|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
|Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > October 2001 > From Arizona to Alaska: Maintaining Access and Mobility on Federal Lands Highways|
|October 2001||Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-068|
From Arizona to Alaska: Maintaining Access and Mobility on Federal Lands Highways
The Federal Lands Highway Program comprises more than 8,000 miles of National Park roads, nearly 30,000 miles of forest highway roads, and roadways serving over 500 Wildlife Refuges. Charged with the mission of continually improving transportation access to and within Federal and Indian lands, the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Federal Lands Highway Core Business Unit is responsible for providing the best transportation system possible that balances sound engineering principles and the protection of Federal and Indian lands. The Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP) provides funding for a coordinated program of public roads and transit facilities that play numerous vital roles, including sustaining recreational travel and tourism, providing safe and access and mobility while protecting vital ecosystems, providing economic development in rural areas, and supplying needed transportation access for Native Americans.
To support these vital roles, staff at the FLHP Headquarters and the three Federal Lands division offices (see sidebar) provide program development, policy and direction, planning and project coordination, road and bridge design, environmental design and protection, construction supervision, technical assistance, and other services.
Current Federal Lands initiatives around the country range from spearheading the $200 million Hoover Dam Bypass project in Arizona and Nevada to designing Walden Point Road in Alaska, which will be constructed on the side of a mountain on Annette Island. The bypass around Hoover Dam will improve safety for vehicles and ease traffic congestion, with construction slated to begin in 2003 and finish in 2007. The Annette Island project, meanwhile, will help provide economic development for the island, as the road will connect with a new ferry terminal being built by the State.
Federal Lands also has the goal of providing state-of-the-art technical services to the highway community. As part of this goal, Federal Lands is implementing such new technologies as ROSAN, a road surface analyzer, and new techniques for collecting data on such variables as traffic on National Park roads and the soil moisture of dirt roads within parks. ROSAN is helping engineers meet the public's need for smoother, longer lasting roads, while the new data collection techniques are helping the Park Service more appropriately size parking facilities in National Parks, thus limiting the impact on park land, and better determine when park roadways can be opened to traffic in the spring.
To carry out its activities, Federal Lands works with a number of partners, including the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Native American tribes. These partnerships are vital to the success of our mission.
Looking ahead, Federal Lands' priorities for the remainder of 2001 and 2002 include showcasing context sensitive design activities, implementing initiatives to increase roadside and work zone safety, and conducting outreach to promote the use of innovative financing and contracting techniques. Through these and our many other initiatives throughout the country, we will continue to contribute to the overall FHWA goals of improving safety and mobility, protecting and enhancing the natural environment, and improving the economic efficiency of the Nation's transportation system, resulting in a stronger transportation network for us all.
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration