Wyoming Department of Transportation
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Research Center

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The purpose of the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Research Center (Center) is to provide increased benefits and greater opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the research and development efforts in the State of Wyoming. The Center follows the procedures and standards set out in Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R), Part 420 Subpart B entitled Research, Development and Technology Transfer Program Management, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, the Wyoming Statutes, and Operating Policies for the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

The Mission of the Center is to enhance the economic well-being and quality of life in Wyoming by working with public and private partners to produce a safe and efficient transportation system.

 The Center goals are as follows:              

1.  Improve the existing transportation system.

2.  Enhance safety on the transportation system.

3.  Preserve the existing transportation system.

4.  Fairly and equitably fulfill our regulatory and revenue-generating responsibilities.

The following are various categories of funding available to finance research activities:

A.      SP&R ‑ Federal[1]

Federal fuel tax monies made available to the State of Wyoming[2], [3] are currently the main source of funding for the WYDOT research program.  The Rules allocate 2% of the total annual transportation disbursement to each state for State Planning and Research (SP&R) activities[4].  The law further stipulates a minimum of 25% of the SP&R funds be reserved for state transportation research, development and technology transfer efforts[5].

B.      State Funds

Because of the limited scope or shortage of federal funds, certain studies and/or local interest projects may be financed with state funds and not submitted for federal participation. These projects are undertaken independent of the research, development and technology program.  It is recommended, however, that each branch or district notify the Research Engineer of the project for recordkeeping purposes.

C.      National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)

The WYDOT research program participates in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. This is a joint program between American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The program is supported by individual state highway departments with state planning and research (SP&R) funds based on a certain percentage of their SP&R program. These funds do not require a state match. Studies in this program are usually high cost with national implication, and are identified through an annual solicitation through AASHTO.

D.      Pooled‑Fund Projects[6]

When widespread, regional or national interest is shown in a significant problem, research studies of major importance may be conducted on a cooperative basis by several states, FHWA, third parties contractors, universities, and so on. These studies may be conducted using SP&R funds without state matched funds, if so approved by the FHWA Administrator.

 

Quick Facts About the WYDOT Research Center

Where is the Center located:

The Center and research library are located in the WYDOT Complex on the second floor of the Planning Building.

What are the responsibilities of the Center staff:

The Center’s staff produces positive and meaningful results at every stage of the research process,insures formal reporting on research projects, and assists in guidance for implementation and technology transfer activities for the research projects. Through the processes outlined in the WYDOT Research Guidelines, the Center relies on contract research efforts, and utilizes the expertise and skills found at the University of Wyoming, the Mountain Plains Consortium (MPC), other University of Transportation Centers (UTCs), universities, and various private research consultants located throughout the country to reach its goals.

What research facilities are available:

There are two laboratories in the WYDOT Complex.  The first, the Wyoming Materials Lab, provides materials and pavement engineering and materials, and roadway testing services to all WYDOT programs. The primary responsibility of the Materials Program is to determine the optimum use of materials used in highway construction.  The second laboratory, the Geology Lab, provides engineering geology and geotechnical services to WYDOT programs and other governmental agencies.  There are also numerous sites available around the state which can be used for research projects.  Though some projects are conducted on site at one of the WYDOT facilities, most are conducted by researchers off site. 

Expertise:

The Center administers the research program for WYDOT and utilizing expert researchers in the area of research studied.

Library Services:

The Center has an in-house library which houses federal and state publications.  Research materials are also available electronically either through the library or through links to other sites.

Policies for Center:

Policies for the Research Center can be found in the Basic & Operating Policy Manual for the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

 

Research Center Contacts Information 

Timothy McDowell, P.E.

Wyoming DOT

 5300 Bishop Blvd.

Cheyenne WY  82001

307-777-4412

FAX:  307-777-4759

 

Enid White, Research Manager

Wyoming DOT

 5300 Bishop Blvd.

Cheyenne WY  82001

307-777-4182

FAX:  307-777-4759



[1] 23 U.S.C. §505; 23 C.F.R. 420 et seq.

[2] Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141 – July 6, 2012 –

126 Stat. 23 U.S.C. §505

[3] Planning and Research Program Administration Federal Rules 23 C.F.R. 420.103(a)(1)

[4] 23 C.F.R. §420.103(1)

[5] 23 U.S.C. 505(b)(1)

[6] http://www.pooledfund.org/

 

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