ABOUT SHRP 2
The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP
2) was authorized by Congress to address some of the most pressing needs
related to the nation’s highway system: the high toll taken by highway
deaths and injuries, aging infrastructure that must be rehabilitated
with minimum disruption to users, and congestion stemming both from
inadequate physical capacity and from events that reduce the effective
capacity of a highway facility. These needs define the four research
focus areas in SHRP 2:
- The Safety area is conducting the largest
ever naturalistic driving study to better understand the interaction
among various factors involved in highway crashes—driver, vehicle, and
infrastructure—so that better safety countermeasures can be developed
and applied to save lives.
- The Renewal area is developing technologies
and institutional solutions to support systematic rehabilitation of
highway infrastructure in a way that is rapid, presents minimal
disruption to users, and results in long-lasting facilities.
- The Reliability area is developing basic
analytical techniques, design procedures, and institutional approaches
to address the events—such as crashes, work zones, special events, and
inclement weather—that result in the unpredictable congestion that makes
travel times unreliable.
- The Capacity area is developing a web-based
tool to provide more accurate data and collaborative decision-making in
the development of new highway capacity in order to expedite the
provision of that capacity while simultaneously addressing economic,
community, and environmental objectives associated with new
SHRP 2 is administered by the Transportation
Research Board of the National Academies under a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Federal Highway Administration and the America
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
America's highway system includes more than 3.9 million miles of
highways, arterials, and local roads and streets. These roads, which
carry more than 90% of passenger trips and account for some 84% of
freight value, are critical to meeting the mobility and economic needs
of local communities, regions, and the nation. In addition to commercial
and private vehicles, the roadways accommodate buses, bicycles, and
pedestrians and provide vital links to all other modes of
transportation. To address these challenges, Congress established the
second Strategic Highway Research Program.
SHRP 2 will focus on applied research in the following areas, which were
identified by experts who began planning for the program in 1999. The
focus areas were selected on the basis of their importance to the
nation’s economic system and quality of life and because strategically
targeted research in these areas promises to yield high payoffs.
||Prevent or reduce the severity of highway crashes by understanding driver behavior
||Address the aging
infrastructure through rapid design and construction methods that cause
minimal disruption and produce long-lived facilities
||Reduce congestion through incident reduction, management, response, and mitigation
||Integrate mobility, economic, environmental, and community needs in the planning and designing of transportation capacity
Developments in research and technology—such as advanced materials, new
data collection technologies, communications technology, and human
factors science—offer an opportunity to improve the safety and
reliability of the nation’s highway system. In establishing SHRP 2,
Congress recognized that breakthrough resolution of some significant
problems requires concentrated resources over a short time frame. SHRP
2’s intense, large-scale focus, requiring the integration of multiple
fields of research and technology, is fundamentally different from the
broad, mission-oriented, discipline-based research programs that have
been the mainstay of the highway industry for half a century.
The first Strategic Highway Research Program (1988 to 1993) improved
winter highway maintenance practices and revolutionized asphalt pavement
design by producing the Superpave® system. SHRP 2 adheres to the
principal features of the SHRP model—a focused, time-constrained,
management-driven program designed to complement existing research
programs. The SHRP 2 approach is also based on a decidedly
customer-oriented view of highway needs. SHRP 2 has the following
- It addresses highway needs from a systems perspective;
- It is open to research in nontraditional highway-related areas; and
- It explicitly acknowledges the interdependence of highway research and technology programs.
Through targeted, short-term, results-oriented research, SHRP 2 will
develop recommended procedures, practices, and applications to advance
our nation’s highway system in the program’s key focus areas. With SHRP
as a model, many SHRP 2 products could be adopted as standards, guides,
or recommended practices at the local, state, or federal level.
SHRP 2 will be managed by the Transportation Research Board on behalf of
the National Research Council. The program will provide for
competitive, merit-based selection of research contractors; independent
research project oversight; and dissemination of research results. The
SHRP 2 Oversight Committee has responsibility for all aspects of the
program’s research activities. Additional technical advisory committees
will be established as necessary to bring experience, expertise, and
counsel from academic, government, and other interested parties to SHRP
2. The program will be conducted in close cooperation with the U.S.
Department of Transportation and the American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials.
Duration and Budget
SHRP 2 was authorized in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Section 5210
(Public Law 109-59) through federal fiscal year 2009. Continuing
resolutions extended the lifespan of the program through March 2015.
Funding for the program has been authorized at $232.5 million.
Additional Information and Keeping Informed
Updates on SHRP 2 activities will be highlighted on our website and in
TRB’s weekly Transportation Research E-Newsletter. To subscribe to the
E-Newsletter, complete the form on this page.