The Virginia Transportation Research Council celebrates 75 years

One of the nation's leading transportation research centers has its 75th anniversary

VTRC Front View
VRTC Front View

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC), a partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and the University of Virginia, is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a new website

Established Nov. 1, 1948, VTRC is one of the nation’s leading transportation research centers. Located on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the Council specializes in applied transportation research for VDOT. It also contributes to graduate research for engineering students from universities across both Virginia and the country. 

“We’re proud of the fact that the work done at the Research Council doesn’t result in a report that just sits on a shelf,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “It leads to implementation that improves the lives of Virginians with a safer and more reliable transportation system.” 

Over the past 75 years, the breadth of the Council’s research has grown from studying materials such as concrete and asphalt, to include critical transportation topics like safety, traffic engineering, connected and autonomous vehicles, environmental impacts, and economics. 

Today, scientists at the Council are utilizing its state-of-the-art technology and laboratories on over 200 transportation projects. Research on sustainability is a priority, like using corrosion resistant materials on Virginia’s bridges to improve the longevity of structures, or the incorporation of recycled materials into pavements. 

In recent years, the Council has focused on implementing its findings to benefit Virginia’s roads. “Technology is changing so quickly,” said VTRC Director Michael Fitch. “We can vet some of those technologies to see which are most appropriate for VDOT and which are valuable for helping the Department meet its overall goals.”    

The Council also partners with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to field test its research on the Virginia Smart Roads, a network of VDOT maintained roads and testing grounds contained within a closed facility and managed by Virginia Tech in cooperation with VDOT. 

Visit the Virginia Transportation Research Council website to learn more.

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Last updated: July 11, 2024

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