U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Policy Information

Home / Policy Information / Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) / Chapter 1

Office of Highway Policy Information
March 2014

Field Manual
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is responsible for assuring that adequate highway transportation data and systems performance information is available to support its functions and responsibilities, as well as those of the Administration and United States Congress.

A biennial Conditions & Performance estimate of the future highway investment needs of the nation is mandated by Congress (23 U.S.C. 502(h)) for the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to prepare for its customers. Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data are used for assessing highway system performance under the U.S. DOT and FHWA's strategic planning and performance reporting process in accordance with requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA, Sections 3 and 4) and for apportioning Federal-aid highway funds under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), (23 U.S.C. 104). To address these needs, the HPMS was first developed in 1978 as a national highway transportation system database.

This HPMS Field Manual provides a comprehensive overview of the HPMS program at FHWA, and describes in detail the data collection and reporting requirements for HPMS. The requirements outlined in this Field Manual are authorized under 23 U.S.C. 315, which places the responsibility on the Secretary of Transportation for all management decisions affecting transportation. In addition, United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) title 23, §1.5 provides the Federal Highway Administrator with authority to request such information deemed necessary to administer the Federal-aid highway program. Also, 23 CFR 420.105(b) requires the States to provide data that support FHWA's responsibilities to the Congress and the public. The HPMS Field Manual is a valuable resource that guides the States as they address their HPMS data collection and reporting responsibilities. This manual includes detailed information on technical procedures, a glossary of terms, and various tables to be used as reference by those collecting and reporting HPMS data. Information related to the use of the HPMS software web application is contained in a stand-alone document.

1.2 Scope of the HPMS

The HPMS is a national program that includes inventory information for all of the Nation's public road mileage as certified by the States' Governors on an annual basis. All roads open to public travel are reported in HPMS regardless of ownership, including Federal, State, county, city, and privately owned roads such as toll facilities. Each State is required to annually furnish all data per the reporting requirements specified in this HPMS Field Manual. The District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are treated as States for HPMS reporting purposes. United States Territories (Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands of the United States) are required to annually report limited HPMS summary data only, in addition to the separate reporting of certified public road mileage.

Public road mileage certifications are due no later than June 1 of each year to FHWA Headquarters, HPPI-20. FHWA Field Division Offices may set an earlier date. The certifications shall be provided in an electronic format via email sent to the FHWA Office of Highway Policy Information official electronic mailbox (HPInfoMail@dot.gov). The requirements for submitting the public road mileage are in accordance with CFR 23, Part 460.3; see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/prmcguidance.cfm. HPMS uses the certified public road mileage as a control total for the mileage in each State.

HPMS covers in greater detail the National Highway System (NHS), which is a network of highways important to the nation's economy, defense, and mobility. The NHS was first designated on November 28, 1995 and expanded on October 1, 2012, to include principal arterial routes but the processes to update functional classification and NHS designation remain separate. Note that although ramps may be part of the NHS, the NHS data in HPMS does not cover ramps except for five data items: Functional System, Urban Code, Facility Type, Through Lanes, and AADT.

1.3 Uses of HPMS Data

HPMS is the official Federal government source of data on the extent, condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of the nation's highways. Certain data items including length, lane-miles, and travel are required for all public roads that are eligible for Federal-aid highway funds. These three data items in particular are used in the apportionment of Federal-aid highway funds. The data items reported for all public roads are known as Full Extent data items.

In addition to Full Extent data items, there are data items that are reported on a partial extent basis, which are known as Sample Panel data items. The Sample Panel provides more detailed statistical data on a randomly selected sample of roadway sections in the State's public road system. Finally, there is a set of summary data included in the HPMS system known as Summary data items. The summary data are reported in aggregate form, for roadways functionally classified as minor collectors in rural areas and local roads in any area.

HPMS data are used for assessing and reporting highway system performance under FHWA's strategic planning process. HPMS data also form the basis of the analyses that support the Conditions and Performance (C&P) Report to Congress and are the source for a substantial portion of the information published in the annual Highway Statistics publication and in other FHWA publications including information that is reported to the media. Finally, the HPMS data are widely used throughout the transportation community, including other governmental entities, business and industry, institutions of higher learning for transportation research purposes, and the general public. The HPMS data may also be used for performance measurement purposes in national, State and local transportation decision-making to analyze trade-offs among the different modes of transportation as part of the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning process. Table 1.1 contains information on the source of selected length, lane-mile, and travel data from the HPMS data set.

Table 1.1 Minimum Data Reporting for Selected HPMS Products

RURAL
HPMS Product Federal-Aid Non-Federal-Aid
National Highway System (NHS) Non-National Highway System (non-NHS)
Interstate & Non-Interstate Other Freeways & Expressways and Other Principal Arterials Minor Arterial Major Collector Minor Collector Local
Miles Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Summary Summary
Lane-Miles Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Summary 1/ Summary 1/
Total VMT Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Summary 2/ Summary 2/
Truck VMT Full Extent Sample Panel Sample Panel Sample Panel Summary Summary
International Roughness Index (IRI) Full Extent Full Extent Sample Panel Optional    
Total Public Road Miles Certified Mileage ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
URBAN
HPMS Product Federal-Aid Non-Federal- Aid
National Highway System (NHS) Non-National Highway System (non-NHS)
Interstate Non-Interstate Other Freeways & Expressways and Other Principal Arterials Minor Arterial Major Collector Minor Collector Local
Miles Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Summary
Lane-Miles Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Summary 1/
Total VMT Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Full Extent Summary 2/
Truck VMT Full Extent Sample Panel Sample Panel Sample Panel Sample Panel Summary
International Roughness Index (IRI) Full Extent Full Extent Optional Optional Optional  
Total Public Road Miles Certified Mileage -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1/ Data for Lane-Miles on Rural Minor Collector, and Local roads are calculated using Summary miles times 2. Since the States are not required to report the number of through lanes on these systems, except for NHS sections, FHWA uses a multiplier of 2 for the number of lanes, to be consistent across all States.

2/ Data reported for Total VMT on Rural Minor Collector and Local roads are provided at a summary level of detail. States are not required to report section level AADT on these systems, except for NHS sections.

Full Extent: Data reported for the full extent of the system (even if the data are sampled annually).
Sample Panel: Data reported for at least the HPMS sample panel sections.
Summary: Data reported in aggregate form.

1.4 HPMS Staff Roles and Responsibilities

The provision of HPMS data is a cooperative effort between State highway agencies (SHAs), local governments, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) working in partnership to collect, assemble, and report the necessary information. In consultation with its HPMS partners, stakeholders, and customers, FHWA identifies the data to be reported and provides data definitions and standards. FHWA develops and maintains web-based applications, analytical models and techniques that FHWA and various State DOTs use in conjunction with HPMS data to conduct policy-level, corridor-level, and subarea planning analysis and programming. Taken together, these activities support informed highway planning, policy development, and decision-making at the Federal and State levels.

Within each SHA, the responsibilities for collecting and reporting HPMS data is generally a cooperative process between a central office, which prepares, analyzes, and submits HPMS data on behalf of the State, and other district or regional offices responsible for field data collection activities, including roadway inventory, and traffic and pavement data collection. To help facilitate this effort, this manual provides guidance to the States in support of their field data collection activities for HPMS.

The process of coordinating these activities is usually performed under the direction of an HPMS Manager or HPMS Coordinator within each State highway agency. This person serves as the primary liaison with the FHWA on all matters related to the preparation and submittal of the State's HPMS submittal.

The HPMS data model, which relies heavily on a geospatial component, requires each State's Geographic Information System (GIS) staff to be actively involved in the HPMS process. Their role is to ensure that the spatial data that are to be submitted with the HPMS data are accurate as well as up-to-date. For example, a spatial dataset containing urban area boundaries should be consistent with, or based on the most recently approved census boundaries. In addition, the States must provide geospatial data in an ESRI shapefile, ESRI geodatabase, or Intergraph GeoMedia Access Warehouse format, which contains a Linear Referencing System (LRS) that represents the State's road network as reported in HPMS. The LRS must be developed in such a way that it can easily be linked to the road inventory attributes that are reported. Furthermore, it is the road inventory data which provides the information about the condition, performance, use, and operating characteristics of the road network.

After each State has submitted their HPMS data, it is the responsibility of the FHWA Office of Highway Policy Information (OHPI) to integrate each submittal into the national HPMS database. The HPMS database then becomes the source of information provided in the Conditions and Performance (C&P) Report to Congress on a biennial basis.

The preparation and submittal of HPMS is based on a yearly cycle in each State. Data collection activities for some road inventory data items may be gathered throughout the year as part of annual road inventory programs. Other data items, such as traffic counts, may be collected on a rotating three-year cycle for various parts of the State's transportation network.

The HPMS submittal from the State represents the condition of the road network as of December 31st of each year. The submittal is due to FHWA by June 15th of the following year, to allow time for the States to integrate the additional data items such as pavement and traffic related data, which requires additional time for processing and analysis.

Figure 1.1 illustrates a potential workflow for the process and roles involved in the preparation of a State's HPMS data submittal.

Figure 1.1 State HPMS Processing Cycle

Figure 1.1 illustrates a potential workflow for the process and roles involved in the preparation of a State's HPMS data submittal.  State offices, district offices, MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations), and locals perform data collection activities throughout the calendar year. In this particular example, the calendar year is 2009. The State's Central office, or the office that is responsible for coordinating activities that support HPMS, begins preparing the HPMS submittal at the start of the submittal year. In this particular example, the submittal year is 2010. This assembly process involves the compilation of a variety of data gathered from the various State offices, district offices, MPOs, locals, as well as data housed in the various State data management systems such as, traffic management systems, pavement management systems, and GIS databases. The State then produces the Certified Public Road Mileage official record, which must be submitted to FHWA's Office of Highway Policy Information no later than June 1st of the submittal year. In addition, the State must also submit their HPMS submittal to FHWA by June 15th of the submittal year.  FHWA then uses the HPMS submittals gathered from all States to develop the national HPMS dataset, which is used to support the development of the bi-annual Conditions and Performance (C&P) report to Congress. In this particular example, the C&P report would be submitted to Congress in 2012.

1.5 Reporting Requirements

Mont of June Calendar Each State is required to prepare an annual submittal of HPMS data in accordance with the procedures, formats, and codes specified in this manual. Each State should also assure that there is agreement between the Certified Public Road Mileage and the total length (in miles) reported to FHWA via HPMS. Data from the current inventory year (i.e., year of data collection) will be reported in HPMS unless otherwise noted. Actual values for roadway attributes are to be reported for the most part, however, factoring or estimation of data is permissible where specified in this Field Manual for the individual data item attributes. Each State is to include their Linear Reference System (LRS), which links the attribute (i.e. HPMS section data) and geospatial data, as part of the annual submittal. If a State uses more than one LRS for their own purposes, it is necessary for the State to designate one LRS to be used for Federal reporting purposes. This Federal reporting LRS is the one that should be maintained and submitted annually with the HPMS submittal.

HPMS due date: June 15th of the year following the data inventory year, e.g. data collected in calendar year 2009 are due to FHWA by June 15, 2010.

The data required for the annual submittal of HPMS includes: (1) limited data on all public roads (Full Extent), (2) more detailed data for designated sections of the arterial and collector functional systems (Sample Panel), and (3) area-wide summary information for urbanized, small urban and rural areas (Summary).

Full Extent Data

Full Extent Data refers to a limited set of data items that are reported for an entire road system such as the National Highway System (NHS) or an entire functional system.

Sample Panel Data

Sample Panel Data consists of data items added to the Full Extent data that are reported for a select portion of the total roadway system length. The sampled sections are a fixed sample panel of roadway sections that are monitored from year to year and, when expanded, represent the Full Extent of the systems that are sampled. The more detailed information collected for a Sample Panel section is used to represent similar conditions on the associated functional system after expansion.

Partial Extent Data

Partial Extent Data refers to those data items that are reported on a Full Extent basis for some functional systems and on a Sample Panel basis for other functional systems.

Statewide Summary Data

Statewide Summary Data includes information on travel system length, and vehicle classification by functional system and area type, in addition to land area and population by area type. The area types include rural, small urban, and individual urbanized, non-attainment, and maintenance areas. Pollutant type is also reported as indicators of air quality in non-attainment areas.

Linear Referencing System (LRS) Data

LRS data provides a spatial reference for the Full Extent and Sample Panel data on selected highway functional systems. This spatial data coupling (i.e. representing roadway attribute data in a spatial format) enables the analysis of HPMS data in a GIS environment. Within the HPMS software, the State-provided LRS represents all roadways in a given State's road network for a designated set of functional classifications.

HPMS Regulations

Regulations governing the FHWA State Planning and Research (SPR) funded work programs [23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 420] outline responsibilities for furnishing FHWA adequate information for administering the Federal-aid highway program. Maintaining a valid HPMS database is an item of national significance and items of national significance must be adequately addressed in each State's annual work program. This extends beyond the simple reporting of data each year and includes taking actions to assure that all data are complete, current, and accurate. Although there may be other participants in the collection and reporting process, the ultimate responsibility for the accuracy and timely reporting of HPMS data lies with the State highway agency.

The submission of false data is a violation of the United States Code (U.S.C.), Title 18, Section 1020.

The annual HPMS submittal is to be transmitted to FHWA via a web-based HPMS application. The HPMS software web application, to be used by the States, can be accessed via the Office of Highway Policy Information homepage at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/. Questions pertaining to the annual submittal should be directed to The Office of Highway Policy Information at 202-366-0175.


1 A Linear Referencing System is based on a set of procedures for determining and retaining a record of specific points along a highway. Typical methods used are milepoint, milepost, reference point, and linknode.

Table of Contents | Next

Page last modified on May 5, 2014.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000