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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

National Highway System Modification Procedures

Updated February 2016

The regulations for modifying (i.e., adding, deleting, or relocating) routes and intermodal connectors on the NHS are located in 23 CFR 470, Federal-aid Highway Systems, and in Appendix D to Subpart A, "Guidance Criteria for Evaluating Requests for Modifications to the NHS." Criteria specific to connectors and terminals are in Paragraph 9 of Appendix D. Any proposal to add or delete a route from the NHS must be in accordance with the criteria, be coordinated with responsible local and regional officials, and be formally submitted by the State to their FHWA Division Office for review, recommendation, and transmittal to the FHWA Office of Human Environment (HEPH). States should coordinate requests to add connectors with the terminal operators. Updates and technical corrections of errors for existing connectors and mainline NHS routes do not need full justification or coordination.

Specifically, in 23 CFR 470.113(a) proposals for NHS modifications must include:

Guidelines for NHS Modification Submittals

Federal Highway Administration

Shari Schaftlein

Director

Office of Human Environment

1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, HEPH-1

Washington, D.C. 20590

shari.schaftlein@dot.gov

Route Description Documentation

For the proposed NHS addition or deletion, please provide the following information:

When submittal contains numerous NHS changes, in addition to the GIS Shapefile (isolating the subject segments), provide an accompanying Excel spreadsheet listing the proposed NHS changes. Here are fictional route examples under desired column headings:

City, County, or MPO

Route Name

Route Number

From (name or mile point)

To (name or mile point)

Length (miles)

Proposed NHS Action (Add or Delete)

Brief Justi-fication

MPO Name

Cedar Ave

40

Spring Rd

US-12

6

Add

Alleviates congestion

County Name

Memorial Hwy

23

1st Ave

24th Ave

12

Add

Enhances NHS connectivity

MPO Name

Cedar Ave

40

Spring Rd

US-12

6

Delete

NHS traffic served by parallel NHS route

County Name

Memorial Hwy

23

1st Ave

24th Ave

12

Delete

Reclassi-fied as a minor arterial

Statement of Justification Documentation

Explain how the proposed NHS addition or deletion enhances the national transportation characteristics of the NHS. Examples can include justification in the context of:

Coordination Documentation with Local and Regional Officials

The State should coordinate the proposed NHS change with local and regional officials and, when applicable, with adjoining States. The coordination process should be summarized in writing (short description or narrative) with supporting documentation. Examples of acceptable documentation include:

FHWA needs to know about any objection or opposition to the proposed NHS change.

Technical Correction to the FHWA Map Record

Minor updates or technical corrections to the FHWA Official Map record do not need local or regional official coordination or formal submittal from the State to FHWA.

Technical Corrections, especially obvious coding errors when compared to State/FHWA Division official records, will not require multi-agency coordination or official memorandum to FHWA Headquarters. Minor changes are those revisions that identify map coding inconsistencies between the official NHS maps and records maintained by the state and previously approved by FHWA. These include corrections to any of the following:

To make such technical corrections, please contact Mike Neathery (mike.neathery@dot.gov).

Deletion as Result of Change in Functional Classification from Principal Arterial

Per 23 CFR 470.107 (b), the National Highway System shall consist of "interconnected urban and rural principal arterials and highways…"

Routes on the NHS, with the exception of NHS Intermodal Connectors and STRAHNET Connectors, must be functionally classified as a principal arterial. If an NHS route is reclassified to minor arterial or less, then upon notification from the State, FHWA will delete the segment from the NHS. Though a formal submittal is not required, the Office of Human Environment needs sufficient map/GIS documentation to properly locate and remove the segments from the NHS official record. The State should provide the following information to their FHWA Division Office for transmittal to FHWA HQ:

City, County, or MPO

Route Name

Route Number

From (name or mile point)

To (name or mile point)

Length (miles)

Proposed NHS Action (Add or Delete)

Brief Justi-fication

MPO Name

Cedar Ave

40

Spring Rd

US-12

6

Delete

Reclassi-fied as a local street

City Name

Main St

34

A St

C St

2

Delete

Reclassi-fied as a collector street

County Name

Memorial Hwy

23

1st Ave

24th Ave

12

Delete

Reclassi-fied as a minor arterial

Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET) Modifications

The STRAHNET includes routes and connectors to major DOD installations or sea ports important for national defense mobility. The STRAHNET is a subset of the NHS and follows previously noted “Guidelines for NHS Modification Submittals,” with added coordination with the Department of Defense’s Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Transportation Engineering Agency (SDDCTEA). FHWA coordinates to with the SDDCTEA to approve all STRAHNET changes.

SDDC contact:

Additional Notes About the NHS Map Record

The official National Highway System routes are depicted:

Updated: 2/26/2016
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