Research, Development and Technology Transfer Program
The demands placed upon transportation facilities in recent years have presented an increasingly difficult challenge to the State: rising load limits, higher tire pressures, increased truck lengths and deteriorating infrastructure; serious disasters such as fires, floods, and tornadoes; and shortage of funds due to dwindling gallon-based gas taxes and lack of public support for increasing gas taxes. These developments have all taken an overwhelming toll on the State transportation system. Compounding this challenge has been the added burden of transportation needs competing for limited resources.
To properly operate and maintain the State transportation system during the current trend of budget cuts, downsizing and reorganization, is all the more reason to focus scarce, limited resources on researching new materials, techniques, technology and specifications. The time is critical for the ODOT to pursue research with renewed emphasis on the technological advances that would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of these facilities.
It is ODOT’s goal to provide quality research support in areas that respond to the public need for safe, accountable, flexible, efficient, economical, convenient, and environmentally compatible transportation service.
The Research, Development and Technology Transfer (RDTT) Program identifies research needs, arranges for the conduct of, and secures appropriate funding for, research projects with specific objectives and prescribed timeframes.
Through applied research, development, and demonstration activities, the RDTT projects focus on providing the ODOT with knowledge, processes, and products that will contribute to improved transportation facilities.
The RDTT Program consists primarily of selected research projects originated by Department personnel and others who believe there is a problem or need and that a research project will provide the necessary information to resolve the problem. Research projects are selected with the aim of providing a coordinated and balanced effort among the various technical, socioeconomic and environmental subject areas and also among the various types of research.
The RDTT Program conducts work through in-house research, contracted research and collaborative research. Although some research is conducted in-house by Department researchers, the majority of the projects are conducted for the ODOT under contract by universities, other governmental agencies, or private organizations. Collaborative research offers the Department the ability to further leverage State funds and includes partners such as the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the Oklahoma Transportation Center (OTC) as well as other state highway agencies.
ODOT’s RDTT program is accomplished through research projects with well-defined objectives and with durations from one to five years. Normally, the end product of a research project is a published final report. Research results are implemented through new specifications, standard plans, test methods, new or revised procedures, computer programs, manual changes, or policy and procedure directives either before or after completion of a research project. Additional implementation plans may be necessary to encourage full implementation, that is, to make the results part of the ODOT standard operational practices.