Transportation audit yields mixed results

A review of performance audits of the state transportation program found that the current business model for transportation research is sound, but comprehensive implementation and utilization of research results is lagging.

That’s the word from the study of the Virginia Transportation Research Council conducted by the Federal Highway Administration’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and B.T. Harder Inc. of Philadelphia. The audit was one of four performance audits of Virginia’s transportation programs called for by Gov. Bob McDonnell and approved by the 2010 General Assembly.

“The review identified opportunities and recommendations to transform the Research Council into a champion for innovation to benefit all who use Virginia roads, rail, and transit. We now intend for this program to identify, research, test and implement creative solutions that will fuel Virginia’s multi-modal transportation program and make it the best state transportation research organization in the country,” McDonnell said. “Audits such as this one are part of this administration’s comprehensive efforts to improve transportation in the Commonwealth. A modern, integrated and cost-efficient transportation system is crucial to job creation and economic growth in the years ahead. ”

The audit recommends that Virginia improve performance by instituting a more formal and rigorous implementation process as well as early involvement of personnel from the field. Steps for accomplishing this include developing internal reporting and management processes and utilizing field personnel to support research efforts. It also recommends setting up pilot programs to test research results and, upon successful completion of a pilot, bringing into practice these innovations, process changes, new specifications and other changes.

The full report can be found here.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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