The LRRB was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1959. The goal of this program is to support research that is of interest to local engineers. Program funding is set at ½ of 1 percent of the state aid allocation. The LRRB is operated by a board, which consists of county and city engineers, Mn/DOT staff and a representative from the U of M's Center for Transportation Studies. Administration of the LRRB program and research projects is performed by MnDOT's Research Services Section (RSS).
Research Implementation Committee (RIC)
The RIC is a subgroup of the LRRB. The goal of the RIC is to make information available and transfer research results into practical application. The RIC oversight and operation is similar to the LRRB. A number of tasks are completed under a three-year consultant contract using the request for proposal process. Other tasks are completed under separate contracts with consultants or other agencies. The program is ongoing and problem statements are considered at any time. Funding is $220,000 per year which is allocated from the LRRB budget.
State Funding Sources
State Research Program (SRP)
Beginning in 1991, legislation was passed that allows the commissioner of transportation to set aside up to 2% of the total amount of all funds appropriated to the commissioner other than county, municipal, state and highway funds for research activities. Universities and consultants can be funded using SRP dollars; however, MnDOT salaries or inhouse research cannot.
Implementation Funding Program (IMP)
This program is a subgroup of the SRP research program. The goal of the Research Implementation Funding Program is to apply research results in measurable ways that will lead to further implementation and improve the performance of MnDOT's investments. The program is administered by RSS. Money may be used for procuring services, materials or equipment using state contract or bidding procedures.
Cooperative Program for Transportation Research Studies (COPTRS)
Program established by agreement between the University of Minnesota and the Department of Transportation in late 1983. Its purpose is to foster cooperation in basic and applied sciences and engineering to effectively solve transportation problems, speed the technology transfer related to research results and stimulate new ideas and areas of research. The level of funding is provided by legislative action.
Federal Funding Sources
State Planning and Research (SP&R)
SPR funds are a 2% set aside of funds allocated to a State DOT for activities under Title 23, United States
Code. A State DOT must spend no less than 25% of the SPR funds on Research Development Technology
Activities; these are the Part 2 funds.
The FHWA SPR program is designed for research projects that are of national interest or regional state
DOTs. The goals are to leverage research funds by pooling STIP funds (as mandated by SAFETEA-LU)
and reduce duplication of effort. The program is administered through the FHWA. Funds can be used for
pooled fund or single state studies.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
The goal of the NCHRP program is to conduct research in acute problem areas that affect
nationwide highway planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance. The states are
the sole sponsors of the NCHRP program. Each interested state allocates 5.5% of its SPR funds to the NCHRP program. This program is managed by the
TRB. This program is geared toward research that is of national interest and solutions are not
immediately needed. The NCHRP process takes over 2 years from the time the problem statement is submitted to execution of the contract.