The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has selected the University of Maine to lead the creation of a highly competitive University Transportation Center called the Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center (TIDC). TIDC aims to save taxpayer dollars by extending the life of transportation assets, including bridges, roads and rail.
The DOT will provide as much as $14.2 million over five years for the UMaine-led coalition that includes the University of Rhode Island, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Vermont and Western New England University.
Additional partners include the Maine Department of Transportation, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, and the American Society of Civil Engineers Transportation and Development Institute.
This is the first time UMaine was selected from a highly competitive group of other colleges and universities to lead U.S. DOT transportation research in New England, says Habib Dagher, founding executive director of the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, and director of the new TIDC. Ten technical experts from across the country reviewed and ranked competing proposals, which led to UMaine’s selection.
“Along with our partners from all New England states, we look forward to leading research to extend the life of existing bridges, construct longer-lasting assets, and reduce costs for the DOT and the public. Our New England DOT partners will help guide our research efforts to focus on real DOT needs that will make a real difference to the public,” Dagher says.
Since 1987, the University Transportation Center (UTC) program has advanced transportation research and technology at colleges and universities across the country. Every five years, academic institutions nationwide compete to form their region’s UTC. UMaine and the other member universities of the new Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center have an extensive record of accomplishments in transportation infrastructure research, education and technology transfer.