U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Federal government’s investment in highways and roads is critically important to the National Highway System (NHS). As 1 of 10 operating administrations in the USDOT, FHWA delivers Federal highway programs that make a positive contribution to the economic and social well-being of all Americans. With more than half of the approximately 2,700 on-board employees working out of offices in every State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, FHWA is well positioned to deliver the Federally assisted, State-administered Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP) and Federal Lands Highway Program.
Authorizing Legislation and Resources
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, P.L. 114-94 was enacted in 2015. This legislation provides 5 years of Federal highway program funding, including a total of $225.2 billion in contract authority through FY 2020 and over $70 billion in transfers to the Highway Trust Fund during that period. Key highway programs authorized include: National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ ) Improvement Program, National Highway Freight Program (NHFP), Federal Lands Transportation Program, and Highway Research, Development, and Technology programs. In the 2018 Appropriations Act, Congress provided an additional $2.525 billion, of which $1.98 billion is to be used for a specified subset of STBG-eligible projects.
In testimony and speeches, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has outlined the Administration’s policy priorities, which include improving safety, encouraging innovation, accomplishing regulatory reform, accelerating project delivery, enabling public-private financing, and promoting rural initiatives. These priorities are foundational to the strategic goals in the USDOT Strategic Plan for FY 2018–2022.
Improving America’s infrastructure is one of the Trump Administration’s top priorities. In the transportation sector, the priority is streamlining processes to accelerate completion of major highway infrastructure projects, which will increase opportunities to leverage Federal investment in projects that improve the safety and mobility of all Americans.
Streamlining the Environmental Review and Permitting Process
An Executive Order dated August 15, 2017 encourages Federal agencies to streamline processes for environmental review, i.e., One Federal Decision, and identifies a lead agency, i.e., First Among Equals, to champion an infrastructure project through permitting processes. A USDOT APG is to reduce the time required to complete all Federal environmental reviews and authorization decisions for new, major infrastructure projects under the Executive Order to not more than an average of 2 years.
President’s Initiative for Rebuilding Infrastructure
In February 2018, the Administration issued Rebuilding Infrastructure in America, a legislative outline based on six main principles, including leveraging $200 billion in Federal funds to spur $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments from the private sector and partners at State, local, and tribal government levels.
Executive Orders issued in 2017 direct Federal agencies to eliminate unnecessary regulations and reduce the financial burden of complying with existing regulations. The Department established a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the Secretary regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, based on guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) includes several cross-agency priority (CAP) goals, including Modernizing Permitting. Other CAP goals that are relevant to the work of the USDOT and FHWA include: improving the customer experience with Federal services; sharing quality services; and shifting from low-value to high-value work. FHWA offices are implementing and transitioning to Shared Services within the Department, including leveraging information technology, human resources services, and the delivery of acquisitions among the operating administrations.
FHWA’s Strategic Plan adopts USDOT’s goals and aligns its strategic objectives and related program initiatives and performance measures with the Department’s Plan.
Key Partners and Stakeholders
FHWA accomplishes its work and mission through a variety of partners and stakeholders, including government agencies at the Federal (e.g., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and State level (e.g., State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and Local Public Agencies (LPAs)). Other key partners and stakeholders include:
A Multigenerational Workforce
While the average age of FHWA’s workforce did not change during the past decade, a generational shift is slowly occurring among employee ranks. The portion of Agency employees from the Baby Boomer generation declined from 46 to 38 percent during the past 5 years; while Generation X employees increased from about 38 to 42 percent, and Millennial generation employees increased from about 15 to 20 percent during the same period. FHWA is now preparing for the next generation of workers born between 1995 and 2012, referred to as Generation Z, to enter the workforce.
FHWA is staffed by a highly skilled, diverse, and educated workforce. Nearly 86 percent of its employees hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and 34 percent possess an advanced degree. The Agency continues to rank in the top 10 percent in terms of employee engagement among similar agencies in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings.