analysis of SHRP 2 data. 

[A] The SHRP 2 oversight committee allocated $0.25 million from 
reliability research to the capacity research area to incorporate 
strategies for improving travel time reliability into the decision- 
making process for highway capacity efforts. 

[End of figure] 

The capacity TCC expects the outcomes of the 13 capacity projects to 
develop a framework for improving collaboration among transportation 
agencies, community and government stakeholders, and the general 
public, which could result in more comprehensive, efficient, and 
informed decision making. Specifically, the collaborative decision- 
making framework is expected to (1) provide guidance to agencies at 
key decision points and (2) help transportation stakeholders consider 
a variety of issues throughout the decision-making process. The 
following issues are included in the framework: 

* community issues (e.g., comparative assessments of how alternative 
capacity efforts affect communities); 

* environmental issues (e.g., analyses of how capacity-enhancing 
projects affect greenhouse emissions and the effective protection of 
wetlands); 

* economic issues (e.g., assessments of matters, such as the expected 
increase in employment and tax revenue of highway capacity projects to 
the local economy); and: 

* travel time reliability issues (e.g., the effective loss of capacity 
because of relatively unpredictable events that cause congestion). 

In addition, the capacity TCC expects the outcomes of the remaining 
seven projects will provide better methods for improving capacity 
efforts, such as models and analyses needed to assess the consequences 
of capacity-related enhancements. For example, one project is expected 
to establish partnerships with local transportation agencies and 
develop and operationalize an innovative travel demand model for 
analyzing the effects of capacity management strategies. The capacity 
TCC expects that this project will help transportation agencies better 
understand how their management strategies affect highway capacity, 
such as how their decisions about speed limits or the use of 
reversible travel lanes affect congestion. Another project in this 
category is expected to help transportation practitioners understand 
the impact of highway tolls and other pricing strategies on highway 
congestion. See appendix V for additional information on how these 
projects were reprioritized for funding and selected information about 
the currently funded capacity projects. 

Because of Funding and Time Constraints, 50 of the 106 Projects 
Identified in 2003 Were Eliminated Entirely, while Many of the 
Remaining 56 Projects Had Portions of Their Planned Research 
Eliminated: 

As a result of SHRP 2's reprioritization process, 50 of the 106 
projects identified in 2003 were eliminated entirely, and many of the 
remaining 56 projects that either evolved into, or were merged with, 
one or more SHRP 2 projects had one or more aspects of their research 
eliminated from funding. As discussed, the reprioritization process 
was needed to adjust to funding and time constraints that had not been 
anticipated when the programs' detailed project plans were developed 
in 2003. According to SHRP 2 staff, in the end, the oversight 
committee typically funded applied research to develop products 
critical to transportation agencies and other stakeholders--rather 
than many of the implementation-related activities, such as testing 
the research results in real-world settings. Thus, the eliminated 
research typically was for, among other activities, (1) translating 
research results into products (i.e., research applications), (2) 
training and dissemination of the research findings (i.e., technology 
transfer), and (3) providing technical support for implementing 
research products and technologies and for demonstrating new 
technologies (i.e., research implementation). 

According to DOT and AASHTO officials and SHRP 2 staff, early results 
of the SHRP 2 research have been promising but likely would be 
enhanced with additional funding to restore some of the eliminated 
research. DOT officials and SHRP 2 staff explained that initial 
research results often require additional research and development in 
real-world trials before a usable product is ready for implementation. 
Thus, in their collective view, to fully achieve the original 
expectations for SHRP 2, it will be important to eventually fund some 
of the research that had to be eliminated because of funding and time 
constraints. SHRP 2 staff further explained that the sooner new 
research findings are implemented, the earlier that the performance 
and economic benefits of the research will begin to accrue. Similarly, 
in June 2008, the Chief Deputy Director of the California Department 
of Transportation (and AASHTO representative) testified before the 
House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation that the ultimate 
success of SHRP 2 research will depend on widespread deployment. 
According to SHRP 2 staff, they are hopeful that other researchers 
will develop projects for implementing some of SHRP 2's research after 
the program's completion. 

The following sections provide information on some of the eliminated 
research. 

Safety: 

Of the 15 safety projects identified in 2003, 6 projects were 
eliminated entirely, including 2 of the 3 projects related to the site-
based risk study. As discussed, this study was expected to use 
multiple overhead video cameras to record the relative position and 
motion of each vehicle passing through selected locations under 
different traffic conditions or with different signal phases (e.g., 
left turns and yellow lights) to evaluate the effect on the traffic. 
To complete the study, the SHRP 2 safety TCC originally anticipated 
that 3 projects would be funded to (1) develop technology and methods 
for data collection and conduct a pilot test, (2) implement the study 
in field tests, and (3) analyze the resulting data and assess the 
implications of these data. However, because of funding and time 
constraints, the oversight committee funded only 1 of the 3 projects 
and, thus, SHRP 2 will not, according to the safety TCC, result in a 
comprehensive assessment of the risk of collision associated with 
driver behavior. 

In addition, the 2 projects identified in 2003 for evaluating 
countermeasures were not funded.[Footnote 27] Overall, this research 
was intended to (1) address the effectiveness of existing 
countermeasures through rigorous, retrospective studies of accidents 
under different conditions, and (2) support the development of new 
countermeasures. The first of the 2 eliminated projects was expected 
to identify and prioritize countermeasure issues for subsequent 
evaluations, while the second project would have evaluated the 
identified countermeasure issues to determine the associated benefits 
and costs based on retrospective crash data. A key requirement for 
both of these projects was the use of expected data from the site-
based risk and naturalistic driving studies. However, because 
designing field studies requires substantial resources and time, 
neither of these projects was funded. 

According to DOT officials and SHRP 2 staff, the 2 site-based and 2 
countermeasures evaluation projects were dropped, in part because they 
expected more promising outcomes from the naturalistic driving study. 
[Footnote 28] AASHTO representatives agreed and told us that it would 
not have been helpful to reduce funding for the naturalistic driving 
study to, instead, fund other projects because a larger, more 
comprehensive data set on driver behavior is needed for developing new 
and improved countermeasures. Thus, given limited funding, the SHRP 2 
safety TCC decided to allocate most of the safety funding toward the 
development of this data set. 

