Overseas News on Civil Engineering IT
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Website name:
The Federal Highway Administration

URL: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/

This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Roles and Efforts to Build Up Highway Network of America

According to its website, the mission of the FHWA is to create the best transportation system in the world for the American people and to enhance mobility through proactive leadership, innovation, and excellence in service. The FHWA pursues its vision and mission by focusing on the following six strategic goals: Safety, Mobility and Productivity, Global Connectivity, Environment, National Homeland Security, and Organizational Excellence.

The FHWA has the broad responsibility of ensuring that America's roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up-to-date. On the other hand, State, local, and tribal governments own most of the highways in the nation. Thus, the FHWA provides financial and technical support to them for constructing, improving, and maintaining America's highway system.

FHWA's annual budget is funded by fuel and motor vehicle excise taxes. The budget is primarily divided between the Federal-aid Highway Program and the Federal Lands Highway (FLH) Program.

Top page (Reprinted by courtesy of FHWA)

The former, the Federal-aid Highway Program provides Federal financial resources and technical assistance to State and local governments for constructing, preserving, and improving the National Highway System, a network of 160,000 miles. The program also provides resources for one million additional miles of urban and rural roads that are not included in the system, but are eligible for Federal-aid. The latter, the Federal Lands Highway Program provides funding for public roads and highways within federally owned lands and tribal lands that are not a State or local government responsibility. It is used to maintain and improve access to such areas as National parks and forests.

FHWA Spreads Out Its Services Throughout the Nation with Its Organizational Basis

The FHWA is headquartered in Washington, DC, having three types of field offices in every State of the U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

First, Resource Centers are located in five cities of Atlanta, Ga., Baltimore, Md., Lakewood, Co., Olympia Fields, Il., and San Francisco, Ca. As their mission, they advance transportation technologies and solutions through providing training and technical assistance to FHWA's Division Offices, State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and other transportation partners. They also play a part in achieving the strategic goals of the FHWA mentioned above, as well as in delivering the Federal-aid Program.

Second, Federal-aid Division Offices provide front line Federal-aid program delivery support to the parties involved. Fifty-two operating division offices are located in the same city as the State department of transportation in each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additionally, the FHWA has established four metropolitan offices in the cities of Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Third, Federal Lands Highway (FLH) Division Offices administer FLH programs, the Defense Access Roads Program, and the Emergency Relief Program on Federally Owed Roads. Besides, they provide engineering related services to other Federal agencies, FHWA offices, and foreign countries as directed, carrying out technology and training activities relevant to FLH projects. There are three FLH divisions (Eastern, Central, and Western) with offices located in Sterling, Va.; Lakewood, Co.; and Vancouver, Wash., respectively.

FHWA Field Offices(Resource Centers and Division Offices)

FHWA Field Offices Federal Lands Highway Division Offices

A Vast Amount of Information on Highways is Classified in a Practical Way

The website of the FHWA is so designed for users as to easily gain necessary information on the FHWA on a business basis. For example, on the page of "FHWA Programs," many different plans and programs are classified by categories. In addition, on the page of "Legislation and Regulations," users can readily read a variety of information on legislation and regulations.

Meanwhile on "FHWA By Day" pages, the historical events of FHWA are compiled and classified by day. There are some other unique attempts as well, like "Highway History" pages, which display diverse pieces of information on highways, one of which is a list of "some road songs," a large number of songs and hit tunes related with roads and highways, for example.

This article is written based on the above web site with the permission of FHWA.