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FHWA Publishes NPRM to Propose Pavement and Bridge Condition Performance Measures

On January 5, 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to propose performance management regulations related to assessing the condition of bridges on the National Highway System (NHS), pavements on the Interstate, and pavements on the non-Interstate NHS, as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The public is encouraged to review the NPRM and submit comments to the Comment Docket. The comment period closes on May 8, 2015.

MAP-21 transformed the Federal-aid highway program by establishing new requirements for performance management to ensure the most efficient investment of Federal transportation funds.  Performance management increases the accountability and transparency of the Federal-aid highway program and provides for a framework to support improved investment decision making through a focus on performance outcomes for key national transportation goals.

This NPRM is focused on implementing some of these MAP-21 requirements and proposes regulations that would:

  • provide for greater consistency in pavement and bridge condition reporting;
  • require the establishment of targets that can be aggregated at the national level;
  • require reporting in a consistent manner on progress achievement;
  • establish the minimum level for condition of pavements on the Interstate System as required by MAP-21; and
  • incorporate the minimum level for condition of NHS bridges as required by MAP-21.

State DOTs would be expected to use the information and data generated as a result of the new regulations to make better informed transportation planning and programming decisions. The new performance aspects of the Federal-aid program would allow FHWA to better communicate a national performance story and to more reliably assess the impacts of Federal funding investments.

This NPRM is one of several aimed at establishing the performance management framework required by MAP-21. Earlier this year, FHWA published NPRMs to propose safety performance measures and to integrate performance management into the Highway Safety Improvement Program.  In addition, FHWA and FTA published an NPRM to propose a performance-based transportation planning process. NPRMs scheduled for future publication will propose the process for developing State asset management plans and performance measures for system performance, traffic congestion, on-road mobile source emissions, and freight movement.

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Updated: 04/23/2015