About TRAC


TRAC provides a link among the government, university researchers, and the private sector.  Much of our research is funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), and TRAC acts as a liaison, connecting those who need applied research at WSDOT with those best suited to conduct it at the universities.

From our offices at Washington State University in Pullman and the  University of Washington in Seattle, we coordinate resources, serve as a focal point for student involvement in transportation research, and provide services such as report editing, production and graphics.

Research Topic Areas

During the last biennium (July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005), WSU and UW researchers conducted over 100 TRAC research projects, for which the budgets totaled over $13.2  million, not including TRAC administrative budgets. 

Research at TRAC has been conducted by 50 faculty and researchers in 13 WSU and UW departments for 18 sponsors and with over 30 public and private partners.

Many of these projects were elements of major programs relating to the following:

  • bridges

  • environmental engineering

  • freeway and arterial management

  • intelligent transportation systems

  • pavements.

  • construction management

  • ferry systems

  • freight travel

  • geotechnical engineering

  • highway design

  • multimodal travel

  • traffic engineering

  • transportation planning

  • vehicle design and operation



A number of laboratories and other facilities are available to 

TRAC researchers at WSU.


          Albrook Hydraulics Laboratory, WSU

Within this laboratory, researchers study hydraulic engineering, fluid mechanics, water resources, and fisheries engineering.  The laboratory contains flumes of various sizes, flow capacities and functions; computing facilities for test control and analysis; a 30,000 sq ft modeling floor and 7,000 sq ft of laboratories & offices.


          Asphalt Materials Laboratory, WSU

This laboratory is equipped to conduct the following tests: absolute viscosity, kinematic viscosity, flash point, rolling thin film oven, penetration, asphalt extraction, kneading compaction, Hveem stability, specific gravities, and percentage of air voids.  WSU also has facilities for testing portland cement concrete and other materials.


High-Resolution X-Ray Tomography Laboratory (WAX-CT), WSU

Computed tomography provides non invasive three-dimensional characterization and visualization of microstructural features within the interior of opaque solid objects and promotes the advanced characterization simulation and design of solids including, metals, ceramics, geological and biomaterials. The establishment of this facility was made possible by a grant from the US National Science Foundation, and a gift from the Murdoch Trust Foundation. 

       Washington Center for Asphalt Technology, WCAT

WCAT was established through partnership between Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the Washington Asphalt Paving Association (WAPA), and Washington State University (WSU). The National Science Foundation (NSF) has also contributed by funding the acquisition of a material testing system (NSIT0085081). The WCAT facilities are housed in Sloan Hall, home of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department on the Pullman Campus. 


       Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory, WMEL

This laboratory has a 25,000-sq ft of test area to both statically and dynamically test structural specimens of up to 75 feet in length.  It also has various testing frames with up to 200-kip load capacities and a 500 kip reaction floor with two 7.5 ton overhead cranes.  A high-speed data acquisition system is available for both static and dynamic data collection.


UW Facilities




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Washington State University

Transportation Research Center

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Sloan Hall, Room 101

PO Box 642910

Pullman, WA 99164-2910

Phone: 509-335-3175

Fax: 509-335-7632

E-mail us