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Home / About / Field Offices / Missouri Division / Programs / Policy & Procedures For New Or Revised Interstate Access Approval

FHWA Policy And Procedures For New Or Revised Interstate Access Approval In Missouri

Background

It is in the national interest to preserve and enhance the Interstate System. The FHWA policy on access to the interstate system was developed to ensure that new or modified access are properly reviewed and the highest level of service in terms of safety and mobility can be maintained. A revised policy statement for Access to the Interstate System was published in the Federal Registry on August 27, 2009 effective immediately. The revised policy clarifies the requirements, provides additional examples, requires a conceptual plan of the type and location of the proposed signs for each design alternative, and provides clarification in the application of the policy. The revisions were necessary to reflect the direction provided in SAFETEA-LU, clarify the operational and safety analyses that accompany proposed changes in access on the Interstate System, and to ensure consistency with other Federal laws, regulations and FHWA policies. Due to the complexity of adding or revising Interstate access, FHWA has developed an Interstate System Access Information Guide that clearly defines and explains what should be included in the Access Justification Report submitted by MoDOT to the FHWA Division Office. The Guide will only be available on-line as a living document similar to MoDOT's Engineering Policy Guide (EPG).

Access Justification Report Required

The new Interstate System Access Information Guide clearly states which access changes will require FHWA review and action in Section 3.3.1. If an Access Justification Report (AJR) is required, MoDOT shall follow the process outlined in the Guide. In order to provide the best results and properly respond to MoDOT's AJR proposals: (1) a meeting between FHWA Division representatives and MoDOT must be scheduled early in the process to explicitly define the purpose and need, project goals and objectives, and establish the project study framework, (2) at the draft AJR stage another meeting between FHWA Division representatives and MoDOT including the Project Manager is needed to properly discuss the progress and answer questions, (3) at the formal AJR submission stage, include a completed copy of the FHWA Policy Points Promptlist for review by the FHWA Division representative. The Interchange Design Promptlist will be utilized by the FHWA Division representative during the review process. The Guide does not clearly state when FHWA Headquarters approval is necessary for an AJR, therefore a Delegation of Authority for Access Approval link has been provided for clarification.

Access Justification Report May Not Be Required

The FHWA Division Office will assist MoDOT in determining the level of effort necessary for those projects that may not require FHWA review and action as stated in Section 3.3.2 of the Guide and as denoted by X** on the Delegation of Authority for Access Approval. Although AJR approval may not be needed; coordination with FHWA Division Office is necessary to determine if any analysis is required based on the context of the project. If it is determined these changes may require an analysis of the planning, environmental, design, safety, and/or operations of the proposed improvements, MoDOT shall coordinate with the FHWA Division Office to determine the type and extent of analysis required. If an analysis is necessary, a meeting between FHWA Division representatives and MoDOT must be scheduled early in the process to explicitly define the purpose and need, project goals and objectives, and establish the project study framework. FHWA Division Office has determined a minimum level of effort required under the Policy for the following changes to Interstate facilities, however each project will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Safety and Operational Analysis Required at a Minimum:

Analysis May Not Be Required:

Chapter 7 and 8 of the Guide discuss the safety and operational considerations respectively. These chapters describe in detail the analysis that may be required to verify the performance of the Interstate based on the proposed change. FHWA Division Office will work with MoDOT to achieve the proper level of effort required on a case-by-case basis and may require more analysis than the minimums listed above.

Future Interstate

In the event that a route has been approved for future interstate designation, MoDOT shall contact the FHWA Division representative to determine what may be necessary to ensure compliance with the interstate access requirements. Each project will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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CONTACT(S) [NAME, TITLE, TELEPHONE & E-MAIL ADDRESS]

Dawn Perkins
Realty Specialist
Missouri Division
(573) 636-7104
dawn.perkins@dot.gov

Page last modified on October 17, 2012.
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