Research reports

Learn about applied transportation research conducted by WSDOT. Find information on current research projects, access research reports, watch our webinars, view our Research Procedures Manual and contact our research managers.

Why we conduct research

Research impacts all aspects of work at WSDOT, from road materials to the natural environment. We conduct research and development projects to understand why problems occur and how to prevent or correct them through improved information, technology or processes. We use systematic inquiry to improve our ability to deliver transportation projects and operate a safe and efficient transportation system. Read a detailed overview of our research program in the Research Procedures Manual (PDF 270KB).

Research reports

Read published research reports that describe the results of our research projects. View a table of WA-RD reports (PDF 975KB) with links to full text reports. Or, search and browse reports in the Washington State Library catalog. Catalog records include abstracts and full text reports.

Searching reports in the library catalog

  • To find a specific report, use a keyword search (i.e. "WA-RD 256.1") or access the associated drop-down menu to search by author or title.
  • To search by subject, use the advanced search with "WA-RD*" entered in the first Search Words box. Enter a subject term (i.e. ferries) in the second Search Words box with Subject selected from the Search Type drop-down menu.
  • To browse reports, view a list of WA-RD reports by number and use the Previous button to navigate to older reports.


Our bi-monthly webinars showcase WSDOT's research projects. Since 2017, our series has covered a wide range of transportation research topics from engineering to the environment, construction to maintenance, and policy to pica conservation. Recordings of past webinars are available for viewing.

Current research projects

  • WSDOT Training Development: Creating an Inclusive and Dynamic Framework for Assessing, Training, and Tracking
  • Transportation Systems Management Operations (TSMO) Multimodal Research & Development Plan
  • Enhancing the Stability of Simulated Streambeds in Stream Simulation Culverts using Natural Organic Matter to promote Fish Passage
  • Determination of Laboratory Aging Conditions for Hot Mix Asphalt Cracking Test (IDEAL-CT)
  • Safety of Long Girders During Handling and Transportation: Lateral Stability and Cracking
  • Priority Highway Corridors and Public Investment Needs for Zero Emission Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
  • Develop a Specification for Quality Acceptance of Chip Seal Using Laser Scanner
  • Equity Analysis of Tolling
  • Identification and Retrofit Prioritization of Seismic, Shear-Critical WSDOT Bridge Columns

Contact research managers

  • Research Manager/Operations - For research related to: Emergency Management, Finance, Freight Mobility, ITS/Congestion, Maintenance Operations, NCHRP Review, Passenger Rail, Public Private Partnerships, Security, Snow & Ice Removal, Tolling, Traffic Operations, Transportation Pooled Fund, University Transportation Centers, Washington State Transportation Center.
  • Research Manager/Multimodal - For research related to: Air Quality, Aviation, Bicycle/Pedestrian, Biology, Climate Change, Environment, Noise, Public Transportation, Student Studies, Sustainability, Washington State Ferries, Wildlife Passage.
  • Research Manager/Engineering - For research related to: Construction, Materials, Pavement, Geotechnical, Water Resources, Design Safety, Geometrics, Bridge Engineering. Coordinates Transportation Pooled Fund studies.
  • Technology Transfer/Implementation Manager - For information on webinars and coordinated federal research programs.

14 fish passage projects were completed in 2020

improving access to 54.2 miles of upstream habitat.

11,959 incidents responded to

by WSDOT’s incident Response teams during second quarter of 2021, 15% more than same quarter in 2020.

41 Pre-existing Funds Projects Advertised

during the eighth quarter of the 2019-2021 biennium.