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March 20, 2013 HEP Webinar Summary


Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by the conference will begin momentarily. If you happen to be a presenter for today's conference please press star three. Thank you for today's patients. >> Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by welcome to the enhanced NHS conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question intercession and structures would be given at that time. If you should require assistance during the call price star than zero. As a reminder today's conference is being recorded. I would like to turn the conference over to Ms. Jayne Brady.

Thank you very much Welcome everybody to the national highway system federal requirements webinar. As you heard my name is Jayne Brady Prescott. I am member of the HEP research team. We are hosting this presentation to help you understand the implications of the enhanced NHS under map 21 but also to provide information that will [Indiscernible] activity to preserve and improve America's highway. We will continue to conduct research and provide technical assistance to achieve this goal.

We have five presenters today. And we also have a polling question. I have posted the first one just so you all have a chance to respond. We are just trying to find out what your affiliation is. I am going to be closing that very shortly.

I also want to let you know that we will provide access to the PowerPoint presentation in two ways. You can download it right from the share pod on the left-hand side of your screen which is hidden right now but we will open it up at some point. It says enhanced NHS and you click on the saved to my computer and you can download it that way. Or you -- we will be sending it to everyone who has signed up to participate today. We also will be providing a link to the recording as well. So with that please -- your phones are on mute and at some point we will open them up for question and answer. In the meantime if you would type the questions into the chat pod we will try to keep up with them. Most of the questions we will be answering verbally, not all in the chat pod. So please be patient with us.

With that I am going to turn you over to our lead presenter, Stefan Natzke. Thank you for joining our second national highway system requirements webinar. We have received lots of questions about the enhanced NHS passage of map 21. we continue to receive them. And clearly it is a webinar that is high in demand so we are happy we are able to offer it. This is the second one of these the first one we had was oversubscribed so we are glad you can join us for our second offering.

The national highway system, just as a little background was begun the process for developing the process was begun in the early 1990s. The national highway system it is important to bear in mind has always intended to been a flexible system it was designed to adapt to the modern world. The previous highway system part that was the highway system. That was designed way back into the 30s and 40s by Dwight Eisenhower among others and that was a system that was designed to really meet the needs of a country that had fewer large urban areas concentrated in rural developments along rivers and concentrated areas.

The country has changed substantially since then. Even in the 90s people were realizing that it didn't fit the needs of the country at that time and it was intended to be one that could be adapted and changed over time.

As we move along in today's webinar Mike might give a little more flavor as the component of the national system were and are, but just to give a little bit of a review the system prior to the passage of map 21 ended up being 164,000 miles what were considered to be the most important highways in the country.

In the run up to map 21 both the [Indiscernible] realized that the ensuing 20 or so years since the passage -- nearly 20 years of the passage of the NHS things had changed in those years and Congress decided that it would be appropriate to add the existing principal or materials that were not currently part of the national highway system to the NHS. That actually brought the system to about 220,000 miles total.

Following that passage my team put together over 500 maps of state in MPO in other levels that comprise the official record of what the national highway system is. Since then we have really been receiving lots of questions about the system, the network and the requirements that attach to those roads.

After responding to the very questions we have been getting we decided to put this webinar together and we got generally positive feedback from our first one so hopefully you will find value in this. And this time around we were able to have enough slots so we could have more of our state and local partners involved.

I do not have a lot more to say about it from this point so let me turn it over to Mike to talk about the system itself. I'm sorry we're going first to Ralph. Let me hand it back to Jayne says she can more capably handle the management of this webinar.

I'm going to hand it over to Ralph Gillmann and he will talk about NHS in HPMS Ralph are you on.

Yes can hear me.

Yes. Good. My name is Ralph Gillmann and I'm with the Highway System Performance Team which is a division of the Office of Highway Policy Information. Let me just quickly advance to the office slide there, the Office is led by David Winter and one of our major systems here is the highway system performance system or HPMS as it is widely known. As many of you know already HPMS is an annual data collection from the states and it covers a number of different areas: geospatial, route, inventory, pavement, traffic data. It does not include structures. The National Bridge Inventory for example carries most of the bridge data. The main purpose is for reports to Congress such as the biennial report to Congress called the Condition and Performance report. It's a major database for use in performance management and performance monitoring statistics. Notably the NHS performance measures that are used in the percent of NHS vehicle miles traveled on good pavement based on the IRI data from HPMS.

We are using the state DOTs linear referencing systems so their networks match data within the state networks. This allows geospatial data at the federal level to be in sync with the states and to have an up-to-date national network as a backdrop for all our data.

It is basically a centerline system in particular for the mileage; we are looking at the centerline and we focus on the inventory direction. We are extending it to include dual carriageways but the main purpose for that is locating bridges and projects, crashes, and so forth, rather than measuring mileage.

Within HPMS the NHS is a section data item. So basically that says, tell us where on your state networks the NHS is located. It is provided by the states and it is maintained by both the state and HPMS and Federal Highways. We are trying to have more of a partnership here because indeed it is a national system and as changes are registered and approved, we want the HPMS to have them as soon as possible. So we are going through a period of transition here as we try to ensure that HPMS is as up-to-date as we can make it.

HPMS data was provided last summer for the expansion of the NHS to include the principal arterials. So the HPMS data that has been provided is being used in that expansion. There are a few direct impacts of the NHS expansion on HPMS. The first of all the state networks as I mentioned do have to include that expanded mileage for the NHS. This allows us to know exactly where NHS is on your state networks. We get requests for what is exactly the mileage on the expanded NHS and at this point all we can do is estimate based on the principal arterial system. We need a more specific estimate. More than that, we need to be able to take the NHS designation and relate it to the other data items in HPMS. For example the travel so we can get the travel on NHS and the other data items in HPMS. This is a key data item and even though the NHS was expanded last October it is important that this year's cycle of submittals in HPMS use the latest NHS networks and the state networks.

The other two data items that are impacted by the expansion are the truck counts. Truck counts are on the full extent of the NHS. That is, the truck AADT by single unit trucks and by combination trucks. Now since this came late last year, we are certainly understanding that this came late for this year and will not be fully populated at this time. For the future data collection that is going on in 2013 and beyond we certainly do need to have that populated.

Also the IRI, the International Reference Index, is required annually in the NHS; it is biannually, every other year that is, off the NHS system. Again this came late last year so we are not expecting this year to be fully populated but starting 2013 and going forward an annual IRI is expected on the full NHS.

One of the questions that has come up several times about the NHS and HPMS as is the ramp status. For the HPMS reassessment in 2010 we started including ramps because there is a great deal of interest on what is going on with ramps. A great deal of money is being spent to upgrade interchanges and so forth so we have started to add grade-separated interchanges in HPMS. However at this point we're only asking for five basic data items on the ramps. The NHS data item that I mentioned earlier does not include ramps so within HPMS we do not know if a ramp is part of the NHS or not. We could guess but we really do not know. Some states have said are you going to include ramps as part of NHS mileage. At this point we can't really, and that is not the intention in any case. Again HPMS is a centerline system and we've never included ramps in that mileage. Of course who knows what comes out of the reauthorization in Congress, it could include ramps in the future but at this point it certainly does not.

Thank you very much Ralph. I also have all the presenters contact information at the end of the presentations.

Mark Swanlund is now going to speak about transportation performance management NHS data collection and reporting requirements.

Thank you Jayne Section 1203 of map 21 provides where performance measures built around seven performance goals. The measures apply to only interstate some applied to the NHS some applied to the NHS excluding the interstate and some apply on all public roads and some applied to some unique subset of the public roads such as specific corridors and urban areas.

The three performance measures that specifically apply to NHS are pavement condition on the NHS excluding interstate, bridge condition on NHS, and system performance of the NHS excluding interstate. It should be noted here that performance for the enhanced NHS is interpreted to apply to operational performance of the highway system and not the infrastructure.

In addition map 21 includes minimum condition requirements of pavements of the interstate and bridge condition on the NHS. Congress set the minimum condition level at no more than 10% of total NHS bridge deck area on a bridge rated as structurally deficient. That is the minimum condition level for bridges on the NHS.

It is the intent of FHWA to minimize the impact to the states of collecting performance management data. For example, pavement condition data is currently required to be collected on the entire NHS for the Highway performance Monitoring System (HPMS). Ralph previously mentioned that data reporting will be expanded starting last year with the new data submittal in 2014.

The state will be responsible for reporting the conditions but could make arrangements with the facility owner, if the state is not the facility owner, to collect road condition data.

Bridge data is currently being collected and reported for all bridges per the NBIS. One change is coming soon, if element level data is required for NHS bridges. Per Section 1111 of map 21, states and federal agencies are to start collecting element level data for bridges beginning and October 1, 2014. So a year and a half away collecting element level data. System performance data will be collected by the NHS where there is no national system performance data collection effort underway. There will be some performance data requirements to be collected but FHWA is currently evaluating proposals to require data that will give us speed data that we anticipate will help us get the performance data for the NHS.

We do not anticipate that it will be significant data collection required on the states to meet the data collection requirements for the performance of the NHS.

It should be noted that the specific data items collected and the extent of collection for pavements for the system performance will be determined per rulemaking. I am not being specific about what exact data will be required. That will be determined in the first of the notices of proposed rulemaking that will be coming up shortly and at that time all interested stakeholders can provide comments through the public outreach process. FHWA has been charged by MAP-21 to finalize the regulations within 18 months of enactment of map 21.

The latest schedules show that we will likely not complete everything within 18 months, but we are working to complete the regulations as quickly as possible.

For specific information about the transportation performance management, the rulemaking, the consistent measures for bridges and pavements and system performance the following people can be contacted. The notices of proposed rulemaking is to come out very shortly. The first one that will come out will be safety, the second or next group that will come out the status two measures are the pavement and bridge measures. The status three measures are the system performance measures, they will come out in about 4 to 6 months.

That is all I have. Back to you Jayne Thank you so much Mark.

We will move right along here. Mike Neathery is here.

Hi this is Mike Neathery I am on a team with Stefan Natzke and Kevin Adderley. Kevin does our state correlation. I will give an overview of the changes under map 21 for the NHS.

NHS is authorized under [Indiscernible] in 1995 and an active map 21 enacted Laster expended the system by adding [Indiscernible] interiors that were not part of the system as of October 1, 2012. The NHS all the 23 USC 103 and regulation 23 CFR 470.

Why is the NHS designation process important? Mainly if a road is on NHS it is eligible for the national highway system font which is now called the national highway performance fund. Who quartic the changes? FHWA headquarters are division offices in the state enter the states and MPO's. It is a is not process and they can change the modification in the system.

What is the official record? The official record of the NHS reside in our maps.

The map 21 changes Stefan had eluded to it expanded the system by 60,000 or so miles. [Indiscernible] were not part of the NHS. Basically those were the bulk of the changes under map 21 with the newly added unspool arterials.

Map 21 removes the mileage Before it was around 178,000 Mylan -- miles and now there is no limit on the national mileage for the NHS. Also map 21 revised a requirement that congressionally designated future interstate corridors had to connect through the interstate system before being added but under map 21 and unconnected portion of it congressionally designated [Indiscernible] corridor that is still to interstate standards could be added to the system. Let's say a segment of I 69, the I 69 corridor could be added as -- if it met interstate standards even though it did not connect to the existing interstate system.

The process of identifying the principal arterials, when map 21 was enacted we had to develop a process to identify the 60,000 miles of principal arterials that were not part of the system. The most comprehensive data set that we had access to at that time were the HPM as in the LRS middle. So we basically took the 2011 LRS middle for the HPMS and collected out all principal arterials that are not part of the NHS and kind of did for simplicity sake copy and paste. Copy those non-NHS principal arterials and posted it to [Indiscernible] for situations where the 2011 HPMS LRS were not available we instructed that information through a [Indiscernible] process looking at the tabular [Indiscernible] middle and doing a dynamic segmentation on the respective GS file to identify those arterials.

There was iteration back in September where FHWA sent a memo out to -- basically asking the division in the state to identify any principal arterial changes. Downgrade or upgrade that they want us to basically approve and therefore include or not include as part of the NHS. This is a one-time process that occurred back in September 2012. After that, after October 1, 2012 there is no time requirement on when things must be changed or as NHS modifications occur we receive those and processed those on a case-by-case basis from the state. >> The national highway system is approximately 220,000 miles it includes various subsystems including interstate other prints per -- bristle arterials Stronach connectors in intermodal connectors. And [Indiscernible] reside on a map.

This is an example of one of the NHS maps. I want to bring your attention to the legend. The difference in the legend -- let me find my pointer here. This is the main difference in the map legend compared to the pre-map 21 depiction. The black line represents all the new principal arterials. In effect there really is no difference between this black line in these redlines. Other NHS roots. They are all principal arterials but we just use the black line to distinguish the newly added [Indiscernible].

Some of the frequently asked questions or issues that that you guys have been raising, I am going to go over some and a.

Basically any NHS segment needs to be connected to the system. At least on one and. After October the -- before October 1, 2012 anything that was principal arterial was automatically added to the system. But after October 1, 2012 as a road gets upgraded to functional classification of mental arterial it does not automatically get audit -- attitude NHS unless there is a separate request through our division to request that it be added to the NHS. That process really do not change map 21. Before map 21 at was the same process. Our division office [Indiscernible] arsenal changes in FHWA headquarters reviews all modifications the national highway system.

Will NHS Rams. Let me's flip through a slide about the ramps. Ramps on NHS for federal aid eligibility yes. Ralph Gillman mentioned that HVS data is [Indiscernible] information that is the same case for the NHS maps. Particularly we do not show ramps in our [Indiscernible] we shall intersection or non-intersection we don't show ramps to mapping level detailed. But for eligibility purposes ramps serving NHS roots are eligible for NHS funds.

Also for outdoor advertising and junkyard control ramps are considered part of NHS.

For the HPMS, the HPMS does collect RAM related information that is not required to be reported. For bridge management purposes yes. For pavement management, is going through a rule-making process and for asset management plan it should be included.

The FHWA GIS layer that we use to create the map they are built off of a legacy GS [Indiscernible] file that was developed in the 90s. We are going through a process of upgrading that data layer 2 more spatially accurate network. Basically state-by-state we plan to migrate NHS designation from the older federal highway legacy network to the state Pacific -- specific L RS network provided. As part of this dated transfer or completion process, the depiction of the highway system will be more coincidence and coincide better with what the state is depicting further NHS.

As part of this process we are also [Indiscernible] federal-aid primary system coding into this new layer. Before the NHS act the federal-aid primary system was the system in place and we still refer that to the federal primary system for certain situations for outdoor advertising national [Indiscernible] network in scenic byways also.

I am going to go over some situations of technical map correction. This is an example in Utah -- sorry. I'm having difficulties with the mouse.

Basically the black lines represent the LRS 2011 LRS submitted from Utah as far as the expanded NHS creation effort. Basically we selected all principal arterials in the NHS from the Utah submittal copy and paste into our existing NHS or all the other colorblind that are not black. Because of the spatial quality there is some instances where the black line there is a gap. And unintended gap in actuality there is not a gap so that is just a technical correction. We are going through in [Indiscernible] this situation but in truth when the completion process is over all of these technical map corrections should kind of fix themselves.

The one thing I want to bring to your attention over here with the map 21 edition there were many situations because we allowed the connection on one end we had many situations where we had kind of basically a dangling NHS route. That is allowed under our current regulation.

Before MAP-21 there were not that many situations where we had a dangling NHS route.

This is an example I had mentioned earlier about the spatial quality of FHWA legacy data set out in the 90s versus what the state is providing right now. The redlines and the magenta lines this is a state network. This is our depiction the blue line of the interstate. It is [Indiscernible] completely coincident the state line is more accurate. From point a to point B, that is the interstate designation is correct and that is what our maps depict from point a to point B that this is on or off the NHS irrespective of how many zigzags between those two points.

This is just another example -- I know it is hard to see this line here is I believe the [Indiscernible] route but the magenta line is the state depiction. The state line has more meanders which is more realistic representation of what is out there. But the designation from point a to point B is still the same. Anything along that route is part of the NHS.

The guidelines for modifications through the NHS. Requests are initiated by the state in writing by e-mail or other correspondence to our division office. Our division office sends it to FHWA headquarters including respective map and documentation of coordination from the impacted jurisdiction. We review it here and we respond with an approval response to our division office who then relayed the fact our state partners.

Guidelines for strong that modifications. It is kind of the same except there is an additional player in the process that is the DOD surface deployment and distribution command. FHWA and the ST -- SDD seaweed approved [Indiscernible] to the disjointed connector.

That is all for my part.

I'm going to put up only question up but in meantime if you can address this one question.

Okay. Stir. -- Sure. >>

Folks on the phone if you would like to enter our second polling question we would appreciate it. And Stefan and Mike are going to respond to the questions in the chat pod.

We have a question from Ohio. Somebody was asking or expressing concern about the disconnected Edmonds of the newly added NHS. Mike can talk about this a little more in depth but there should not be any completely disconnected segments on the NHS. We attempted to keep those out of the system. Last year when we were putting it together. Sumac in the second part of the question is the state would like to alter the functional classification of the segments in order to remove them from the NHS. I think it is important to point out that functional classification and NHS designation are related but they are independent processes. The approval authority for optional reclassification is one that resides with our division office. So any activities or decisions regarding optional classification really occur at that level.

They would follow the rules and procedures to ask that was functional classification it would not be anything that my team has any oversight over.

For situations where a segment might have been misclassified as a [Indiscernible] arterial button per validation via principal arterial for those situations the classifications are based on the highly classification manual and the state would like to add it to the NHS then we would work through our division office to look at those situations. Where it is clearly a technical correction where the majority of the [Indiscernible] of the principal arterial should have been 100 miles pretzel arterial where there is a gap in their work can be downgraded to a minor arterial. We can handle those technical corrections where in nationality the [Indiscernible] principal arterials, those we can fix and would add a segment to the NHS.

Hopefully that was on to the question. We will move on now to -- EQ for entering the polling question.

We will move on now to Dawn Horan who is with the office of real estate services and joule per Vitus information on outdoor advertising control map:.

Thank you. As Jayne said I in Dawn Horan I will be presenting a brief overview of how MAP-21 is affecting outdoor control [Indiscernible]. Myself and Kiersten are the contact for advertising control and [Indiscernible] control program.

23 USD 131 a requires [Indiscernible] and the highway act as amended is [Indiscernible - low volume] 23 US TV involves the primary system as the federal primary system in a system on June 1 1991 In Any Hwy. which is not on such system but which is on the national highway.

So as a result to 23 USD section 131 states are responsible for demonstrating effective advertising control on interstate federally primary system as of June 1, 1991 and the national highway system. MAP-21 is not directly added more roots to the [Indiscernible] control program under 23 USC section 131 which is the definition and that remains the same. However section 1104 about 21 has redefined the national highway system. And since the US code requires a provide effective control on the national highway system roots there are no additional roots that the states are responsible for effective control of advertising.

Although section 1104 of map 21 redefined the national highway system some of the roots are not classified within the [Indiscernible] definition of the national highway system. The may have Artie been in control for advertising purposes because they [Indiscernible] a root in the federal primary system as of June 1, 1981.

Although this redefinition [Indiscernible] on other programs because the additional roots the effect of advertising control vary from state to state. Since some of the roots may have Artie been encompass by [Indiscernible] on I being on the federal a primary section on June 1, 1991 some states may have very few additional roots other states may have a more substantial addition. Please make sure to check that maps that Mike had referenced earlier in the webinar for your state map and updated NHS route.

Now that we have covered the part of MAP-21 that affected the [Indiscernible] control we will talk about junkyard control which is also revisited by the HPMS -- MAP-21 [Indiscernible] prior to MAP-21 the states are responsible for demonstrating junkyard control on interstate and highway systems under [Indiscernible] in section 14 for 14 be changed definition of what roadways are considered control roots demonstrated effective junkyard control and will now include any highway that is on the national highway system which includes the interstate highway system. As we know we just talked about the definition of national highway system has now been expanded to include more roots. As a result states must not demonstrate effective control of junkyards on the enhanced national highway system including interstate where they can be subject to [Indiscernible].

Additionally that section of MAP-21 had percentage of federally highway funds that were [Indiscernible] which is, refer to the penalty for not mistreating effective control for junkyards. Prior to MAP-21 being enacted the federal aid highway funds would be reduced 10% under the US code and the MAP-21 legislation change reduction percentage to 7% for the federal highway funds that will otherwise be apportioned to states under 21 USD 104. If it was found that the state was not the mistreating effective control of junkyards. [Indiscernible] applies to all control groups meaning enhanced national highway system within the interstate.

On November 15, 2012 [Indiscernible] who is the direct care of the real estate services here headquarters published a memorandum to provide information to division Realty professionals concerning the map 21 changes in the impacts of legislation had on advertising and junkyard control. The memo is located on the [Indiscernible] website. For those non-FHWA participants please contact your division officer and they will be happy to give you a copy if you do not Artie have a.

The officer real estate services realizes that map 21 has a [Indiscernible] oversea in the way the state administrates advertising and junkyard control program. We are planning on having some upcoming webinars that [Indiscernible] MAP-21 divisions and how they change programs. These webinars will be accepting questions and answers that will be published soon and will get a lot more in depth with the program that we have time to do on this webinar today.

Also the national highway -- national [Indiscernible] for highway beautification agency [Indiscernible] that is conference -- the conference is coming up in April in Georgia and it will be heavily focused on MAP-21 legislation and how this affects her program. I encourage you to look into attending if you can.

That concludes our brief overview of how MAP-21 affects advertising and junkyard control program. Give me questions please feel free to contact either myself or Clifford presented -- Pearson [Indiscernible].

Thank you very much Don.

Our final presenter actually is going to be Brooke Struve. I believe John might be joining us as well. So please introduce him when you think he is joining.

