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Superseded by the 10/08/04 Preventive Maintenance Eligibility Memo

Subject: INFORMATION: Implementation TEA-21 - Interstate Maintenance Guidelines Date: OCT 30 1998
From: Associate Administrator for Program Development Reply to:
Attn. of:
To: Resource Center Directors
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Program Administrator

Section 1306(a) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) amends 23 U.S.C. 109, by eliminating subsection (m), Interstate Maintenance Guidelines. By reference, this action also eliminates 23 U.S.C. 119(b).

The 1978 Surface Transportation Assistance Act contained legislation which emphasized Interstate Maintenance. This legislation, codified as 23 U.S.C. 109(m) and 119(b), required the Secretary to issue guidelines to ensure that the Interstate System was maintained at the level for which it was designed. The legislation also required that each State annually certify that it has an Interstate Maintenance program and that the Interstate is being maintained in accordance with that program. The FHWA issued Interstate Maintenance Guidelines in 1981 which are contained in 23 CFR 635, Subpart E.

Effective June 9, 1998, the requirements as defined in 23 CFR 635, Subpart E, Interstate Maintenance Guidelines, are withdrawn. The annual Interstate Maintenance Program updates and certifications are no longer required. This revision offers the States and Divisions more flexibility to manage their Federal-aid highway program, but it in no way minimizes the importance of timely and proper maintenance of the transportation infrastructure. The requirements of 23 U.S.C. 116,' Maintenance, and 23 U.S.C. 119, Interstate Maintenance Program, remain fully in effect for federally-funded projects.

With the added emphasis on Transportation System Preservation and the need for properly funded preservation programs for bridges, pavements and roadway safety appurtenances, the field offices are encouraged to work closely with their State counterparts to assure proper management of our infrastructure investment. Additionally, Section 1306(b), Safety Standards, added a new subsection (q), Phase Construction, to Section 109 of Title 23. This subsection provides the States further flexibility with funding and scheduling of related safety considerations when delivering a preservation program and its individual projects. See the attached memorandum dated August 19, signed by Mr. Henry H. Rentz.

As we face the challenge of preserving and enhancing our transportation network, the FHWA Division Offices are encouraged to emphasize System Preservation and enhanced safety and the role of maintenance towards achieving that goal. Examples of active program administration in the system preservation area could include:

  1. Focus on maintenance as an opportunity to add value to a State's maintenance program and to promote continuous improvement in their maintenance monitoring programs;
  2. Promote early involvement of the Division Office in the STIP and TIP processes for identifying system preservation projects including pavement. structures, drainage, safety and traffic operations;
  3. Assume a more proactive role in promoting and disseminating information on the best preventive maintenance practices, procedures, and new technologies;
  4. Promote inclusion of maintenance as a component of the States' National Quality Initiative Program;
  5. Working with State DOT's maintenance personnel assist in results-oriented field activities and reviews to identify needs and/or opportunities for implementing promising emerging technologies; and
  6. Seek opportunities to include ITS concepts and technologies - in the States' maintenance program activities both in the field and in the office.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please call Jim Sorenson at (202) 366-1333.

/s/ original signed by
Thomas J. Ptak


Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000