Iowa Highway Research Board TR-423: 1949–1999, 1999

(1999) Iowa Highway Research Board TR-423: 1949–1999, 1999. Transportation, Department of


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The year 1949 saw the Iowa General Assembly’s establishment of the Iowa Secondary Road Research Fund, which led to the creation of a supervisory board within what was then the Iowa State Highway Commission to oversee the expenditure of that fund. The purpose of the fund and the board was to research road construction topics likely to be beneficial to the working of Iowa’s secondary, or local, road system. The supervisory board—called the Iowa Highway Research Board (the “Board”)—was organized by the highway commission in December 1949 and first met in May 1950. The creation of the fund and of the Iowa Highway Research Board marked the first organized effort in the United States to investigate local road construction problems and placed Iowa in the forefront of this field of engineering research. That Iowa should be a leader in such an effort is not surprising, given the early and sustained emphasis of the Iowa State Highway Commission on both research and the dissemination of information to county authorities. Now, 50 years later, a retrospective is in order. To that end, the Iowa Highway Research Board commissioned the preparation of a commemorative history. This work is the result of that project. Throughout its existence, the Board has funded nearly 450 projects, several of national significance. Many new construction and maintenance techniques have been developed, some of which have evolved into standard practices in highway construction. Innovative new materials and equipment have been tested. Still other projects have considered a wide variety of subjects related to the efficient operation of the highway system. Highway safety, conservation, and law have all come under research scrutiny. While it will not be possible, given the short space available, to consider all the projects financed by the Iowa Highway Research Board, it is well worthwhile to examine the Board’s principal projects and its resulting contributions to the field of highway research.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Highway Research, Iowa, Highways, TR-423
Subjects: Transportation > Research
Transportation > Roads and highways
ID Code: 11690
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 06 Dec 2011 14:56
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2015 19:48