Overseas News on Civil Engineering IT
Japanese English
Website name:
AASHTO - The Voice of Transportation

URL : http://www.transportation.org/

This section focuses on a unique overseas website concerned with civil engineering IT. The website of this issue is that of American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Washington D.C., USA.

AASHTO Represents Highway and Transportation Departments in the U.S.

AASHTO is well known, even among Japanese civil and construction engineers, in the context of U.S. standard specifications for highway bridges, guide for design of pavement structures, and other standards related with civil engineering and structural engineering.

According to its website, AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. It covers all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.

Its website being open to public, AASHTO membership is composed only of instrumentalities of government on an agency basis. Member Departments include Departments or Agencies of the states of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, and the United States Department of Transportation. Besides, a number of transportation agencies in other countries, like Canada, are affiliate members. Several sub-state transportation agencies in the U.S., like those of New York City and City of Chicago, are associate members.

Wide Range of Information is Arranged Systematically and Efficiently

In the center column of the home page are "WHAT'S NEW," "AASHTO PRESS RELEASES," "MEETINGS," and so on, laid out longitudinally so that necessary information can be found by only scrolling the window. On both sides of the window are "HOT TOPICS," "ABOUT AASHTO," "FEATURED ITEMS," "SUCCESS STORIES" and so on, all of which are so arranged as to be overlooked at a glance.

Among them, "HOT TOPICS" includes news categories such as Environment, Highways, Intermodal, Materials and Testing, Passenger Transportation, Safety and Security, as well as success stories, and website links. "ABOUT AASHTO" includes information on awards and contests, and Bookstore, where books and CD, such as many different standard guides can be browsed and ordered.

"AASHTO Strategic Plan 2005-2010" in PDF format describing AASHTO's future activity plan can be downloaded from those corners. It says that AASHTO "is the voice for transportation and catalyst for organizational and technical excellence," and defines its mission as "The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods." To achieve this, it presents 4 goals: 1) Re-establish transportation as a national priority, 2) Advocate and communicate to achieve AASHTO's goals, 3) Provide world-class technical services, 4) Assist state DOTs with leadership and performance.

In addition, FEATURED ITEMS showcases "The Interstate is 50," "AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence," "AASHTO Freight Transportation Network," and so on. Each item is linked to its own website with specific theme and concept.

According to the website, much of AASHTO's work is done by committees comprised of member department personnel who serve voluntarily. There are various special committees, standing committees, and subcommittees organized in the Association.

On the other hand, AASHTO provides various programs under the topics like Bridges and Structures, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Materials. Each program is also linked to its own site.

The "Jobs" section seems unique in that it provides employment listings free of charge to State DOTs and regional transportation associations, with not only specific job information but also the process to submit a listing and requirements.
 Top pageAASHTO Strategic Plan 2005-2010

From http://www.transportation.org, the web site for the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation officials, Washington,
D.C., U.S.A. Used by permission.