I am Brooke Struve I am formally with the office [Indiscernible] reconstruction team working with John [Indiscernible] in the resource Center. With that let's proceed.

Let me introduce a few of the key questions I will be addressing in the next few minutes. These include contact sensitive solutions. The flexibilities that are available on highway design and the national highway standards. The design standards adopted by FHWA for the national highway system. Applicability of the standards. FHWA's interest in designs Anders and design exceptions for NHS projects and the opportunity to verify NHS projects comply with the FHWA adopted standard.

FHWA advocates the use of the design process that is sensitive to the context of each project. CSS is a collaborative multidisciplinary approach to making design decisions which involve all stakeholders. They provide a facility if it's the setting, preserves and enhances the make aesthetic historic environment resources and improves or maintain safety mobility and infrastructure condition.

In using a CSS process we are striving for decision-making process in which we are achieving shared stakeholder vision and the basis for decisions. Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of context. Fostering continuing communication and collaboration to achieve consensus. Exercise flexibility and creative the to shape solutions. Preserving and enhancing community and environment. Ensuring that all users are safe. This includes pedestrians bicyclist as well as motorist. Enhancing the transportation system and using resources effectively and efficiently.

When we achieve a contact friendly solution we are solving the right problem in our projects. I think one of the best example of solving the right problem is how we are taught to solve story problems and grades goal. We first write down what we know and what we don't know if are we ever start solving the problem. Because we need to get that clarity. This CSS process facilitates design that a creative flexible and adaptive to the unique needs and desires the community. We strike a balance between mobility community objectives environment and traffic safety performance for all users and costs. We develop projects are sustainable and conserve limited resources. The need for all users and [Indiscernible] are fully integrated into our decision. CSS helps to prioritize improvements and the time and cost.

But MAP-21 adding [Indiscernible] to the national highway system a question has been raised how FHWA standards for that NHS apply for the score does.

To begin with both AAS HTO to use [Indiscernible] in the design processes. The design should be based on the context anesthetics of the project to satisfy needs of all users. This includes pedestrians bicyclist motorist traffic operators and patrons. And so forth.

Agencies are encouraged to use design processes which involve the public in stakeholders in design positions to find a balance in achieving the project objective while preserving [Indiscernible] of the community. Somebody's community -- will include safety in mobility. The impacts are the human and natural environment constraints and project cost.

There are many choices in development of projects that are not governed by that FHWA [Indiscernible] and remain at the discretion the local highway agency. These include development and purpose would need a project, selecting the type of project. Identifying project alternatives, deciding which quarters to improve in the scope for those improvements. Setting targets or goals for performance such as travel time, travel speed and predicted crash rates and so forth. Selecting features that will be included in the project which is the number of lanes, auxiliary lanes, sidewalks, medians, I cleaned, parking and access control.

The selection of futures should be included in our projects and design should be based on the specific context of the project. The design of those features should be based on designs Dennis for those features and each of those design efficient should be analyzed to fully understand the benefits or impacts of those choices.

At analysis the outreach has projected divine the that -- designer should be [Indiscernible] impacts satisfy the user needs and community priorities, there is no one size fits all template for highway even when they are on NHS. Here we have listed some examples of project features which there are many options available in the development of [Indiscernible]'s proposals. This includes the number the type of intersection how many exhilarated lanes there are in an intersection whether to include or omit shoulders with the width of the shoulders should be whether or not to have sidewalks I cleaned or parking, control access to what extent to control the access, what sort of clearance you want to have beyond just the basic minimums for [Indiscernible]. Having the clearance can change the character of a quarter. And how much sight distance is required or what would be enhancement for safety to have an intersection and curves.

We are going to briefly discuss a case study as an example for these principles. This is an aerial photo or aerial image from Google of downtown Fort Worth. Originally when I 30 was constructed the quarter was constructed write down medium of Lancaster Avenue on elevator structure. While it didn't [Indiscernible] access it was the posing presents a change character the Avenue and isolated significant commercial buildings to the freeway and the road tracks that are following along what is now the I 30 quarter. Recently that I 30 Recently that I 34 door was realigned and [Indiscernible] the bottleneck and we could not align anymore so it was relocated but then it left the question on what to do with the abandoned freeway right away and what division for Lancaster Avenue should be in the future.

Should also mention that Lancaster Avenue before this project had 12 lane to do not have any parking on the shoulders.

At the outset of the project they gathered a 33 member steering committee to guide the decision-making process. This committee included politicians including the local mayor the former mayor, the State Senator. and a representative from the US House of Representatives. They had city staff, Texas DOT staff neighborhood Association, property owners representing significant buildings and structures along the corridor, Chamber of Commerce historic Association and other stakeholders and users of the corridor. The task with developing a common vision and project objective.

They started out with a three-day workshop and developed these objectives. Creating a great pedestrian street promoting infill and mixed use development, creating a link between the medical district in the downtown area, and creating a showcase area for historic buildings.

One of the greatest challenges the steering committee face was to agree on a traffic production for this quarter. Original traffic analyses have been developed by the DOT were based on numbers from when the freeway was located down the center of Lancaster Avenue. So Lancaster Avenue was serving as a frontage road and lector distributor road for the freeway. They had to go through several iterations working with the firm to develop alternative proposals for what those projections should be. They really had to question the assumption of what went into the production.

On the one and you had Texas DOT working on [Indiscernible] numbers there were certainly other people on the other end of the spectrum that would have been pleased to have a two-lane road to replace the six lane facility.

Here is an image, I hope it is readable for all of your. Of what they ultimately arrived at. The final design included 411 foot lanes, two eight-foot parking lanes, they had a 16 foot median that narrowed down to a minimum of 5 feet at the intersection to provide pedestrian -- pedestrian refuge at the crossing.

