Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway AdministrationSearch FHWAFeedback
Policy Information

Highway Performance Monitoring System Reassessment 2006 - 2007

In light of the recent authorization of SAFETEA-LU and the changing business needs of both our internal and external customers, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Highway Policy Information is conducting a reassessment of the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS). The HPMS' purpose has always been to provide data that reflects the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of the Nation's highways. To ensure that we are fulfilling our stated mission, we periodically undertake a reassessment, through which we hope to identify the changing needs for accurate, appropriate, and timely data related to this purpose and determine what improvements may be necessary to maintain and enhance this national highway database.

Reassessment Objectives

  • Improve HPMS to support customer business needs
  • Incorporate efficient and appropriate quality data collection & reporting
  • Maximize use of existing, future, and other data sources
  • Enhance value of information to providers and customers
  • Promote effective use of changing technology

The HPMS Reassessment effort began in early 2006 and will be completed in late 2007 with the assistance of consultants to document and assist in formulating recommendations.Three regional outreach meetings and a session at the 2007 TRB meeting in Washington, DC, open to the public, will be held seeking comments and feedback on the Draft HPMS Recommendations Report. Feedback from the outreach workshops and subsequent topical webinars (as needed) will be considered when making the final edits to the Recommendation Report, which is due to be released September 2007. We invite your participation and suggestions.

The following provides an overview of the data issues being explored in this Reassessment:

Cross cutting topics being addressed

Process improvement

  • Add pavement and traffic metadata
  • Revise coding of some data fields to make them consistent with other agency databases
  • Revise existing Field Manual
  • Revise and expand training

Data Quality

  • Emphasize data consistency
  • Examine data needs and data standards
  • Possible solutions to improve data quality
    • GIS based framework
    • Metadata
    • Enhance reasonableness checks
    • Temporal data analysis

Revise existing data model

  • Multi-table format
  • State supplied geospatial network
  • Expands the coverage of "linkable" HPMS data through Major Collectors
  • Improve State feedback mechanisms


  • Modify volume groups to be consistent across rural and urban functional classes
  • Expand upper and lower volume groups
  • Extend universe AADT coverage through Major Collectors

Boundaries and Functional Classification

  • Create Rural Other Freeways and Expressways functional classification
  • Explore combining Rural Minor Collectors with Rural Locals functional classification
  • Explore dropping urban/rural bifurcation
  • Explore GIS approach to populating urban/urbanized attributes

Specific data areas being addressed


  • Better truck volume data to derive truck travel estimates
  • Mandatory reporting of motorcycle VMT data in summary table
  • Consistency between HPMS coding and MIRE and MMUCC


  • Additional condition data items
  • Additional structural data items
  • Consider leaving bridges and railroad grade crossings in IRI data

  • Determine location and type for all interchanges on the Interstate system and the NHS
  • Collect information on ramps


  • Collect truck volumes (single and combination) for entire NHS
  • Change annual average truck data on samples sections from percentages to actual volumes


  • Explore dropping ITS data items; link to ITS Deployment Tracking Survey
  • Add additional field to describe widening feasibility limitations
  • Explore changing VSF threshold error check in software

HPMS Reassessment efforts to date have included the following:

  • Several Meetings with National level users;
  • Development of Issue papers covering all pertinent technical issues and data areas including: Process improvement, Data Quality, Revision of the existing data model, Sampling, Boundaries, Functional Classification, Safety, Pavements, Interchanges, Freight, and Capacity;
  • Five Outreach workshops held in Washington D.C., Connecticut, Georgia, Oregon and Nebraska. A total of 92 people attended - twenty three states, three MPOs, and nine FHWA Division offices were represented; and
  • Fifteen Issue specific webinars held over the summer with an average of 100 people and most states in attendance. Interactive presentations and surveys were used to gather input.
  • Revision of the Issue Papers to reflect webinar and other meeting results (November - December, 2006)

The next steps to occur over the next few months include:

  • Drafting of a Recommendations document (December, 2006);
  • Presentation of Recommendations at a TRB Session (January, 2007);
  • Conduct of outreach related to the Recommendations document (Three Workshops to be held March, 2007); and
  • Finalization of the Recommendations document (late spring 2007).

The HPMS Reassessment should be complete by the end of summer 2007 with implementation beginning in 2008. The outcomes will include improvement of HPMS to support customer business needs, maximization of existing, future, and other data sources, and enhanced value of information to providers and customers.

Everyone involved in this HPMS process from managing these databases to the users of HPMS data are invited to participate in discussions addressing the Reassessment Objectives at regional outreach meetings. Further information is available and will be forthcoming on the HPMS web site or you may contact David Winter at 202-366-4631 or email at We also welcome you to add input of your use and concerns of the HPMS through our reassessment comment form.

More Information


David Winter
Office of Highway Policy Information
E-mail David

Updated: 04/05/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration