ROAD DESIGN: FHWA sets policy revisions for smaller road projects

May 10, 2016

The revisions to current federal policy are intended to reduce costs and speed up the design of roads and streets located in smaller towns and cities

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has published a policy revision to allow more flexibility in the design of smaller road projects.

In 1985, 13 design criteria were prioritized because of their perceived impact on operations and safety. Based on research and FHWA experience, several have been removed under the new policy. This leaves 10 criteria prioritized for high-speed roadways and only two criteria for lower-speed roads – such as rural roads that become main streets through smaller towns and cities.

The aim is to allow state and local engineers to develop flexible design solutions that meet local travel needs and goals.