Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

National Highway System

What is the National Highway System?

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®

Small map of the NHS in the U.S. Access a PDF version of the entire NHS by clicking on this image. For a full text description of the NHS, see


The National Highway System consists of roadways important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility. The National Highway System (NHS) includes the following subsystems of roadways (note that a specific highway route may be on more than one subsystem):

The National Highway System (NHS) includes the Interstate Highway System as well as other roads important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility. The NHS was developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

Why a National Highway System?

The 1996 Spring Issue of Public Roads has an article titled The National Highway System: A COMMITMENT TO AMERICA'S FUTURE by the former FHWA Administrator, Rodney Slater. This article gives the basis for the National Highway System.

Where is the NHS?

You can view state maps of the National Highway System.

Updated: 2/26/2016
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000

All Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) information technology systems will be unavailable, Friday, October 28, at 10:00 p.m. to Sunday, October 30, at 11:59 p.m., EDT, while work is being performed on the network. During that time, users will not be able to access any FHWA systems.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the 5-Help Service Center @ (866) 466-5221 or