Finally, while the oversight committee funded all but 2 of the 
naturalistic driving study projects identified in 2003, that research 
also was affected by funding realities. Specifically, the study 
originally was intended to collect 3 years of data from about 4,000 
volunteer drivers. However, 1 year and about 1,000 volunteers had to 
be eliminated from the planned study because of the shorter time frame 
for carrying out SHRP 2. According to SHRP 2 staff, an additional year 
of research would have yielded about 50 percent more data at little 
additional cost, since the equipment for the vehicles already would 
have been purchased. See appendix II for additional information on how 
the safety projects identified in 2003 were reprioritized for funding 
and the currently funded safety projects. 

Renewal: 

Of the 38 renewal projects identified in 2003, 17 projects were 
eliminated entirely. According to DOT and SHRP 2 staff, the renewal 
area probably was most affected by the reprioritization process 
because many of the projects identified in 2003 were daisy-chained 
together and thus dependent on the completion or initiation of other 
related projects. Many of the 17 projects were eliminated for this 
reason, while others were eliminated because they were similar to 
other recent, current, or planned research. Additionally, given less 
funding and time than originally anticipated, the SHRP 2 renewal TCC 
decided that many of the 17 projects, including several projects for 
developing technologies and techniques to (1) continuously monitor the 
health and performance of bridges and (2) improve their maintenance 
with minimum disruptions to users, should be eliminated from funding 
consideration because they were of lower priority than other research 
projects. 

Further, while not entirely eliminated, some of the renewal projects 
selected for funding were reduced in scope, and implementation 
activities related to the research were not funded. For example, all 
of the renewal projects identified in 2003 that focused on innovative 
methods to locate and characterize underground utilities were scaled 
down because they depended on the outcomes of projects that had not 
been funded. In other cases, laboratory evaluations, field case 
studies, and demonstrations of proposed systems for improving 
pavements and bridges were eliminated because related pilot projects 
for implementing the research were not funded. See appendix III for 
additional information on how the renewal projects identified in 2003 
were reprioritized for funding and the currently funded renewal 
projects. 

Reliability: 

Of the 33 reliability projects identified in 2003, 20 projects were 
eliminated entirely. As with the other areas, SHRP 2 staff told us 
that the reliability projects identified in 2003 needed to be 
reevaluated to fund as many high-priority projects as possible given 
available funding and time frames. According to the staff, the 
reprioritization of these projects was the most challenging area and, 
consequently, required the assistance of a facilitator to aid in the 
decision-making process. Because research for reducing the impact of 
relatively unpredictable causes of congestion and improving travel 
time reliability is new, the collection of SHRP 2 projects identified 
in 2003 was expected to provide a comprehensive approach to collecting 
real-time information for use in assessing travel time reliability. 
However, given less funding and time than had been expected, the SHRP 
2 reliability TCC decided to focus on high-priority projects needed to 
collect and analyze fundamental data for improving travel times for 
travelers. 

In addition, some of the 20 eliminated projects were designed to 
improve agencies' response to relatively unpredictable events through 
the use of new technologies to (1) monitor traffic and roadway 
conditions, (2) instantaneously communicate information about 
incidents and work zones to highway users, and (3) provide information 
about transporting hazardous materials to better prepare agencies that 
respond to accidents. Furthermore, several of the eliminated projects 
were designed to study the effect of various weather and pavement 
conditions on travel time reliability. According to SHRP 2 staff, 
these and other reliability projects identified in 2003 had to be 
eliminated because of funding and time constraints for conducting 
follow-on projects needed to apply the research results and transfer 
the technology developed to highway practitioners and other users. 
Thus, according to the staff, field tests to demonstrate the 
usefulness of the research to practitioners, provide additional 
insights into how the results can be implemented by agencies and other 
users, and create more usable future products will be needed following 
completion of SHRP 2. See appendix IV for additional information on 
how the reliability projects identified in 2003 were reprioritized for 
funding and the currently funded reliability projects. 

Capacity: 

Of the 20 capacity projects identified in 2003, 7 projects were 
eliminated entirely. According to FHWA officials and SHRP 2 staff, the 
philosophy underlying this research area had to be completely 
reevaluated largely because the research planned in 2003 envisioned a 
much larger and broader scale of research. Specifically, many of the 
2003 projects related to the development of a "virtual workspace" for 
highway planning and development intended to visually illustrate the 
effects of alternative planning approaches. According to SHRP 2 staff, 
the virtual workspace, once developed, would have facilitated 
simultaneous data transfer between highway practitioners at each step 
of the highway planning process. However, the SHRP 2 capacity TCC 
scaled down or eliminated most of the projects for advanced data 
gathering, access, and the computerized display elements that would be 
required for the virtual workspace, and, instead, decided to focus on 
research needed to produce the collaborative decision-making framework 
for highway planning and development. 

SHRP 2 staff told us that most of the scaled-down or eliminated 
projects were for research application and implementation, such as 
technology transfer. Specifically, regarding the application of 
research results, many of the eliminated projects were expected to (1) 
enhance public and stakeholder support for capacity-enhancing projects 
and (2) develop partnerships to provide training and implement the 
research.[Footnote 29] Collectively, these projects were intended to 
result in the systematic integration of environmental, economic, and 
community requirements into the analysis, planning, and design for 
enhancing highway capacity. In addition, while the currently funded 
capacity research projects are expected to result in the development 
of (1) a Web-based tool for using the collaborative decision-making 
framework and (2) manuals and tools to assist transportation agencies 
make more comprehensive and informed decisions, according to SHRP 2 
staff, additional implementation, including technology transfer, will 
be needed to help ensure that the research results are widely 
implemented. See appendix V for additional information on how the 
capacity projects identified in 2003 were reprioritized for funding 
and the currently funded capacity projects. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to DOT and TRB for review and 
comment. DOT and TRB provided technical clarifications, which we 
incorporated, as appropriate. 

We are sending copies of this report to other interested congressional 
committees and members, DOT, TRB, and others. The report also is 
available at no charge on the GAO Web site at [hyperlink 
http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-2834 or wised@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions 
to this report are listed in appendix VI. 

David J. Wise Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

List of Committees: 

The Honorable Barbara Boxer: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable James M. Inhofe: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Environment and Public Works: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable John D. Rockefeller: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable James L. Oberstar: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable John L. Mica: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Bart Gordon: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ralph M. Hall: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Science and Technology: 
House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To address our three reporting objectives, we reviewed the legislative 
requirements, goals, and objectives for the Second Strategic Highway 
Research Program (SHRP 2), including the Transportation Equity Act for 
the 21st Century; the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU); and the 
SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008. We also reviewed the 
Department of Transportation's strategic plan for fiscal years 2006- 
2011, and the Federal Highway Administration's October 2008 Strategic 
Plan and its Corporate Master Plan for Research and Deployment of 
Technology and Innovation. In addition, we reviewed and analyzed 
literature, studies, and reports related to the research program. Our 
review included reports by GAO and the Congressional Research Service 
that provided background information on the first Strategic Highway 
Research Program, SHRP 2, and the Federal Highway Administration's 
research and technology program, including its federal-aid highway 
program. We also reviewed the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) 
Special Report 260: Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, Reducing 
Congestion, Improving Quality of Life;[Footnote 30] Special Report 
261: The Federal Role in Highway Research and Technology;[Footnote 31] 
Special Report 296: Implementing the Results of the Second Strategic 
Highway Research Program: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving 
Quality of Life;[Footnote 32] and the National Cooperative Highway 
Research Program's Report 510: Interim Planning for a Future Strategic 
Highway Research Program.[Footnote 33] Finally, we reviewed quarterly, 
semiannual, and annual SHRP 2 reports; annual research plans for the 
four SHRP 2 research areas; and report summaries of the funded SHRP 2 
projects. 

To address our first two objectives (i.e., determining the process for 
selecting research projects for funding and the status of those 
projects), we reviewed the statutory requirements for SHRP 2 and 
reviewed available agency and program documentation. We also 
determined how the program is monitored and the program's reporting 
requirements. In addition, we obtained and analyzed agency and program 
documentation on projects that were either funded or identified for 
potential funding in the 2003 detailed research plans, as well as the 
revised plans for reprioritizing projects for funding. We also 
reviewed this documentation to identify how TRB plans to evaluate the 
research and how the outcomes of the research are expected to address 
highway challenges. 

To address our third objective (i.e., determining what, if any, 
planned research was eliminated from the program), we compared program 
documentation related to the currently funded projects with the four 
research areas identified in Special Report 260 and the projects 
identified in the 2003 research plans. We also determined how actual 
funding for the four research areas compared with the funding levels 
recommended in Special Report 260. Because of time constraints, we did 
not assess the appropriateness of funding decisions or projects 
selected for SHRP 2 funding. 

To address all three objectives, we also interviewed agency officials 
from the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Highway 
Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, and representatives from the National Research 
Council, TRB, SHRP 2 staff, and the American Association of State 
Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). 

We conducted this performance audit from June 2009 through February 
2010 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Safety Research Projects: 

The SHRP 2 oversight committee funded many of the safety projects 
identified in the 2003 detailed research plans based on the 
recommendations of the SHRP 2 safety technical coordinating committee. 
As a result, 9 of the 15 safety projects identified in 2003 either 
evolved or were partially merged into the currently funded safety 
projects and 6 were eliminated. Table 6 provides information on the 
safety projects identified in 2003 and how they were reprioritized for 
funding. Table 7 provides information on the 16 currently funded SHRP 
2 safety projects. 

Table 5: How Safety Projects Identified in 2003 Were Reprioritized for 
Funding: 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-1.1: Legal and Privacy 
Issues in Recruiting Volunteer Drivers and Vehicles for Field Studies 
of Driving Safety; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-1.2: Development of 
Analysis Methods for Site-Based Risk Studies Using Recent Data; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-1.3: Development of 
Analysis Methods for Vehicle-Based Risk Studies Using Recent Data; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-1.4: Development of 
Comprehensive Roadway Information in a Geographical Information System 
Database; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-1.5: Application of 
Original Equipment Manufacturer Electronic Data Recorders for Risk 
Studies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.1: Vehicle-Based Risk 
Study--Phase I: Study Design; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.2: Vehicle-Based Risk 
Study--Phase II: Pilot Study; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.3: Vehicle-Based Risk 
Study--Phase III: Field Study; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.4: Vehicle-Based Risk 
Study--Phase IV: Intersection Analysis and Countermeasure Implications; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.5: Vehicle-Based Risk 
Study--Phase IV: Road Departure Analysis and Countermeasure 
Implications; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.6: Site-Based Risk 
Study--Phase I: Study Design and Pilot; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: P. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.7: Site-Based Risk 
Study--Phase II: Field Study; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-2.8: Site-Based Risk 
Study--Phase III: Analysis and Countermeasure Implications; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-3.1: Identify 
Countermeasure Evaluation Topics; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Project 2-3.2: Retrospective 
Countermeasure Evaluation Projects; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Safety projects identified in 2003: Total; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 5; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]: 4; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely: 6. 

Source: GAO presentation of TRB and SHRP 2 information. 

[A] For the purposes of this report, projects that "evolved" are those 
that had their core research elements largely addressed in one or more 
funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[B] Some portion or portions of these projects were merged to form one 
or more currently funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[End of table] 

Table 6: The 16 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Safety Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Project number: S01A; 
Project title: Development of Analysis Methods Using Recent Data; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/05/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/04/2009. 

Project number: S01B; 
Project title: Development of Analysis Methods Using Recent Data; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/19/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 4/30/2010. 

Project number: S01C; 
Project title: Development of Analysis Methods Using Recent Data; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/05/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 7/31/2009. 

Project number: S01D; 
Project title: Development of Analysis Methods Using Recent Data; 
Project cost: $100,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/01/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 5/08/2008. 

Project number: S01E; 
Project title: Development of Analysis Methods Using Recent Data; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/02/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 4/30/2010. 

Project number: S02; 
Project title: Integration of Analysis Methods; 
Project cost: $421,639; 
Start date (approximately): 3/02/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 1/31/2010. 

Project number: S03; 
Project title: Roadway Measurement System Evaluation; 
Project cost: $529,999; 
Start date (approximately): 12/19/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/31/2009. 

Project number: S04A; 
Project title: Roadway Information Database Development and Technical 
Coordination and Quality Assurance of the Mobile Data Collection 
Project (S04B); 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 5/31/2012. 

Project number: S04B; 
Project title: Mobile Data Collection; 
Project cost: $3,500,000; 
Start date (approximately): 10/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 4/30/2012. 

Project number: S05; 
Project title: Design of the In-Vehicle Driving Behavior and Crash 
Risk Study; 
Project cost: $3,034,000; 
Start date (approximately): 6/01/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 10/31/2009. 

Project number: S06; 
Project title: Technical Coordination and Independent Quality 
Assurance for Field Study; 
Project cost: $6,200,003; 
Start date (approximately): 11/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 10/31/2012. 

Project number: S07; 
Project title: In-Vehicle Driving Behavior Field Study; 
Project cost: $16,489,644; 
Start date (approximately): 4/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/31/2012. 

Project number: S08; 
Project title: Analysis of In-Vehicle Field Study Data and 
Countermeasure Implications; 
Project cost: $5,527,953; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 6/30/2012. 

Project number: S12; 
Project title: Data Acquisition System: Procurement quality assurance; 
Project cost: $154,864; 
Start date (approximately): 10/01/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 6/30/2010. 

Project number: S12A; 
Project title: Data Acquisition System: Equipment and Vendor; 
Project cost: $10,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/22/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 7/31/2012. 

Project number: S09; 
Project title: Site-Based Video System Design and Development; 
Project cost: 1,041,898; 
Start date (approximately): 2/28/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2010. 

Project number: 16; 
Project title: Total; 
Project cost: $49,200,000. 

Source: GAO presentation of SHRP 2 information. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Renewal Research Projects: 

The SHRP 2 oversight committee funded many of the renewal projects 
identified in the 2003 detailed research plans based on the 
recommendations of the SHRP 2 renewal technical coordinating 
committee. As a result, 21 of the 38 renewal projects identified in 
2003 either evolved or were partially merged into the currently funded 
renewal projects and 17 were eliminated. Table 8 provides information 
on the renewal projects identified in 2003 and how they were 
reprioritized for funding. Table 9 provides information on the 28 
currently funded SHRP 2 renewal projects. 

Table 7: How Renewal Projects Identified in 2003 Were Reprioritized 
for Funding: 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.1: Utilities Location 
Technology Advancements; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.2: Geotechnical 
Solutions for Soil Improvement and Rapid Embankment Construction; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.3: Replacement of 
Conventional Materials with High-Performance Materials in Bridge 
Applications; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.4: Rapid 
Rehabilitation Strategies of Specialty Structures; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.5: Micropiles for 
Renewal of Bridge Foundations; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.6: Needs Assessment 
and Implementation Plan for Developing a Comprehensive Intelligent 
Project Delivery System; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.7: Facilitating the 
Use of Recycled Aggregates; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-1.8: Identifying and 
Reducing Worker, Inspector, and Manager Fatigue in Rapid Renewal 
Environments; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-2.1: Modular Bridge 
Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-2.2: Develop Bridge 
Designs that Take Advantage of Innovative Construction Technology; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-2.3: Modular Pavement 
Technology; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-3.1: High-Speed, 
Nondestructive Testing Procedures for Both Design Evaluation and 
Construction Inspection; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-4.1: Performance 
Specifications; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: P. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-4.2: Alternate 
Contracting Strategies for Rapid Renewal; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-4.3: Incentive-Based 
Specifications to Assure Meeting Rapid Renewal Project Goals; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-4.4: Development and 
Evaluation of Performance-Based Warranties; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-4.5: Risk Manual for 
Rapid Renewal Contracts; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-4.6: Innovative Project 
Management Strategies for Large, Complex Projects; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-5.1: Strategic 
Approaches at the Corridor and Network Level to Minimize Public 
Disruption from the Renewal Process; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-5.2: Integrating the 
"Mix of Fixes" Strategy into Corridor Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-5.3: Strategic 
Approaches for Financing Large Renewal Projects; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-6.1: New Guidelines for 
Improving Public Involvement in Renewal Strategy Selection; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-6.2: New Guidelines for 
Improving Business Relationships and Emergency Response During Renewal 
Projects; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-6.3: Utilities-State 
Department of Transportation Institutional Mitigation Strategies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-6.4: Railroad-State 
Department of Transportation Institutional Mitigation Strategies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-6.5: Context-Sensitive 
Designs and Construction Operations to Minimize Impact on Adjacent 
Neighborhoods; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-7.1: Design, 
Installation, and Maintenance of Work Zones for High Consistency, 
Visibility, and Safety; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-8.1: Durable Bridge 
Subsystems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-8.2: Design for Desired 
Bridge Performance; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-8.3: Composite Pavement 
Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-8.4: Stabilization of 
the Pavement Working Platform; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-8.5: Using Existing 
Pavement in Place and Achieving Long Life; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-9.1: Nondestructive 
Evaluation Methodology for Unknown Bridge Foundations; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-9.2: Development of 
Rapid Renewal Inputs to Bridge Management and Inspection Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-9.3: Monitoring and 
Design of Structures for Improved Maintenance and Security; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-10.1: Preservation 
Approaches for High Traffic Volume Roadways; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-10.2: Bridge Repair/ 
Strengthening Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Project 1-10.3: Techniques for 
Retrofitting Bridges with Non-redundant Structural Members; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Renewal projects identified in 2003: Total; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 16; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]: 5; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely: 17. 

Source: GAO presentation of TRB and SHRP 2 information. 

[A] For the purposes of this report, projects that "evolved" are those 
that had their core research elements largely addressed in one or more 
funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[B] Some portion or portions of these projects were merged to form one 
or more currently funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[End of table] 

Table 8: The 28 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Renewal Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Project number: R01; 
Project title: Encouraging Innovation in Locating and Characterizing 
Underground Utilities; 
Project cost: $389,993; 
Start date (approximately): 2/12/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/10/2011. 

Project number: R01A; 
Project title: Technologies to Support Storage, Retrieval, and 
Utilization of 3-Dimensional Utility Location Data; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2012. 

Project number: R01B; 
Project title: Multi-sensor Platforms for Locating Underground 
Utilities; 
Project cost: $2,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 11/03/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 5/02/2012. 

Project number: R01C; 
Project title: Innovation in Location of Deep Utilities; 
Project cost: $1,615,000; 
Start date (approximately): 10/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: R02; 
Project title: Geotechnical Solutions for Soil Improvement, Rapid 
Embankment Construction, and Stabilization of the Pavement Working 
Platform; 
Project cost: $3,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/25/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 9/24/2011. 

Project number: R03; 
Project title: Identifying and Reducing Worker, Inspector, and Manager 
Fatigue in Rapid Renewal Environments; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 10/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: R04; 
Project title: Innovative Bridge Designs for Rapid Renewal; 
Project cost: $1,999,052; 
Start date (approximately): 10/08/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 10/07/2011. 

Project number: R05; 
Project title: Modular Pavement Technology (Phase I: $200,000 and 
Phase II: $800,000); 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/11/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/10/2011. 

Project number: R06; 
Project title: High Speed, Nondestructive Testing Procedures for Both 
Design Evaluation and Construction Inspection; 
Project cost: $350,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/16/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 7/11/2008. 

Project number: R06A; 
Project title: Nondestructive Testing to Identify Concrete Bridge Deck 
Deterioration; 
Project cost: $750,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/13/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 9/13/2011. 

Project number: R06B; 
Project title: Evaluating Applications of Field Spectroscopy Devices 
to Fingerprint Commonly Used Construction Materials; 
Project cost: $400,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/04/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/03/2011. 

Project number: R06C; 
Project title: Using Both Infrared and High-Speed Ground Penetrating 
Radar for Uniformity Measurements on New HMA Layers; 
Project cost: $250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/06/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/05/2011. 

Project number: R06D; 
Project title: Nondestructive Testing to Identify Delaminations 
between HMA Layers; 
Project cost: $800,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/20/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/19/2011. 

Project number: R06E; 
Project title: Real-Time Smoothness Measurements on Portland Cement 
Concrete Pavements During Construction; 
Project cost: $550,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/20/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/19/2011. 

Project number: R06F; 
Project title: Development of Continuous Deflection Device; 
Project cost: $250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 4/29/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 4/28/2011. 

Project number: R06G; 
Project title: High-Speed Nondestructive Testing Methods for Mapping 
Voids, Debonding, Delaminations, Moisture, and Other Defects Behind or 
Within Tunnel Linings; 
Project cost: $1,650,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/08/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/07/2012. 

Project number: R07; 
Project title: Performance Specifications for Rapid Renewal; 
Project cost: $2,999,984; 
Start date (approximately): 2/27/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/26/2012. 

Project number: R09; 
Project title: Risk Manual for Rapid Renewal Contracts; 
Project cost: $249,961; 
Start date (approximately): 12/21/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 6/20/2010. 

Project number: R10; 
Project title: Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects; 
Project cost: $1,250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2012. 

Project number: R11; 
Project title: Strategic Approaches at the Corridor and Network Level 
to Minimize Disruption from the Renewal Process; 
Project cost: $1,500,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/03/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/02/2012. 

Project number: R15; 
Project title: Strategies for Integrating Utility and Transportation 
Agency Priorities in Highway Renewal Projects; 
Project cost: $250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/05/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/04/2008. 

Project number: R15B; 
Project title: Identification of Utility Conflicts and Solutions; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/04/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 7/03/2011. 

Project number: R16; 
Project title: Railroad-DOT Institutional Mitigation Strategies; 
Project cost: $400,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/25/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 10/30/2009. 

Project number: R19A; 
Project title: Bridges for Service Life beyond 100 Years: Innovative 
Systems, Subsystems, and Components; 
Project cost: $1,999,637; 
Start date (approximately): 12/21/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/20/2011. 

Project number: R19B; 
Project title: Bridges for Service Life beyond 100 Years: Service 
Limit State Design; 
Project cost: $999,990; 
Start date (approximately): 9/03/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/02/2012. 

Project number: R21; 
Project title: Composite Pavement Systems; 
Project cost: $3,999,999; 
Start date (approximately): 9/04/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 9/03/2011. 

Project number: R23; 
Project title: Using Existing Pavement in Place and Achieving Long 
Life; 
Project cost: $999,540; 
Start date (approximately): 2/11/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/10/2011. 

Project number: R26; 
Project title: Preservation Approaches for High Traffic Volumes 
Roadways; 
Project cost: $249,999; 
Start date (approximately): 2/05/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 4/04/2010. 

Project number: 28; 
Project title: Total; 
Project cost: $32,203,155. 

Source: GAO presentation of SHRP 2 information. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: Reliability Research Projects: 

The SHRP 2 oversight committee funded many of the reliability projects 
identified in the 2003 detailed research plans based on the 
recommendations of the SHRP 2 reliability technical coordinating 
committee. As a result, 13 of the 33 reliability projects identified 
in 2003 either evolved or were partially merged into the currently 
funded reliability projects and 20 were eliminated. Table 10 provides 
information on the reliability projects identified in 2003 and how 
they were reprioritized for funding. In addition, 4 funded projects, 
which had not been identified in 2003, were developed to fill research 
gaps or provide more affordable research alternatives. Table 11 
provides information on the 21 currently funded SHRP 2 reliability 
projects. 

Table 9: How Reliability Projects Identified in 2003 Were 
Reprioritized for Funding: 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-1.1: National and 
International Scans of Best Practices in Traffic Incident, Weather, 
Work Zone, and Special Event Management; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-1.2: National 
Outreach Program for Transportation Operations Practices; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-2.1: Data 
Requirements for Operations and Performance Monitoring; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-2.2: Establishing 
National and Local Monitoring Programs for Mobility and Travel Time 
Reliability; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-2.3: Analytic 
Procedures for Determining the Impacts of Reliability Mitigation 
Strategies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-2.4: Incorporating 
Reliability Estimation into Planning and Operations Modeling Tools; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-2.5: Incorporating 
Mobility and Reliability Performance Metrics into the Transportation 
Programming Process; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-2.6: Quantifying 
the Costs of Travel Time Reliability; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-3.1: Institutional 
Architectures for Implementation of Operational Strategies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-3.2: Public 
Official and Senior Management Education Program on the Benefits of 
Improved Transportation Operations; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-3.3: Highway 
Funding and Programming Structures to Promote Operations; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-3.4: Personnel 
Requirements for Conducting Effective Traffic Incident, Work Zone, and 
Special Event Management; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-4.1: Advanced 
Surveillance Technologies for Operations; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-4.2: Technologies 
to Communicate Traffic Control and Queue Propagation to Motorists; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-4.3: Systems for 
Tracking Hazardous Material Movements Nationwide; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-5.1: Improvement in 
Knowledge of Existing Weather and Pavement Conditions; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-5.2: Improved 
Forecasting of Near-Term Weather and Pavement Conditions; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-5.3: Using Road 
Weather, Safety, and Travel Reliability Data to Identify Ways to 
Improve Travel Time Reliability; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-5.4: Development of 
Better Mitigation Options for Weather Events; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-6.1: Identification 
and Evaluation of the Cost-Effectiveness of Highway Design Features to 
Reduce Nonrecurrent Congestion; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-6.2: Incorporation 
of Nonrecurrent Congestion Factors into the Highway Capacity Manual; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-6.3: Incorporation 
of Non-Recurrent Congestion Factors into the AASHTO Policy on 
Geometric Design; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-6.4: The 
Relationship between Recurring and Nonrecurring Congestion; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-7.1: Quantification 
of the Causes and Effects of Inappropriate Driver Response to Adverse 
Weather, Roadside Distractions, Traffic Incident Scenes, and Queues; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-7.2: Measures for 
Reducing Inappropriate Driver Response to Adverse Weather, Roadside 
Distractions, Traffic Incident Scenes, and Queues; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-7.3: Improving 
Merging Behavior on Urban Freeways; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-8.1: Delay and 
Reliability Impacts of Traveler Information Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-8.2: Increasing the 
Credibility of Travel Time Predictions with Travelers; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-8.3: Near-Term 
Analysis of Traveler Information Market and Its Impact on Public-
Sector Operational Strategies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-8.4: Real-Time Data 
Fusion to Support Traveler Information Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-9.1: Implementation 
of Alternative Traffic Operation Strategies; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-9.2: Advanced Queue 
and Traffic Incident Scene Management Techniques; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Project 3-9.3: Simulation and 
Gaming Tools for Traffic Incident Response; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Reliability projects identified in 2003: Total; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 12; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]: 1; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely: 20. 