The intersection crossings were 20 feet at the minor intersection for crosswalks and 30 fit -- feet at major intersections. They held the curb radio around intersections to 30 feet in diameter's to keep those cost shorter. Although that did have an impact on truck turning radius. And the sidewalk [Indiscernible] corner particular 17 feet but it did very to 8 feet in some of the interchange areas to as much as 25 feet where they had more space.

Here are some photos of the finished project. This show so many other thick -- features that were included. The included sculptural lighting features down the median to create a [Indiscernible] lace. They had [Indiscernible] at the intersection to further improve pedestrian crossing. They had lighting street furniture and landscaping. They also preserved the bridge from the historic pavement and place them behind the sidewalk in front of an historic warehouse. Other places they were using colored concrete to blend the sidewalk into historic buildings.

Using the CSS process permitted the project to accomplish more objectives with a more attractive project. They brought together diverse interest to produce a desirable project is on [Indiscernible] and consensus around a set of accepted [Indiscernible] values. The project was able to establish several places down, has attractive redevelopment.

The principles there will applying with the [Indiscernible] a real estate holder collaboration got the process they collaborated effort to establish a broad range of objective issues and needs from the outset what transportation and non-transportation. They considered a broad range of truly differing alternatives. Included a comprehensive evaluation process reflecting objectives issues and so forth. And they use flexibility and innovation aimed at meeting project objectives an opportunity.

With this example in mind let's begin our discussion of the standards. FHWA has adopted design standards for the national highway system in the standards apply to all highway construction projects regardless of who owns the highway or who is funding the highway project. Let me emphasize agencies are not required to implement highly improve projects to upgrade existing highways to standard. But when projects are vans on the national highway system they must meet the system standards.

Examples of the national highway standards include the various types of designs Anders, standards for traffic control devices on public roads and standards for accessible design for public right away facilities for pedestrians.

The design standards adopted by FHWA are identified by title 23 [Indiscernible] 625 the standards apply to roadway geometry structure design, erosion and sediment control, hydraulic design, traffic design, and design the material.

For new in reconstruction projects the applicable standards are [Indiscernible] 2001 or 2004 edition for the AASHTO [ NULL ]. For three projects date have the option to develop their own standards and coordination with the local FHWA division. If this date does not have three are standards then they are asked to [Indiscernible] the applicable standard.

Is because I expect there to be a question about this one the 2011 Green book has been issued by AASHTO we have not completed the process for adopting it. However that does not mean that agencies should be ignoring the manual. There are only minor differences particularly minor differences would relate to that controlling criteria. There is great information in this edition. So technically it is not be adopted standard it is a valuable resource people should look toward.

Be AASHTO [ NULL ] provides different set the standards and guidelines for different locations in low -- local roads [Indiscernible] has a range of acceptable values are highly features and FHWA encourages the use of flexibility to achieve the design which best suits the desires of the community. Satisfying the purpose of the project and the needs of its users. The Green book also provides guidance on how to select the appropriate dimension based on the expected impacts and conditions. Specific to each location.

For example here we listed from the design criteria and ranges in values for which designers me select dimensions for the project. I will note here if you look at the standards for shoulderwidth and design speed and lane with a number of lanes are example Lancaster Avenue was fully compliant with the standard. He also noted there is a variation on what the standards they aced on whether it is rule or urban context. There is a wide range of design speed may be selected.

Promote situation there's sufficient flexibility with the range of except bold values to achieve design. However when this is not possible variance from the standards may be considered in the appropriate. Design exception process very but the final step include determining the cost and impact of meeting the design criteria. Developing and evaluating potential consequences and risks that may fall outside of the establishment of values. Evaluating potential mitigation features in reviewing documenting and improving the use of the proposed sessions.

FHWA has identified 13 controlling criteria which are designing character six of the NHS. Nine exceptions for the 13 criteria must be reviewed and approved as FHWA design exceptions. All other variances from the design standard are at the discretion of the local agency and approved -- according to the policies and procedures.

On this project where the state DOT has [Indiscernible] FHWA stewardship and ownership responsibility the state DOT must evaluate approved a document exceptions as if they were approved by FHWA. In instances where projects on the NHS does not use federal-aid Highway program funding the state DOT or local agency must review and approve design exceptions in a manner consistent with the procedures the state DOT has developed and the FHWA has approved.

The approved design exception procedures and assigned vendors of state DOT or local agencies will identify what information may be required for design exceptions object to FHWA approval. I'll FHWA only requires the approval by exceptions for the 13 controlling criteria agencies are encouraged to develop and implement procedures to analyze evaluate document and approve all types of variances.

The approval of any design exception for any project on the NHS by FHWA is a federal action. Moreover the approval of design exception were of action regardless the project funding or the state DOT or local agency approve the design exception on behalf of the of age you a. If a project on the NHS does not use federal funding the approval of design exceptions may be the only action or decision that may involve the state DOT or FHWA on these projects.

A federal action is decision of course of action undertaken by FHWA or another federal agency. Federal action invoke the requirements to evaluate the implications of the proposed project or action prior to taking any formal action or granting approval.

Design exceptions by themselves normally do not result in change and scope of a project or cause any significant impact. Therefore design exceptions typically meet the criteria to be classified as categorical exclusions. If a project is already undergoing federal, state or locally required environmental review the project environmental review is sufficient to verify the design exception had no adverse impact. >> So some of the key elements of the process when we are designing NHS projects are that regional pain [Indiscernible] planning is setting the performance expectation of the facility. These projects are usually classified as arterial road race -- roadways there may be a few exceptions most commonly they are arterial. Designing to the standards while is something we should be striving to do and great flex ability in the standard it is not an absolute requirement and design exceptions may be [Indiscernible] when the best alternative is something that is outside of our standard value.

There are distinct challenges on designing urban roadways achieving a balance design that considers the community expectations for performance, as well as balancing that with the context of the project. Sometimes there is an emphasis on mobility that will require a restriction access in maybe higher rates of speed in some areas and it usually consists of four lanes. But this is not a requirement. >> The effective date for the legislation was October 1, 2012 and therefore affects projects that are already in progress. If a project environment decision is completed before the effective date that may proceed as is. The environmental decision may be any applicable federal state for local environmental finding determination or decision. If an environmental review is not required for the project Benefiel project design should become clear prior to October 1 to proceed as is. All other projects must comply with NHS standards or received approval or design exception and verify design exceptions do not have environmental impacts.

So in summary let me review the view key points we encourage the use of the CSS process to develop projects. That involve the local needs and desires. An early project decision-making.

This should be collaborating with stakeholders in developing a purpose need an vision for any of these projects. There should be an assessment of design decisions to evaluate how well these alternatives are balancing the needs facility performance cost environment and project context. And the hope is we're developing projects that are flexible innovative and sustainable. And are considering all users need.

NHS standards apply to all NHS projects. These standards provide a starting point to guide the analysis and potential impacts of the roadway design on performance in the environment and they include a range of dimensions to choose from. With flexibility is needed in exception may be requested. Design exceptions are encouraged and tool to balance the design of a roadway element to fit its context desired performance user and stakeholder expectations.

State DOT or local authorities must evaluate approve and document design exceptions. Approving exceptions for FHWA's adopted 13 design standards is a federal action which requires reviewing and documenting potential environmental impacts.

Design exceptions by themselves did we do not change a project scope or cause significant environmental impacts.

AutEx completed after October 1, 2012 must comply with the NHS designs vendors or have approved the sign [Indiscernible].

We have a great number of sources for additional information. Everyone could spend the whole afternoon reading to learn more about the subject. The preconstruction team has a website with information on design standards. There is also an FHWA site with questions and answers about Trent Lott -- MAP-21 and also like to point out and recommend the publication mitigation strategies for design exceptions. It is available on the Internet and it talks about how to approach different design decisions and how to justify those decisions. There is a wealth of information about the CSS process.

There's also AASHTO publications available through their bookstore. We have a number of websites and resources that talk about designing for pedestrians and bicycles. Also about recommending practices for Highway N urban street design.

Finally your state DOT is a resource for finding information about project bellman process designing exception process design manuals and always communicate with the state DOT engineering staff. Then we also have our staff in each state available for questions. >> Thank you very much Brooke. We do have time for questions and answers we will start with some of those that were asked in the I. -- Pawed. I will turn it back over to Mike and he will respond to some of those questions for us. Then we will open up the lines shortly and get a few more questions from the audience.

We had a question about for roadways downgraded to minor arterial can they be removed from the NHS? The answer is yes.

The state would need to request are put in a request to remove it from the NHS which is allowed. This came up occasionally in some other scenarios where a related question was asked whether a block or a budget NHS Road could be removed from the system and basically for the purpose of not having to fulfill a federal requirement or be able to -- there were roadways that were added under MAP-21 that were not previously on the NHS and now they are on the NHS they are federal requirements [Indiscernible] requirements outdoor advertising and design standards. So the regulation and the code that allowed the FHWA to modify the system and remove statements from the system. We handle this on a case-by-case basis we would be very hesitant to remove a block of roadway from the NHS because it was a [Indiscernible] of Congress under MAP-21 at the curios under the system. I digress but the question of downgrade to minor arterial. Basically all highways on NHS are principal arterials with it except amenable connectors. So if an exception gets downgraded to minor arterial then yes it should be removed from the NHS. How is that functional classification may change through an urban to rule. We will leave that to our division officers in coordination with our lead center on the functional classification process and determining the level use of that roadway in your particular area.

We had a question on the Colorado DOT about funding sources used for the reporting requirements. I will defer to Ralph Gillman or [Indiscernible]

I think this may be a highway performance --

Yes I put up an answer. Yes this gets into we are asking for the LRS information on all public roads. It is not really in NHS issue but I mention that there are other sources in the state E 911 community being a key user. This information is useful by others in the state and they can be partners. That is a brief answer their.

We also had a question on how and HTP funds will be distributed. Well and it's TP funds are a portion to the state and the state controls those monies. So there is no sub allocation for [Indiscernible] such as risk with the FTP program so any MPO or local entity will compete in the same way for any other federal program.

We had one other one Mike,

Another question was could a root be approved for personal arterial and then be denied for NHS? What do we do with that route?

Yes. Just because it is a principal arterials does not necessarily mean it will enhance the national characteristic of NHS and automatically be included. So it is a separate request. Prior to MAP-21 there were 200,000 miles of principal arterials but only 160,000 miles on it NHS because those were the highest level of roadways included in the system.

If it is a printable arterial pin it is a principal arterial and it is fairly knowledgeable. But it is not part of NHS and it is not NHP be eligible.

I am going to ask the operator to open up the phone lines and if folks want to ask a question please follow the operator's instructions.

I do very much. If you wish to ask a question please press star then one unintentional phone. You hear a tone you have been placed into. A voice prompt on your phone line will indicate when your mind has been open. You may remove yourself at any time by pressing the Starkey followed by the digit to. If you're using a speakerphone please pick up the handset before pressing the corresponding digits.

