World Road Association (WRA)
Founded in 1909, as the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses (PIARC), the World Road Association 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 administration of 118 governments and has members in over 140 countries.
The U.S. is a member of the WRA and is represented by delegates from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and State DOT representatives. U.S. PIARC participation gives the U.S. insight into the most recent technical and policy road developments originating abroad. It is also a good channel for communicating U.S. developments to the rest of the world.
The WRA operates on a four-year cycle with a strategic plan comprised of a set number of theme areas. These themes are broad fields of activity defined in the WRAs Strategic Plan. The themes comprising the Strategic Plan for the 2012-2015 quadrennial are:
- Strategic Theme 1: Management and Performance,
- Strategic Theme 2: Access and Mobility,
- Strategic Theme 3: Safety, and
- Strategic Theme 4: Infrastructures.
Each Theme is supervised by a Strategic Theme Coordinator. The themes are advanced through the work of a number of technical committees, who have the task of carrying out studies in a defined technical area.
In addition to supporting representation on a number of Technical Committees coinciding with areas of interest to the United States, FHWA leads the Strategic Theme 3, Safety. To learn the full details for each strategic theme, visit the website at http://www.piarc.org/en/.
Every four years, the WRA sponsors two types of congresses: the World Road Association 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 International Winter Road Congress will be held February 4 – 7, 2014, in Quebec proceeded by the 2015 World Congress which will be hosted on November 2 – 6, 2015, in Seoul, South Korea. The last World Congress was held in Mexico City on 26-30 September 2011.
For full programming details, please visit: http://www.aipcrmexico2011.org.