Source: GAO presentation of TRB and SHRP 2 information. 

[A] For the purposes of this report, projects that "evolved" are those 
that had their core research elements largely addressed in one or more 
funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[B] Some portion or portions of these projects were merged to form one 
or more currently funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[End of table] 

Table 10: The 21 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Reliability Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Project number: L01; 
Project title: Integrating Business Processes to Improve Travel Time 
Reliability; 
Project cost: $397,789; 
Start date (approximately): 2/25/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/31/2009. 

Project number: L02; 
Project title: Establishing Monitoring Programs for Mobility and 
Travel Time Reliability; 
Project cost: $1,800,000; 
Start date (approximately): 3/18/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/17/2012. 

Project number: L03; 
Project title: Analytic Procedures for Determining the Impacts of 
Reliability Mitigation Strategies; 
Project cost: $1,749,998; 
Start date (approximately): 2/27/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2010. 

Project number: L04; 
Project title: Incorporating Reliability Performance Measures in 
Operations and Planning Modeling Tools; 
Project cost: v1,250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/06/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/16/2012. 

Project number: L05; 
Project title: Incorporating Reliability Performance Measures into the 
Transportation Planning and Programming Processes; 
Project cost: $1,500,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 1/31/2012. 

Project number: L06; 
Project title: Institutional Architectures to Advance Operational 
Strategies; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/28/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/15/2010. 

Project number: L07; 
Project title: Evaluation of Cost-Effectiveness of Highway Design 
Features to Improve Travel Time Reliability; 
Project cost: $2,750,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/07/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 1/06/2012. 

Project number: L08; 
Project title: Incorporating Non-Recurrent Congestion Factors into the 
Highway Capacity Manual Methods; 
Project cost: $500,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/03/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 5/31/2012. 

Project number: L09; 
Project title: Incorporating Non-Recurrent Congestion Factors into the 
AASHTO Policy on Geometric Design; 
Project cost: $500,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/03/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 5/31/2012. 

Project number: L10; 
Project title: Feasibility of Using In-Vehicle Video Data to Explore 
How to Modify Driver Behavior that Causes Non-Recurring Congestion; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/08/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 4/30/2010. 

Project number: L10A, L10B, &; 
L10C; 
Project title: Using In-Vehicle Data to Explore How to Modify Driver 
Behavior That Causes Non-Recurring Congestion; 
Project cost: $1,200,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/03/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 5/31/2012. 

Project number: L11; 
Project title: Evaluating Alternative Operations Strategies to Improve 
Travel Time Reliability; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/03/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/02/2010. 

Project number: L12; 
Project title: Training and Certification of Traffic Incident 
Responders; 
Project cost: $999,942; 
Start date (approximately): 3/19/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 6/18/2010. 

Project number: L13; 
Project title: Requirements and Feasibility of a System for Archiving 
and Disseminating Data from SHRP 2 and Related Studies; 
Project cost: $374,919; 
Start date (approximately): 9/24/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2010. 

Project number: L13A; 
Project title: Design and Implement a System for Archiving and 
Disseminating Data from SHRP 2 and Related Studies; 
Project cost: $1,135,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/01/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 1/31/2012. 

Project number: L14; 
Project title: Effectiveness of Different Approaches: Traveler 
Information and Travel Time Reliability; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/31/2011. 

Project number: L15; 
Project title: Reliability Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis; 
Project cost: $500,000; 
Start date (approximately): 6/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2012. 

Project number: L16; 
Project title: Assistance to Contractors to Archive Their Data for 
Reliability and Related Projects; 
Project cost: $350,000; 
Start date (approximately): 7/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2012. 

Project number: L17; 
Project title: A Framework for Improving Travel Time Reliability; 
Project cost: $1,800,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2012. 

Project number: 21; 
Project title: Total; 
Project cost: $20,107,648; 
Start date (approximately): [Empty]; 
Completion date (approximately): [Empty]. 

Source: GAO presentation of SHRP 2 information. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Capacity Research Projects: 

The SHRP 2 oversight committee funded many of the capacity projects 
identified in the 2003 detailed research plans based on the 
recommendations of the SHRP 2 capacity technical coordinating 
committee. As a result, 13 of the 20 capacity projects identified in 
2003 either evolved or were partially merged into the currently funded 
capacity projects and 7 were eliminated. Table 12 provides information 
on the capacity projects identified in 2003 and how they were 
reprioritized for funding. In addition, 2 funded projects, which had 
not been identified in 2003, were developed to fill research gaps or 
provide more affordable research alternatives. Table 13 provides 
information on the 20 currently funded SHRP 2 capacity projects. 

