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Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration

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Encyclopedia
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation
United States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation is a federal Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967...

 that specializes in highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

 transportation. The agency's major activities are grouped into two "programs," the Federal-aid Highway Program and the Federal Lands Highway Program. Its role had previously been performed by the Office of Road Inquiry, Office of Public Roads and the Bureau of Public Roads.

Background


The organization has several predecessor organizations and a complicated history.

The Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was founded in 1893. In 1905 that organization's name was changed to the Office of Public Roads (OPR) which became a division of the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

. The name was changed again to the Bureau of Public Roads in 1915 and to the Public Roads Administration (PRA) in 1939. It was then shifted to the Federal Works Agency
Federal Works Agency
The Federal Works Agency was an independent agency of the Federal government of the United States which administered a number of public construction, building maintenance, and public works relief functions and laws from 1939 to 1949...

 which was abolished in 1949 when its name reverted to Bureau of Public Roads under the Department of Commerce.

Creation


FHWA was created on October 15, 1966.

In 1967 the functions of the Bureau of Public Roads were transferred to the new organisation.

It was one of three original bureaus along with the 'Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety' and the 'National Highway Safety Bureau' (now known as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, part of the Department of Transportation...

).http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/rw93.htm

Functions


FHWA's role in the Federal-aid Highway Program is to oversee federal funds used for constructing and maintaining the National Highway System
National Highway System (United States)
The National Highway System is a network of strategic highways within the United States, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major airports, ports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities.Individual states...

 (primarily Interstate Highways, U.S. Routes and most State Routes). This funding mostly comes from the federal gasoline tax and mostly goes to state departments of transportation
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is the most common name for a government agency in North America devoted to transportation. The largest is the United States Department of Transportation, which oversees interstate travel. All U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and many local agencies also have...

. FHWA oversees projects using these funds to ensure that federal requirements for project eligibility, contract administration and construction standards are adhered to.

Under the Federal Lands Highway Program (sometimes called "direct fed"), FHWA provides highway design and construction services for various federal land-management agencies, such as the Forest Service
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...

 and the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

.

In addition to these programs, FHWA performs research in the areas of automobile safety, congestion, highway materials and construction methods. FHWA also publishes the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used...

 (MUTCD), which is used by most highway agencies in the United States. The MUTCD specifies such things as the size, color and height of traffic sign
Traffic sign
Traffic signs or road signs are signs erected at the side of roads to provide information to road users. With traffic volumes increasing over the last eight decades, many countries have adopted pictorial signs or otherwise simplified and standardized their signs to facilitate international travel...

s.

Key officials



  • Martin Dodge, 1899–1905
  • Logan Waller Page, 1905–18
  • Thomas Harris MacDonald
    Thomas Harris MacDonald
    Thomas Harris "Chief" MacDonald was an American civil engineer and politician with tremendous influence in building the country's interstate highway system...

    , 1919–53
  • Francis V. DuPont, 1953–55
  • Charles Dwight (Cap) Curtiss, 1955–57
  • John Anthony Volpe, 1956–57
  • Bertram Dalley Tallamy, 1957–61
  • Rex Marion Whitton, 1961–66
  • Lowell K. Bridwell
    Lowell K. Bridwell
    Lowell K. Bridwell was an American journalist and official with the Federal Highway Administration.-Biography:He was born on June 14, 1924 in Westerville, Ohio. His father worked for the Anti-Saloon League...

    , 1967–69
  • Francis C. Turner, 1969–72
  • Norbert T. Tiemann
    Norbert T. Tiemann
    Norbert Theodore Tiemann was a Republican politician from Wausa, Nebraska best known for being the 32nd Governor of Nebraska from 1967 to 1971. He was born in Minden, Nebraska. He attended Campbell High School in Campbell, Nebraska where he graduated in 1942. He served in the U.S. Army during...

    , 1973–77
  • William M. Cox, 1977–78

  • Karl S. Bowers, 1978–80
  • John S. Hassell, Jr., 1980–81
  • Raymond A. Barnhart
    Ray Barnhart
    Ray Anderson Barnhart is a retired businessman and Republican politician, formerly from Pasadena in Harris County, Texas.From 1981–1987, Barnhart was director of the Federal Highway Administration under U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan...

    , 1981–87
  • Robert E. Farris, 1988–89
  • Thomas D. Larson, 1989–93
  • Rodney E. Slater
    Rodney E. Slater
    Rodney Earl Slater was the United States Secretary of Transportation under U. S. President Bill Clinton.-Education:...

    , 1993–97
  • General Kenneth R. Wykle, 1997–2001
  • Mary E. Peters, 2001–05
  • J. Richard Capka, 2006–08
  • Thomas J. Madison Jr., 2008–09
  • Victor Mendez
    Victor Mendez
    Victor Mendez was sworn in on July 17, 2009, as Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration , the 18th person to hold this position....

    , since 2009

Current:
  • Administrator – Victor Mendez
    Victor Mendez
    Victor Mendez was sworn in on July 17, 2009, as Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration , the 18th person to hold this position....

  • Deputy Administrator – Greg Nadeau
  • Executive Director – Jeffrey F. Paniati

See also

  • Clarus Initiative
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration , established January 1, 2000, regulates the trucking industry in the United States. FMCSA is headquartered in Washington, DC and employs more than 1,000 people in all 50 States and the District of Columbia...

  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute
    Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute
    The Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute is a national University Transportation Center headquartered at the University of Minnesota. The ITS Institute researches activities to enhance the safety and mobility of road-based and transit-based transportation, particularly in a northern...

  • National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol
    National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol
    The National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol is a family of standards designed to achieve interoperability and interchangeability between computers and electronic traffic control equipment from different manufacturers.The protocol is the product of a...

    (NTCIP)

External links