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Office of International Programs

FHWA Home / Office of International Programs

Multinational Relations Programs


Agnes Velez
MRP Team Leader

Email: agnes.velez@dot.gov

World Road Association (WRA)

Founded in 1909, as the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses (PIARC), the World Road Association (WRA) is an international forum in the road sector whose goal is to enhance a better global road community in order to promote economic growth and social welfare. It brings together the road administrations of over 120 governments and has members in over 140 countries.

The United States is a member of the WRA and is represented by delegates from the U.S. Department of Transportation, FHWA, and representatives from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials. United States WRA participation gives the United States insight into some of the most recent technical and policy road developments originating abroad. It is also a good channel for communicating innovations to the rest of the world. Participation affords the United States the ability to contribute to guidance and reference documents that are used by road practitioners worldwide. A synthesis report documents the benefits of the U.S. participation in the World Road Association over the 2008-2011 and 2012-2015 cycles. View a webinar on US participation in the World Road Association, during the past two 4-year cycles and the outcomes from that participation.

The WRA operates on a four-year cycle with a strategic plan comprised of up to five theme areas. These themes embrace the work of several technical committees and task forces, which have the task of carrying out studies in defined subject areas on technical topics. The themes for the current cycle (2020-2023) are:

Every four years, the WRA sponsors two types of congresses: The World Road Congress and the International Winter Road Congress. Both meet in a member country to enable members to share techniques and experiences in the field of road transportation and to showcase the key accomplishments and findings of its technical committees.

The XXVIth World Road Congress was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from October 6-10, 2019. Under the theme "Connecting Cultures, Enabling Economies", this Congress confirmed its role as a major event for the road sector worldwide. For more information, please go to: https://www.piarc.org/en/activities/World-Road-Congresses-World-Road-Association/XXVI-World-Road-Congress-Abu-Dhabi-2019.

Due to the ongoing global health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the XVI World Winter Service and Road Resilience Congress will be held in digital format. The XVI World Winter Service and Road Resilience Congress will take place February 7-11, 2022. The Congress will focus on the overall theme of Adapting to a Changing World and will be structured around two thematic areas: Winter Service and Resilience.

AASHTO as the U.S. National Committee represents the World Road Association (PIARC) at the national level. As a long-time member country of PIARC, the U.S. will also award prizes at the national level through a National Level Competition which will run in parallel with the PIARC Call for Papers process. Authors from the U.S. will have the opportunity to be recognized and awarded for their submission at both the national and international levels. To qualify for a national prize, the first step is to submit an abstract by January 31, 2021 through the official PIARC Call for Papers process. Prizes will be awarded to the best papers among individual contributions as a result of the call for papers. For additional information on the National Competition, please visit https://sicop.transportation.org.

Page last modified on January 19, 2022
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