Please press *1 if you want to ask a question.

While we are waiting we got a question from the Oregon DOT. It seems like we're getting the same questions so maybe we are not clear on our response.

If you downgrade a principal arterial to a minor arterial it should not be on a national highway system unless it is connected to the remote facility. The road needs to be principal arterial or higher to be part of the NHS.

Sent FHWA maintains the official records of NHS through our map it such downgrade actions occur you have to let our division office know so that we would update our maps. So basically the maps represent the current representation of what is on or not on NHS. >> We do have a question Inc. you. Color please go ahead.

Caller if you can hear us. >> Yes I have a question. My name is [Indiscernible] I am with a local agency in San Diego. With the new enhanced NHS map some of the roadway in the city that are controlled and operated and maintained by the city has been added to the map. Now we are seeing any improvement on those roadways had to get authority or the blessing of the Caltrans in California in the FHWA. Can we just let them know that if getting the okay, just let them know what we are doing on improvement on the roadways there locally funded? >> That sound like a question for me to answer or John. John if you're unalike.

Brook any hear me?

Yes. I would encourage you to reach out to your district office at that Caltrans department of to transportation and Corning with that out what their plans are for stewardship and oversight related to each specific project you may be advancing.

In early opportunity to begin that discussion is when you Inc. identify your projects and what goes into the transportation plan. Also your district office in California Department of Transportation will have information for you on the policies and procedures that they follow in working with local agencies on project that do or do not have federal highway program funding. >> We will take our next question color please go ahead.

Caller if you can hear us we are unable to hear you please check the mute function on your and phone and rate the handset.

Hearing no response we will continue with our next question. Color these go ahead.

This is a question for Mike this is [Indiscernible] Whitaker with Washington State DOT. Can you hear me?


This has to do with Stronach routes and as we know by default it's [Indiscernible]. [Indiscernible] is controlled by Department of Defense and they wish to designate a strong that route or undesignated the ticket off their system. It is our understanding and maybe this is incorrect that the only way to change that NHS designation even when the designation goes away for the state to initiate the NHS process. That was our understanding. We have seen in your most current representation NHS route on your map that one of our [Indiscernible] routes has disappeared and we were never aware of it. It was in your official removal that NHS -- I guess the question is about that but what of the process of the removal of a [Indiscernible] route?

The process is as defined under our regulations it is a collaborative process. We would coordinate request. Sometimes request originate with military installation other times it originates with the DOT and sometimes it originates with the rest DED sees themselves. The but we would make every effort to Corneille with this date so that you are aware of the [Indiscernible] request to remove that route this Johnette route or connector. It might have been in a position where there was a joint decision between FHWA and [Indiscernible] CDC and we might not have included the state and not. But for your particular situation we can tax basis off-line and look at that particular route that you had in mind. But the overall process is the Chordata process among the state division in the federal highways and the DOD.

We have a couple of questions about the mapping. How are alterations on the map. That is an ongoing process with process those as they come in. The updates -- once the updates are made the maps are posted to the website be much immediately. If you are working for estate in you requested that change we inform our division officers when that update is made so you should get notice. The request that you -- the alteration you requested has been updated.

Just to be clear that was described as the [Indiscernible] change to follow-up with Ben NHS change appropriate to [Indiscernible] remove a route in NHS was no longer Stronach is -- is that initiated by the state?

Typically it is a corn interprocess. If you move something from the Stronach then you move something from the NHS. And all Stronach modification should be initiated by the state but there has been instances where where the SDE EC initiated a change because they reviewed their system and look at the deployment and utility of the current NHS Stronach routing and coordinated with federal highways to make that change. There might have been a situation where the state was not involved in that process. But the answer is yes. It should be Chordata through the state.

We have a question from Wyoming. They notice that there are some segments on their NHS mats that are arterials in the question was how do they initiate that process. You should send this request through your division office and it will come to us. Kevin Adderley also points out that the [Indiscernible] viewer is a tool that allows you to zoom in on the roads in your area. The official map records are the ones that reside on the website that Mike had on his presentation. So if you have a chance to download the presentation that is the official record.

The main difference between the PDF map and the a TGIF viewer is that the PDF are aesthetic and we use them close nothing level of clarity and underlying roads may not be there. With the GIS viewer you can zoom in to the street level you can turn on the street later option that you will see the underlying -- I think it is [Indiscernible] Street network it will give you a point of reference for the NHS wrote.

I guess this is Kevin Adderley there is a slight delay in the update in that [Indiscernible] there might be a difference.

That is correct. The PDF maps are updated on a more occurring basis. There is a lag the [Indiscernible] DS viewer uses the national shape file so periodically we reload the national state file uploaded to the [Indiscernible] viewer. The PDF maps are more current than what is being displayed than the [Indiscernible] DS viewer. But we try to keep them with it.

The questions are coming fast and furious now. We have one on IRI data. I think this is for Ralph It is known that the IRI data in urban areas is automatic. IRI will probably be supplemented or in some way added with other payment stress information. That is something our in structure office is working on. >> I think we are clear on the chat pod. Operator do we have more calls?

At this time we have no questions Inc. you.

Last call again.

Again *1 for question over the phone.

Again, I would like to thank my co-presenters thank you so much for your participation. We coordinated this with a number of other offices in the federal highways. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to come and help us out.

At this time we have no questions enqueue.

In that case feel free to contact anybody who presented. Contact information is on the presentation.

Thank you very much. This concludes our webinar for today.

Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude our conference for today thank you for your participation and using AT&T teleconference service. You may now disconnect.

[Event Concluded]

Updated: 5/21/2013
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