The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary and the United States Arctic Research Commission, shall provide annual grants to a university located adjacent to the Arctic Energy Office of the Department of Energy, to establish and operate a university research center to be headquartered in Fairbanks and to be known as the “Arctic Engineering Research Center” (referred to in this section as the “Center”).
The purpose of the Center shall be to conduct research on, and develop improved methods of, construction and use of materials to improve the overall performance of roads, bridges, residential, commercial, and industrial structures, and other infrastructure in the Arctic region, with an emphasis on developing—
(1)new construction techniques for roads, bridges, rail, and related transportation infrastructure and residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure that are capable of withstanding the Arctic environment and using limited energy resources as efficiently as practicable;
(2)technologies and procedures for increasing road, bridge, rail, and related transportation infrastructure and residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure safety, reliability, and integrity in the Arctic region;
(3)new materials and improving the performance and energy efficiency of existing materials for the construction of roads, bridges, rail, and related transportation infrastructure and residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure in the Arctic region; and
(4)recommendations for new local, regional, and State permitting and building codes to ensure transportation and building safety and efficient energy use when constructing, using, and occupying such infrastructure in the Arctic region.
The Center shall carry out—
(1)basic and applied research in the subjects described in subsection (b), the products of which shall be judged by peers or other experts in the field to advance the body of knowledge in road, bridge, rail, and infrastructure engineering in the Arctic region; and
(2)an ongoing program of technology transfer that makes research results available to potential users in a form that can be implemented.
(d) Amount of grant
For each of fiscal years 2006 through 2011, the Secretary shall provide a grant in the amount of $3,000,000 to the institution specified in subsection (a) to carry out this section.
(e) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2011.
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