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Michigan’s Top Transportation Official Named to National Panel Studying the Future of Interstates

Parul Dubey on August 26, 2016 - in Roads, Transportation

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have named Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle to a committee that will study the future of the U.S. interstate highway system.

“As called for in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, our study will be addressing what actions are necessary to upgrade and restore the nation’s interstate highway system,” Neil Pedersen, executive director of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), a program of the Academies, said. “The committee will consult with national experts, operators and users of the interstate system, and private sector stakeholders as it addresses its task and recommends ways to ensure we have a premier system that meets the growing and shifting demands of the 21st century. We appreciate Director Steudle bringing his expertise and insights to this important study.”

The 14-member committee of experts will develop a report over the course of the 30-month project. During the first 20 months of study, the committee will meet regularly to hear from key groups. Members have backgrounds in transportation policy and planning in both urban and rural contexts, travel demand, highway construction and operations, traffic safety, modeling, environmental and community impact mitigation, economic development, supply chains and goods movement, funding, equity and access to economic opportunity, multimodal transportation, and advanced vehicle technologies. Steudle is the only director of a state department of transportation on the committee.

“It will be a pleasure to serve with this talented group of people to help shape the future of the interstate system,” Steudle said. “With our state’s strong background in the automotive industry, we also can bring to the table the future of autonomous vehicles and its impact on our nation’s highways, among other things.”

Steudle served as past chair of the TRB Executive Committee and is the 2015 recipient of the TRB’s W. N. Carey Jr., Distinguished Service Award. This year marks the  60th anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signing of the Federal Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, into law. Today, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has jurisdiction over 9,668 route miles or 32,043 lane miles (including ramps) of interstate, US and M highways.

Visit interstate.trb.org to find more about the study.

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