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NHS Update

Update Procedures for the NHS Mainline and NHS Intermodal Connectors

The guidance for principal connectors to major intermodal terminals and for other NHS routes is located in 23 CFR 470A, Federal-aid Highway Systems, and its Appendix D to Subpart A, "Guidance Criteria for Evaluating Requests for Modifications to the NHS". Additional criteria for connectors and terminals are in Paragraph 9 of Appendix D. Basically, any routes to be added should meet the criteria, be coordinated with responsible local officials, and be submitted by the State to your office for review, recommendation and transmittal to the FHWA Office of Human Environment (HEPH). Any connectors to be added should also be coordinated with the terminal operators. Updates and corrections of errors for existing connectors and main NHS routes need not include full justification nor coordination.

Specifically, in 23 CFR 470.113 (a), "proposals for system actions on the National Highway System shall include a route description, a statement of justification, and statements of coordination with adjoining States on State-line connections, with responsible local officials, and with officials of areas under Federal jurisdiction."

NHS Mainline

Compare the official NHS maps to the State' s records making note of the type of update, whether a "correction" or an "addition/deletion".

  1. Is the alignment of a route correct?
  2. Have future NHS routes fully or partially completed?
  3. Are the route signs correct?

Contact Mike Neathery at for clarification on whether formal justification and coordination is needed before transmittal to FHWA.

NHS Intermodal Connectors

Review the hard copy maps and the official NHS intermodal connectors listing and compare against the State' s records to evaluate the accuracy and currency of the information. Examine all connectors to both passenger and freight terminals. If adding new connectors, refer to 23CFR 470, Subpart A, Appendix D, "Primary Criteria", to determine eligible intermodal terminals. In particular address the following:

  1. Determine whether the connectors list is complete?
  2. Are there connectors that should be added or deleted? If so, submit changes as identified in the section below, "Official Guidelines for NHS and NHS Connectors requests for Changes."
  3. Is the connector mileage correct? If the mileage is incorrect, provide documentation and maps showing the correct mileage. Annotate changes on the connector print-out.
  4. On the official connectors printout, are the connector descriptions correct? Do the connector descriptions properly describe the location, extent, and connector termini? Correct the description as needed. Mark up the connector' s listing and/or provide supplemental documentation stating the connector location and termini.

In general modifications affecting the connector description or correction to connector mileages do not necessitate formal NHS approval process. Adding or deleting connectors require interagency coordination and official signatured approval by FHWA Office of Human Environment as outlined below:

Official Guidelines for NHS and NHS Connectors Requests for Additions/Deletions

Updated: 2/6/2014
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