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ORITE began in 1987 as the Center for Geotechnical and Environmental Research (CGER), under the direction of Gayle F. Mitchell, as one of the first research institutes in the nation to integrate environmental and geotechnical engineering. Over the years, CGER acquired national recognition for progress in research on pavements, culverts, pipes, and landfills. In 1997, CGER became the Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment (ORITE) in recognition of the center’s unique multidisciplinary approach to understanding transportation infrastructure and environmental concerns and innovating practical solutions.

ORITE’s facilities have since grown to include the Accelerated Pavement Load Facility, 30-foot mobile Civil Infrastructure Laboratory, the Center for Pipe and Underground Structures, the Advanced Asphalt Research laboratory, and the Safety and Human Factors Laboratory. Whether developing new pavement materials or integrating wildlife protection into highway design, ORITE’s work helps improve the longevity, health, and safety of the nation’s infrastructure.