- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, requires Executive Branch agencies to make certain organizational and policy records available to the public through publication in the Federal Register and other policy and adjudicatory records available in document inspection facilities ("reading rooms") for public inspection and copying. All other releasable records must be made available promptly upon request.
This document describes the location and hours of operation of the document inspection facilities ("reading rooms") of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); the kinds of records that are available for public inspection and copying at these facilities; and the procedures by which members of the public may make requests for records.
Document inspection facilities are maintained at the Federal Highway Administration Headquarters, each division office, and each resource center. Except for legal public holidays and other special closings, these facilities are open to the public, Monday through Friday, during regular working hours, which are included after each address below. Additionally, a number of FHWA publications and other documents are available via the FHWA Home Page https://highways.dot.gov/.
Written requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act should be sent to the appropriate field or Headquarters office, and the envelope in which the request is sent should be prominently marked with the letters "FOIA". Additionally, FOIA requests for FHWA Headquarters records may be submitted via e-mail to FHWA Headquarters at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, current electronic mail address, a mailing address (U.S. mail), and a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours.
FOIA Officer (HAD-1), Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE; Washington, D.C., 20590-9898.
Congress passed legislation to create within the Department of Transportation a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). As of January 1, 2000, DOT's motor carrier responsibilities were transferred from FHWA to the new FMCSA. To obtain motor carrier related documents, you may contact the FMCSA via the web ( http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov).
See the FHWA Home Page https://highways.dot.gov/ and FHWA Electronic Reading Room https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/foia/err.cfm for documents available without submitting a FOIA request. For documents not found there, see below:
Examples of records for which requests may properly be made to the FHWA Federal-aid Division Offices (see addresses in paragraph 2):
(1) Copies of records pertaining to specific Federal-aid highway projects.
(2) Copies of environmental studies for Federal-aid highway projects.
(1) FLH project records.
(2) FLH contract files.
For general information regarding FHWA's Federal Lands Highway program, you may access their web page at https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/.
Examples of records for which requests may properly be made to the FHWA Headquarters FOIA office:
(1) Copies of contracts or solicitations.
(2) Any policy or interpretation issued by the Federal Highway Administration, including any policy or interpretation concerning a particular factual situation, if that policy or interpretation can reasonably be expected to have precedential value in any case involving a member of the public in a similar situatio.
(3) Listing of agency small purchase credit card holders.
The following records are generally available through all Federal Highway Administration document inspection facilities (many are also available from FHWA's home page), with the exception of Federal Lands Highway Division Offices. (Note: Although these documents are available for inspection and copying in the various "reading room's" to obtain an actual bound version of a manual, you may need to purchase a copy outside of the FOIA process.)
Each person desiring to inspect a record, or to obtain a copy thereof, should submit a request, in writing, to the appropriate Federal Highway Administration official at the address listed in paragraph 2, Document Inspection Facilities. If it is not known where in FHWA the record(s) sought may be found, the request may be submitted to the FOIA Program Officer, Washington Headquarters, at the address given in paragraph 2, Document Inspection Facilities, above. All requests pertaining to the Motor Carrier Program should be submitted to the FMCSA FOIA Program Officer at the Washington Headquarters (see paragraph 3 - Motor Carrier-Related Records).
There is no initial fee to make a FOIA request, and in many cases no fees are charged. However, agencies are authorized by law to recover the direct costs of providing information to a FOIA requester. For purposes of fees only, the FOIA divides requesters into three categories: (a) commercial use requesters; (b) news media, educational, or scientific requesters; and (c) all other requesters.
Search and review time are charged as follows. The rates for manual searching, computer operator/programmer time and time spent reviewing records will be calculated based on the grades and rates established by the Washington-Baltimore Federal White-Collar General Pay Schedule or equivalent grades. Duplication fees are charged as follows:
Authority to issue initial determinations, including initial denials of access to records and of fee waivers or fee waiver reductions has been delegated to all Associate Administrators, Chief Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Directors of Field Services, Resource Center Director, Division Administrators, and FLH Division Engineers. Each of these officials is also authorized to re-delegate this authority to subordinate officials.
Any person who has been notified that a record or part of a record that has been requested will not be disclosed, or could not be found, or that a request for a fee waiver or reduction will not be granted, may appeal, in writing, to the Associate Administrator for Administration (E66-320), Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, 20590-9898, for reconsideration of the determination. A copy of the appeal letter should be simultaneously sent to the office which made the initial determination in order to facilitate a timely response. The decision of the Associate Administrator for Administration is administratively final.