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Highways for LIFE

ArrowCriteria for Highways for LIFE Project

  • Achieves the HfL performance goals for safety, construction congestion, quality, and user satisfaction.
  • Deliver and deploy innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing, contracting practices, and performance measures that will demonstrate substantial improvements in safety, quality, and cost effectiveness.
  • Include innovation that will lead to change in the administration of the DOT's transportation program to move quickly construct long-lasting, high-quality, cost effective projects that improve safety and reduce congestion.
  • Uses performance-based contracting to achieve the HfL performance goals.
  • Are or will be ready for construction within 1 year of approval of the project proposal. For the purposes of the HfL program, the FHWA considers a project to be "ready for construction" when the FHWA Division Office authorizes the construction project.
  • The DOT demonstrates a willingness to participate in subsequent technology transfer and information dissemination activities associated with the project(s).
  • Assuring a broad range of innovations.
  • Assuring a wide variety of project types.
  • National distribution of funding within the HfL program. A goal that each State receives funding for at least one project, considering that they must meet the basic eligibility criteria.
  • The DOT is willing to accept FHWA Division Office oversight if the project is approved by HfL.

The performance goals of HfL projects include:


  • Work Zone Safety During Construction--work zone crash rate equal to the pre-construction rate at the project location;
  • Worker Safety During Construction--worker injury rate less than 4.0 based on the OSHA 300 rate;
  • Facility Safety After Construction-20 percent reduction in fatalities and injuries as reflected in 3-year average crash rates, using pre-construction rates as the baseline.

Construction Congestion

  • Faster Construction-50% reduction, compared to traditional methods, in the duration that highway users are impacted;
  • Trip Time During Construction-- less than 10 percent reduction in the average pre-construction speed using 100 percent sampling; or
  • Queue Length During Construction-The line of vehicles passing through the construction work zone should be less than 0.5 mile long (travel speed 20% less than posted speed) in a rural area OR a moving queue length less than 1.5 miles long (travel speeds 20 percent or less than the posted speed limit) in an urban area.


  • Smoothness--An inertial Profile, International Roughness Index (IRI) of less than 48 inches/mile
  • Noise-a tire to pavement noise measurement of less than 96.0 decibels using the On Board Sound Intensity (OBSI) Method

User satisfaction

  • User satisfaction-Pre- and post- project construction surveys will be used to determine user satisfaction in two areas: (1) How satisfied the user is with the new facility, compared with its previous state, and (2) how satisfied the user is with the approach used to construct the new facility in terms of minimizing disruption. A five-point Likert scale will be used for measurement, and the goal for each area will be 4+.

Return to Solicitation Memorandum

More Information



Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

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Updated: 04/04/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration