Title 23 USC 109 provides that design standards for projects on the National Highway System (NHS) must be approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation in cooperation with the State highway departments. The Secretary has delegated this authority to the Federal Highway Administrator.
The State highway departments, working through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) develop design standards through a series of committees and task forces. FHWA contributes to the development of the design standards through membership on these working units, sponsoring and participating in research efforts, and many other initiatives. Following development of the design standards, FHWA uses a formal rulemaking process to adopt those it considers suitable for application on the NHS.
- A Policy on Design Standards - Interstate System, January 2005 05/08/2006
- New Design Standards for Projects on the National Highway System (2001 Green Book) 02/15/2002
- 23 CFR 625 Design Standards for Highways
- FHWA Policy on Permissible Project Related Activities During the NEPA Process Order 6640.1A 10/01/2010
- Design Standards Interstate System 01/01/2005
- AASHTO - A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (2004 Greenbook) 2004
- Implementation of New Design Criteria for Projects on the National Highway System 05/25/1993
- Mitigation Strategies for Design Exceptions 05/01/2014
- Department of Justice/Transportation Joint Technical Assistance on the Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements to Provide Curb Ramps when Streets Roads or Highways are Altered through Resurfacing Guidance 06/01/2013
- AASHTO Roadside Design Guide 4th Edition 06/26/2012 The purpose of this memo is three-fold: reiterate the status of the RDG for FHWA, summarize significant changes in the RDG 4th edition, and add Frequently Asked Questions to our website.
- Coordination of Vertical Clearance Design Exceptions on the Interstate System 04/15/2009
- Information on Application of Design Standards, Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, and Bridges (23 CFR 625 Non-regulatory supplement) 03/01/2005
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines and Detectable Warnings 07/30/2004
- Guidelines for Preparation of Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (FAPG Non-Regulatory Guidance 23 CFR 630B) 12/09/1991
- Design Speed 11/04/1988
- Developing Geometric Design and Processes for Non-Freeway RRR Projects (T 5040.28) 10/17/1988
- Guidance on NHS Design Standards and Design Exceptions
- Transportation Enhancement Activities - Guidance
- NTSB Highway Accident Reports 08/01/2007
- ADAAG Detectable Warnings 05/06/2002
- Research and Guidance Report: Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access, Part II, Best Practices Design Guide 11/20/2001
- Clear Zone and Horizontal Clearance Frequently Asked Questions
- Geometric Design
- Pedestrians and Accessible Design
- Operational Analysis of Access Points to the Interstate System (08/21/2001)
- Implementation of New AASHTO Green Book (05/13/1986)
Projects off the NHS
Title 23 USC 109 provides that projects (other than highway projects on the NHS) shall be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with State laws, regulations, directives, safety standards, design standards, and construction standards.