Table 11: How Capacity Projects Identified in 2003 Were Reprioritized 
for Funding: 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-1.1: Improving Our 
Understanding of Highway Users and the Factors Affecting Travel Demand; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-1.2: Improving Our 
Understanding of Transportation System Performance; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-1.3: Understanding the 
Contribution of Operations, Technology, and Design to Meeting Highway 
Capacity Needs; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-1.4: Improving Our 
Understanding of Approaches to Integrate Watershed and Habitat 
Fragmentation Considerations into Transportation Planning and 
Development, with an Emphasis on Highways; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-1.5: Improving Our 
Understanding of Interactions between Transportation Capacity and 
Economic Systems; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-1.6: Improving Our 
Understanding of the Relationship between Highway Capacity Projects 
and Land Use Patterns; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-2.1: Applying 
Location- and Tracking-Based Technologies to Collect Data for Systems 
Planning and Project Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-2.2: Applying Remote 
Sensing Technologies to Collect Data for Transportation Systems 
Planning and Project Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-2.3: Facilitating 
Systems Planning and Project Development via an Integrated 
Environmental Resource Information System; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-2.4: Improving Public 
Participation by Enhancing Project Visualization Tools; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-2.5: Developing and 
Applying a Decision-Support Tool for Integrated Systems Planning and 
Project Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-3.1: Integrating 
Environmental Stewardship and Enhancement into System Planning and 
Project Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-3.2: Integrating 
Economic Considerations into Project Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-3.3: Reducing 
Duplication and Process Delays in Planning and Project Development; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-3.4: Ensuring Support 
for Highway Capacity Projects by Improving Collaborative Decision 
Making; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-3.5: Improving the 
Quality and Timeliness of Projects via Better Public Involvement; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-3.6: Screening 
Transportation Solutions in an Integrated Systems Planning and Project 
Development Process; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-4.1: Improving Project 
Management during the Development and Delivery of Highway Projects; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-4.2: Improving Project 
Cost Estimates; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Project 4-4.3: Satisfying 
Commitments and Meeting Customer Expectations in Final Project Design 
and Construction; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]. 

Capacity projects identified in 2003: Total; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project evolved into SHRP 2 projects[A]: 7; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project had elements merged with other SHRP 2 
projects[B]: 6; 
SHRP 2 funding decision: Project was eliminated entirely: 7. 

Source: GAO presentation of TRB and SHRP 2 information. 

[A] For the purposes of this report, projects that "evolved" are those 
that had their core research elements largely addressed in one or more 
funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[B] Some portion or portions of these projects were merged to form one 
or more currently funded SHRP 2 projects. 

[End of table] 

Table 12: The 20 Currently Funded SHRP 2 Capacity Projects, as of 
December 31, 2009: 

Project number: C01; 
Project title: A Framework for Collaborative Decision-Making on 
Additions to Highway Capacity; 
Project cost: $4,249,994; 
Start date (approximately): 2/09/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: C02; 
Project title: A Systems-Based Performance Measurement Framework for 
Highway Capacity Decision-Making; 
Project cost: $825,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/28/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 10/30/2009. 

Project number: C03; 
Project title: Interactions Between Transportation Capacity, Economic 
Systems, and Land Use Merged with Integrating Economic Considerations 
Project Development; 
Project cost: $2,149,997; 
Start date (approximately): 1/15/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/31/2010. 

Project number: C04; 
Project title: Improving Our Understanding of Highway Users and the 
Factors Affecting Travel Demand; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/21/2007; 
Completion date (approximately): 6/10/2010. 

Project number: C05; 
Project title: Understanding the Contribution of Operations, 
Technology, and Design to Meeting Highway Capacity Needs; 
Project cost: $1,000,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/07/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 9/30/2009. 

Project number: C06A; 
Project title: Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and 
Environmental Permitting Using an Outcome-Based Ecosystem Approach; 
Project cost: $700,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/03/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/02/2011. 

Project number: C06B; 
Project title: Development of an Ecological Assessment Process and 
Credits System for Enhancements to Highway Capacity; 
Project cost: $792,648; 
Start date (approximately): 10/10/2008; 
Completion date (approximately): 10/11/2010. 

Project number: C08; 
Project title: Linking Community Visions and Highway Capacity Planning; 
Project cost: $800,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/04/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/03/2010. 

Project number: C09; 
Project title: Incorporating Greenhouse Gas Emissions into the 
Collaborative Decision-Making Process; 
Project cost: $800,000; 
Start date (approximately): 2/10/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/09/2010. 

Project number: C10A; 
Project title: Partnership to Develop an Integrated, Advanced Travel 
Demand Model and a Fine-Grained, Time-Sensitive Network; 
Project cost: $1,400,000; 
Start date (approximately): 8/13/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/12/2012. 

Project number: C10B; 
Project title: Partnership to Develop an Integrated, Advanced Travel 
Demand Model and a Fine-Grained, Time-Sensitive Network; 
Project cost: $2,599,999; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2012. 

Project number: C11; 
Project title: Development of Improved Economic Analysis Tools Based 
on Recommendations from Project C03; 
Project cost: $200,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: C12; 
Project title: The Effect of Public-Private Partnerships and Non-
Traditional Procurement Processes on Highway Planning, Environmental 
Review, and Collaborative Decision-Making; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 1/31/2012. 

Project number: C15; 
Project title: Integrating Freight Considerations into Collaborative 
Decision-Making for Additions to Highway Capacity; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 1/31/2012. 

Project number: C16; 
Project title: The Effect of Smart Growth Policies on Travel Demand; 
Project cost: 425,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/03/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: C18; 
Project title: Pilot Test the Collaborative Decision-Making Framework 
with Three State Departments of Transportation, Including a Self-
Assessment Method; 
Project cost: $1,250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2010; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: C19; 
Project title: Add Expedited-Schedule Case Studies to the 
Collaborative Decision-Making Framework Data Base; 
Project cost: $300,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 8/31/2010. 

Project number: C20; 
Project title: Freight Demand Modeling and Data Improvement Strategic 
Plan; 
Project cost: $550,000; 
Start date (approximately): 9/01/2009; 
Completion date (approximately): 2/28/2011. 

Project number: C21; 
Project title: Pilot Test Approaches to Environmental Protection 
(using projects C06 A and C06 B); 
Project cost: $1,250,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/03/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 3/31/2012. 

Project number: C22; 
Project title: Prepare Decision Makers Guide to Collaborative Decision-
Making Framework; 
Project cost: $200,000; 
Start date (approximately): 1/03/2011; 
Completion date (approximately): 12/31/2012. 

Project number: 20; 
Project title: Total; 
Project cost: $21,092,638. 

Source: GAO presentation of SHRP 2 information. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

David J. Wise, (202) 512-2834 or wised@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Kathleen Turner, Assistant 
Director; Vashun Cole; Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis; Dana Hopings; and Amy 
Rosewarne made important contributions to this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] GAO, Highway Bridge Program: Clearer Goals and Performance 
Measures Needed for a More Focused and Sustainable Program, GAO-08-
1043 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 10, 2008). Structurally deficient 
bridges have a component, such as the bridge deck, in poor condition 
because of deterioration or damage, while functionally obsolete 
bridges are those with a poor configuration or a design that may no 
longer be adequate for the traffic they serve. 

[2] Texas Transportation Institute, 2009 Urban Mobility Report 
(College Station, 2009). 

[3] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008 Traffic 
Safety Annual Assessment, (Washington, D.C.: June 2009). 

[4] The National Research Council's mission is to improve government 
decision making and public policy, increase public education and 
understanding, and promote the acquisition and dissemination of 
knowledge in matters involving science, engineering, technology, and 
health. 

[5] TRB, Special Report 260: Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, 
Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life, (Washington, D.C.: 
November 2001). The report recommended that the program receive 0.25 
percent of the federal-aid highway funds from the Highway Trust Fund. 
This fund is used to distribute highway funding to states based on a 
formula specified in statute. 

[6] The work, conducted through the National Cooperative Highway 
Research Program, was performed to develop the detailed plans and 
projects needed to execute the framework for research outlined in 
Special Report 260. 

[7] National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 510: Interim 
Planning for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program: Summary 
Report (Washington, D.C.: October 2003). 

[8] Pub. L. No. 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144 (August 10, 2005). This law 
also authorized funding for numerous programs, including highway 
safety, transit, transportation research, and federal-aid highways. 
The federal-aid highway program is a federally assisted, state-
administered program. 

[9] AASHTO is a nonprofit association that represents highway and 
transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, 
and Puerto Rico. 

[10] TRB, Special Report 261: The Federal Role in Highway Research and 
Technology, (Washington, D.C.: December 2001). 

[11] The American Association of State Highway Officials, or AASHO, 
was renamed AASHTO in 1973. 

[12] TRB, Special Report 261. 

[13] In 1984, TRB issued Special Report 202: America's Highways: 
Accelerating the Search For Innovation, which recommended the creation 
of a national research program to focus on unaddressed but high- 
priority research areas. In response, the Surface Transportation and 
Uniform Relocation Act, enacted in 1987, reauthorized the federal-aid 
highway program and authorized the National Research Council to 
implement SHRP. Congress initially provided approximately $150 million 
over 5 years to conduct the research. However, after this research was 
completed, Congress provided an additional $108 million to implement 
the research. 

[14] The memorandum of understanding also enabled the SHRP 2 oversight 
committee to create technical advisory committees to assist TRB in 
carrying out the research program. These committees were formed in 
2006. 

[15] As of early November 2009, 55 expert task groups had been formed. 
According to TRB's manual for conducting research and preparing 
proposals for SHRP 2, the task groups consider several factors in 
making their recommendations: the (1) applicant's demonstrated 
understanding of the problem; (2) merit of the proposed research 
approach and methodology; (3) experience, qualifications, and 
objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related 
problem areas; (4) applicant's plan for involving small firms owned 
and controlled by minorities or women; and (5) adequacy of the 
applicant's facilities and equipment. 

[16] In forming its funding recommendations for Special Report 260, 
TRB assumed that the formula used to fund SHRP (i.e., 0.25 percent of 
the federal-aid highway funds from the Highway Trust Fund) would be 
used to fund SHRP 2. Thus, TRB recommended that SHRP 2 receive about 
$450 million over 6 years. 

[17] SAFETEA-LU authorized the Secretary of DOT to make grants and 
enter into cooperative agreements with AASHTO and the National Academy 
of Sciences to carry out activities needed to establish SHRP 2. (Sec. 
510(b).) 

[18] According to FHWA officials, the total cost of SHRP 2 and other 
research programs authorized in SAFETEA-LU exceeded the budget 
authority available for these programs. As a result, funding for all 
of the research programs had to be reduced. 

[19] Each research project refers to an individual contract awarded, 
or expected to be awarded, to carry out specific research. 

[20] The recommended funding percentages in Special Report 260 were 
based, in part, on budget information from previous highway research 
studies. 

[21] The naturalistic driving study will be conducted in six 
locations: Tampa, Florida; Bloomington, Indiana; Raleigh-Durham, North 
Carolina; Erie County, New York; central Pennsylvania; and Seattle, 
Washington. Data collection is expected to begin in the summer of 2010 
and to continue until late 2012. 

[22] Because near-collision events occur more frequently than actual 
accidents, data on these events are expected to offer valuable 
insights into factors leading to actual accidents. 

[23] According to Special Report 260, such accidents account for one- 
third of highway fatalities. 

[24] According to Special Report 296, such accidents account for 45 
percent of all reported accidents. 

[25] The SHRP 2 staff noted that accurately locating and 
characterizing underground utilities to protect or relocate utilities 
is a major, if not the primary, cause of delay in highway renewal 
projects. Such delays can extend the period of project development and 
delay the initiation of construction. In addition, damage to 
underground utilities can raise environmental, health, and safety 
concerns. 

[26] According to TRB, the Highway Capacity Manual is the principal 
reference used by highway designers in making decisions about highway 
construction and operational improvements. AASHTO's Policy on 
Geometric Design for Highways and Streets provides guidance on 
appropriate dimensions for highway facilities and is used to develop 
design guidelines for freeways, conventional highways, and urban 
streets. 

[27] Countermeasures include key roadway design characteristics, such 
as grade and curvature, and roadway treatments, such as rumble strips, 
signage, and markings. 

[28] Additionally, according to SHRP 2 staff, the countermeasure 
projects were similar to other ongoing safety research. 

[29] While many of the projects identified in 2003 involving partners, 
such as states and metropolitan planning organizations, were 
eliminated, according to FHWA officials and SHRP 2 staff, two of these 
projects were retained. The first of the retained projects involves 
field testing the collaborative decision-making framework, while the 
second involves field-testing approaches to mitigate environmental 
impacts. 

[30] TRB, Special Report 260: Strategic Highway Research: Saving 
Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life, (Washington, 
D.C.: November 2001). 

[31] TRB, Special Report 261: The Federal Role in Highway Research and 
Technology, (Washington, D.C.: December 2001). 

[32] TRB, Special Report 296: Implementing the Results of the Second 
Strategic Highway Research Program: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, 
Improving Quality of Life, (Washington, D.C.: April 2009). 

[33] National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 510: Interim 
Planning for a Future Strategic Highway Research Program: Summary 
Report, (Washington, D.C.: October 2003). 

[End of section] 

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