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Highways for LIFE

ArrowChanging the Way Today's Infrastructure is Built

FHWA Infrastructure: Providing For America's Mobility
Fact Sheet

Changing the Way Today's Infrastructure is Built

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It's a new way of doing business. Just as the construction of the Interstate Highway System transformed the way America traveled over the past 50 years, the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) new Highways for LIFE program aims to bring a higher level of innovation and technology to improving the Nation's roadways. At a time when congestion is on the rise, highways and structures are aging and requiring increased rehabilitation and reconstruction, and road work can bring months or years of delays, Highways for LIFE is about achieving the Long lasting, Innovative, and Fast construction of Efficient and safe highway infrastructure. Its goals are to:

  • Improve safety.
  • Reduce congestion due to construction.
  • Improve quality.
  • Improve customer satisfaction.

Creating A Culture Of Innovation

Highways for LIFE aims to get things done better, faster, safer, and cheaper. The key to that is creating a culture within the highway community that invites innovation and rapidly adopts new practices, as well as effective technology transfer and improved ways for getting new technology to State highway agencies and practitioners faster.


The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) provides $75 million in funding for Highways for LIFE - $15 million for fiscal year (FY) 2006 and $20 million per year for FY 2007-2009. The program includes demonstration construction projects, stakeholder input and involvement, technology transfer, technology partnerships, information dissemination, and monitoring and evaluation.

Performance Goals For Safety, Congestion Relief, And Quality

A transportation department can apply for Highways for LIFE funding for a highway project if the project constructs, reconstructs, or rehabilitates a route or connection on an eligible Federal-aid highway and uses innovative technologies, manufacturing processes, financing, or contracting methods that meet performance goals for safety, congestion relief, and quality. The amount allocated for a Highways for LIFE project may be up to 20 percent, but not more than $5 million, of the total project cost. The Federal share for projects approved under this program may be up to 100 percent.

Technology Transfer Initiatives

The program's technology partnerships will provide incentive funding for the adaptation of proven innovations from outside the U.S. highway community, so that the innovations are ready for use. Technology transfer initiatives will market innovations to highway practitioners and managers, introduce and deliver ready to use innovations to the highway community, and provide training and technical assistance. Information dissemination efforts will provide information to States, industry, the public, and FHWA about Highways for LIFE, project success stories, and innovations. Stakeholder input and involvement strategies will also inform States, industry, and highway users about Highways for LIFE and offer mechanisms to solicit feedback on the implementation of the program. Through monitoring and evaluation, Highways for LIFE will gather information on all of the program elements to improve the performance of the elements, document the benefits, and explain the expenditures.

Innovative Technologies

The innovative technologies that the Highways for LIFE program is promoting include prefabricated bridge elements and systems, road safety audits, and tools and techniques for "Making Work Zones Work Better."

A Commitment To Service

FHWA is committed to the core concepts of Highways for LIFE. This commitment is based upon the decades of FHWA's leadership in innovation development, delivery, and deployment and its role as the steward of the Federal-aid highway program to provide the best highway transportation service to the Nation.

More Information


Updated: 04/04/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration