Research is the oldest function of organized transportation in
our country. It has played a vital role in the advancements that
have led to our current transportation system. Federal regulation
(23 CFR 420 Subpart B) establishes the Peer Exchange process of
Research, Development, and Technology Transfer management of each
state department of transportation. State Planning and Research
funds are contingent upon the completion of a Peer Exchange. Peer
Exchanges allow each state an opportunity to share the operation of
its research program with peers from other states. The Peer Exchange
teams are typically composed of state research managers, FHWA
representatives and university personnel. From this positive
exchange, all parties receive the benefit of best management
practices and positive ideas that can be incorporated into their
respective research programs.
Peer Exchanges are recommended every 3 to 5 years. The 2001 Alabama Department of Transportation Bureau of Research and Development Peer Exchange was conducted at the National Center for Asphalt Technology in Auburn, Alabama. The Peer Exchange documented in this report was hosted by The University Transportation Center for Alabama on the campus of The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.