Partnership Agreement - FHWA and NACE

February 28, 2003

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) hereby establish this partnering agreement to promote greater coordination of efforts to improve the Nation’s public infrastructure by providing a safe, secure and quality oriented transportation system for our customers. Joint partnership activities will be centered on education, outreach, and proactive leadership. The FHWA and NACE will assist county transportation professionals with emphasis placed on safety, congestion mitigation and environmental stewardship and streamlining, and advance our communities’ economic growth and development. Through this agreement, we envision a joint effort that will contribute to the reduction of rural and local roadway related fatalities and injuries.

By this agreement, the FHWA and NACE commit themselves to creating the tools necessary to assist county transportation managers in responding to the dynamic changes in transportation. We will embrace new and emerging technologies, where appropriate, and capitalize on opportunities to improve services today and in the future. The FHWA and NACE, through joint activities, will assist county transportation managers to successfully manage the public works infrastructure, deliver cost-effective transportation services that support community quality of life, ensure safe, livable, and sustainable communities, and promote economic growth.

To meet these goals and objectives, the FHWA and NACE will:

  • Increase efforts to understand the needs of local county transportation professionals and how to best prepare for the next century,
  • Continue to educate the American traveling public in the significance of infrastructure investment, the need to maintain this important national resource and its role in sustaining our quality of life,
  • Provide mutual assistance in areas of education and training to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the appropriate technologies available to meet present and future transportation needs,
  • Serve the needs of our citizens by giving them programs and practices that employ public resources in a cost-effective, safe and environmentally sustained manner, and,
  • Build on our years of cooperative efforts that have included extensive FHWA participation in NACE conferences and meetings. Joint activities will be determined on a calendar year basis.

Every two years the Executive Directors from the Federal Highway Administration and the National Association of County Engineers will meet to evaluate accomplishments of the previous year and to establish and/or continue joint activities in the upcoming years.

Frederick G. Wright                                   David L. Miller, P. E.
Executive Director                                     President
Federal Highway Administration                National Association of County Engineers


The FHWA and the NACE agree to cooperatively pursue the following action items. These activities are long-term strategies that will foster an intergovernmental approach toward finding solutions for long-range transportation issues faced by our citizens.

Integrate Partnership Efforts Throughout Each Organization’s Structure:

FHWA and NACE will develop a formal mechanism for appointment of each agency’s personnel to the working groups committees, task forces, etc., at the partnering agency’s request to represent the interests, view points, or concerns of the customers and membership in the broadest sense. FHWA and NACE will seek out and recommend ways to build field office partnerships with the many NACE state affiliate organizations. One specific action is the positive and ongoing use of the FHWA Local Road Advisor program established by FHWA. Regional meetings will be pursued in partnership with other agencies (FHWA through the state Local Road Coordinators, Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP)/Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) Centers, NACE state affiliates). While no prescriptive method is proposed each region would decide how they wish to do it building on existing meetings held at Laughlin, NV, Rapid City, SD, St. Joseph’s MO, the Southeast region roadway conference, and the Northeast Roadway conference.

Safety and Local Roads:

FHWA and NACE will work together to make rural and urban local roads safer for our constituency. Programs will be assessed as to their effectiveness in providing a safer transportation system in rural and local areas. One ongoing item will include participation and support for the annual Work Zone Awareness Week and the “Put the Brakes on Fatalities” day, and adoption of the AASHTO strategic Highway Safety plan products and processes to meet the needs of local agencies.


FHWA and NACE will work together to enhance the programs developed by transportation technology transfer centers through fostering an environment that promotes technology transfer activities and information sharing. NACE will encourage its members to share technology advancements experienced in their agencies while FHWA will investigate these advancements and if useful help showcase and disseminate to other local agencies.

Communications and Sharing of Information:

FHWA and NACE will work together to create opportunities for NACE member participation on implementation of federal transportation programs and ways to make Federal programs more efficient and effective. To keep members of NACE informed on key transportation programs, actions, and issues regularly, the FHWA will continue to provide material for a special insert in NACE News.

Technology Implementation at the Local Level:

NACE will participate in joint FHWA and AASHTO efforts through committees and task forces such as the Technology Implementation Group, Winter Maintenance, etc. FHWA and NACE will work to inform local decision-makers on the efficiencies to be gained from new products, advocating the use of many implemented through the Strategic Highway Research Program, and other products by local highway agencies. NACE will promote these products by incorporating presentations on new products into its annual conference and through articles in its newsletter and other publications.

National Transportation Week:

FHWA and NACE will provide information to local transportation agencies on the importance of transportation through planned National Transportation week activities. NACE will encourage and provide incentives to its members to publicize related issues during National Transportation Week.

Rural Transportation Engineering/Planning/Environment Integration:

FHWA and NACE will share technology and information, and foster relationships that promote Engineering/Planning/Environment integrated efforts where appropriate with localities to ensure safe livable communities in rural America. For instance, the ongoing context sensitive design efforts that involves infrastructure, planning, environment, and safety issues.