Title 23 Part 420 → Subpart B

Title 23 → Chapter I → Subchapter E → Part 420 → Subpart B

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 23 Part 420 → Subpart B

e-CFR data is current as of November 13, 2019

Title 23Chapter ISubchapter EPart 420 → Subpart B

Title 23: Highways

§420.201   What is the purpose of this subpart?

The purpose of this subpart is to prescribe requirements for research, development, and technology transfer (RD&T) activities, programs, and studies undertaken by State DOTs and their subrecipients with FHWA planning and research funds.

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§420.203   How does the FHWA define the terms used in this subpart?

Unless otherwise specified in this part, the definitions in 23 U.S.C. 101(a) and subpart A of this part, are applicable to this subpart. As used in this subpart:

Applied research means the study of phenomena to gain knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized need may be met; the primary purpose of this kind of research is to answer a question or solve a problem.

Basic research means the study of phenomena, and of observable facts, without specific applications towards processes or products in mind; the primary purpose of this kind of research is to increase knowledge.

Development means the systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research, directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

Final report means a report documenting a completed RD&T study or activity.

Intermodal RD&T means research, development, and technology transfer activities involving more than one mode of transportation, including transfer facilities between modes.

Peer exchange means a periodic review of a State DOT's RD&T program, or portion thereof, by representatives of other State DOT's, for the purpose of exchange of information or best practices. The State DOT may also invite the participation of the FHWA, and other Federal, State, regional or local transportation agencies, the Transportation Research Board, academic institutions, foundations or private firms that support transportation research, development or technology transfer activities.

RD&T activity means a basic or applied research project or study, development or technology transfer activity.

Research means a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Research can be basic or applied.

Technology transfer means those activities that lead to the adoption of a new technique or product by users and involves dissemination, demonstration, training, and other activities that lead to eventual innovation.

Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) means the database produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board and available online through the National Transportation Library. TRIS includes bibliographic records and abstracts of on-going and completed RD&T activities. TRIS Online also includes links to the full text of public-domain documents.

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§420.205   What is the FHWA's policy for research, development, and technology transfer funding?

(a) It is the FHWA's policy to administer the RD&T program activities utilizing FHWA planning and research funds consistent with the policy specified in §420.105 and the following general principles in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section.

(b) The State DOTs must provide information necessary for peer exchanges.

(c) The State DOTs are encouraged to develop, establish, and implement an RD&T program, funded with Federal and State DOT resources that anticipates and addresses transportation concerns before they become critical problems. Further, the State DOTs are encouraged to include in this program development and technology transfer programs to share the results of their own research efforts and promote the use of new technology.

(d) To promote effective use of available resources, the State DOTs are encouraged to cooperate with other State DOTs, the FHWA, and other appropriate agencies to achieve RD&T objectives established at the national level and to develop a technology transfer program to promote and use those results. This includes contributing to cooperative RD&T programs such as the NCHRP, the TRB, and transportation pooled fund studies as a means of addressing national and regional issues and as a means of leveraging funds.

(e) The State DOTs will be allowed the authority and flexibility to manage and direct their RD&T activities as presented in their work programs, and to initiate RD&T activities supported by FHWA planning and research funds, subject to the limitation of Federal funds and to compliance with program conditions set forth in subpart A of this part and §420.207.

(f) The State DOTs will have primary responsibility for managing RD&T activities supported with FHWA planning and research funds carried out by other State agencies and organizations and for ensuring that such funds are expended for purposes consistent with this subpart.

(g) Each State DOT must develop, establish, and implement a management process that ensures effective use of available FHWA planning and research funds for RD&T activities on a statewide basis. Each State DOT is permitted to tailor its management process to meet State or local needs; however, the process must comply with the minimum requirements and conditions of this subpart.

(h) The State DOTs are encouraged to make effective use of the FHWA Division, Resource Center, and Headquarters office expertise in developing and carrying out their RD&T activities. Participation of the FHWA on advisory panels and in program exchange meetings is encouraged.

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§420.207   What are the requirements for research, development, and technology transfer work programs?

(a) The State DOT's RD&T work program must, as a minimum, consist of a description of RD&T activities to be accomplished during the program period, estimated costs for each eligible activity, and a description of any cooperative activities including the State DOT's participation in any transportation pooled fund studies and the NCHRP. The State DOT's work program should include a list of the major items with a cost estimate for each item. The work program should also include any study funded under a previous work program until a final report has been completed for the study.

(b) The State DOT's RD&T work program must include financial summaries showing the funding levels and share (Federal, State, and other sources) for RD&T activities for the program year. State DOTs are encouraged to include any activity funded 100 percent with State or other funds for information purposes.

(c) Approval and authorization procedures in §420.115 are applicable to the State DOT's RD&T work program.

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§420.209   What are the conditions for approval?

(a) As a condition for approval of FHWA planning and research funds for RD&T activities, a State DOT must develop, establish, and implement a management process that identifies and results in implementation of RD&T activities expected to address high priority transportation issues. The management process must include:

(1) An interactive process for identification and prioritization of RD&T activities for inclusion in an RD&T work program;

(2) Use of all FHWA planning and research funds set aside for RD&T activities, either internally or for participation in transportation pooled fund studies or other cooperative RD&T programs, to the maximum extent possible;

(3) Procedures for tracking program activities, schedules, accomplishments, and fiscal commitments;

(4) Support and use of the TRIS database for program development, reporting of active RD&T activities, and input of the final report information;

(5) Procedures to determine the effectiveness of the State DOT's management process in implementing the RD&T program, to determine the utilization of the State DOT's RD&T outputs, and to facilitate peer exchanges of its RD&T Program on a periodic basis;

(6) Procedures for documenting RD&T activities through the preparation of final reports. As a minimum, the documentation must include the data collected, analyses performed, conclusions, and recommendations. The State DOT must actively implement appropriate research findings and should document benefits; and

(7) Participation in peer exchanges of its RD&T management process and of other State DOTs' programs on a periodic basis. To assist peer exchange teams in conducting an effective exchange, the State DOT must provide to them the information and documentation required to be collected and maintained under this subpart. Travel and other costs associated with the State DOT's peer exchange may be identified as a line item in the State DOT's work program and will be eligible for 100 percent Federal funding. The peer exchange team must prepare a written report of the exchange.

(b) Documentation that describes the State DOT's management process and the procedures for selecting and implementing RD&T activities must be developed by the State DOT and submitted to the FHWA Division office for approval. Significant changes in the management process also must be submitted by the State DOT to the FHWA for approval. The State DOT must make the documentation available, as necessary, to facilitate peer exchanges.

(c) The State DOT must include a certification that it is in full compliance with the requirements of this subpart in each RD&T work program. If the State DOT is unable to certify full compliance, the FHWA Division Administrator may grant conditional approval of the State DOT's work program. A conditional approval must cite those areas of the State DOT's management process that are deficient and require that the deficiencies be corrected within 6 months of conditional approval. The certification must consist of a statement signed by the Administrator, or an official designated by the Administrator, of the State DOT certifying as follows: “I (name of certifying official), (position title), of the State (Commonwealth) of ____, do hereby certify that the State (Commonwealth) is in compliance with all requirements of 23 U.S.C. 505 and its implementing regulations with respect to the research, development, and technology transfer program, and contemplate no changes in statutes, regulations, or administrative procedures which would affect such compliance.”

(d) The FHWA Division Administrator shall periodically review the State DOT's management process to determine if the State is in compliance with the requirements of this subpart. If the Division Administrator determines that a State DOT is not complying with the requirements of this subpart, or is not performing in accordance with its RD&T management process, the FHWA Division Administrator shall issue a written notice of proposed determination of noncompliance to the State DOT. The notice will set forth the reasons for the proposed determination and inform the State DOT that it may reply in writing within 30 calendar days from the date of the notice. The State DOT's reply should address the deficiencies cited in the notice and provide documentation as necessary. If the State DOT and the Division Administrator cannot resolve the differences set forth in the determination of nonconformity, the State DOT may appeal to the Federal Highway Administrator whose action shall constitute the final decision of the FHWA. An adverse decision shall result in immediate withdrawal of approval of FHWA planning and research funds for the State DOT's RD&T activities until the State DOT is in full compliance.

(The information collection requirements in §420.209 have been approved by the OMB and assigned control number 2125-0039)

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