The National Highway System (NHS) 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. Altogether, it constitutes the largest highway system in the world.
Individual states are encouraged to focus federal funds on improving the efficiency and safety of this network. The roads within the system were identified by the United States Department of Transportation in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations and approved by the United States Congress in 1995.
|National Highway System|
System map with Interstate Highways in blue and other components in red
|Length||160,955 mi (259,032 km)|
|Formed||November 28, 1995|
|Interstates||Interstate nn (I-nn)|
|US Highways||U.S. Highway nn, U.S. Route nn (US nn, US-nn)|
|State||Varies by state|
|County roads||County Road nn, County Route nn (CR nn, Co. Rd. nn)|
|Other local roads||Varies by locality|
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 provided that certain key routes such as the Interstate Highway System, be included.
The National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (Pub.L. 104–59, 109 Stat. 568) is a United States Act of Congress that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 28, 1995. The legislation designated about 160,955 miles (259,032 km) of roads, including the Interstate Highway System, as the NHS.
Aside from designating the system, the act served several other purposes, including restoring $5.4 billion in funding to state highway departments, giving Congress the power to prioritize highway system projects, repealing all federal speed limit controls, and prohibits the federal government from requiring states to use federal-aid highway funds to convert existing signs or purchase new signs with metric units.
The act also created a State Infrastructure Bank pilot program. Ten states were chosen in 1996 for this new method of road financing. These banks would lend money like regular banks, with funding coming from the federal government or the private sector, and they would be repaid through such means as highway tolls or taxes. In 1997, 28 more states asked to be part of the program. Ohio was the first state to use a state infrastructure bank to start building a road. An advantage to this method was completing projects faster; state laws and the lack of appropriate projects were potential problems.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the 160,000-mile (260,000 km) National Highway System includes roads important to the United States' economy, defense, and mobility, from one or more of the following road networks (specific routes may be part of more than one sub-system):
The system includes 4% of the nation's roads, but carries more than 40% of all highway traffic, 75% of heavy truck traffic, and 90% of tourist traffic. All urban areas with a population of over 50,000 and about 90% of America's population live within 5 miles (8.0 km) of the network, which is the longest in the world.
The American Highway Users Alliance (informally Highway Users, previously Highway Users Federation, National Highway Users Conference), is a non-profit advocacy group representing many businesses in the automotive and road construction sector. The organization, which was founded by General Motors and others in 1932, merged with the Automotive Safety Foundation and Auto Industries Highway Safety Committee in 1970.
It lobbies for sustained investment in the highway system and claims to have been "instrumental in the passage of virtually all major highway and traffic safety legislation over the past 75 years". It argues that revenue from federal US fuel taxes should be used to fund major highway projects and programs. It publishes research proposals relating to specific highway improvement proposals and regular reports that highlight the most congested roadway bottlenecks in the country.
The organization advocates that strategic development of the highway system would reduce congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve Road Traffic Safety.National Highway
National highway or National Highway may refer to:
National Highway (Australia)
List of National Roads in Belgium
Brunei National Roads System
National Highway System (Canada)
China National Highways
Danish national road network
National Highway (India)
National primary road
National secondary road
State highway (Italy)
National highways of Japan
List of National Roads in Latvia
Malaysian Federal Roads System
Mexican Federal Highway
New Zealand state highway network
Norwegian National Road
National Highways of Pakistan
National roads in Poland
Russian federal highways
National routes (South Africa)
National highways of South Korea
List of national roads in Spain
Swedish national road
Turkish State Highway System
State Highways (Ukraine)
National Routes of UruguayUnited States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. It is governed by the United States Secretary of Transportation.United States Numbered Highway System
The United States Numbered Highway System (often called U.S. Routes or U.S. Highways) is an integrated network of roads and highways numbered within a nationwide grid in the contiguous United States. As the designation and numbering of these highways were coordinated among the states, they are sometimes called Federal Highways, but the roadways were built and have always been maintained by state or local governments since their initial designation in 1926.
The route numbers and locations are coordinated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The only federal involvement in AASHTO is a nonvoting seat for the United States Department of Transportation. Generally, north-to-south highways are odd-numbered, with lowest numbers in the east, and highest in the west. Similarly, east-to-west highways are typically even-numbered, with the lowest numbers in the north, and highest in the south. Major north–south routes have numbers ending in "1" while major east–west routes have numbers ending in "0". Three-digit numbered highways are generally spur routes of parent highways (thus U.S. Route 264 is a spur off of U.S. Route 64). Some divided routes (such as U.S. Route 19E and U.S. Route 19W) exist to provide two alignments for one route. Special routes, which can be labeled as alternate, bypass or business, depending on the intended use, provide a parallel routing to the mainline U.S. Highway.
Before the U.S. Routes were designated, auto trails designated by auto trail associations were the main means of marking roads through the United States. In 1925, the Joint Board on Interstate Highways, recommended by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), worked to form a national numbering system to rationalize the roads. After several meetings, a final report was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in November 1925. They received complaints from across the country about the assignment of routes, so the Board made several modifications; the U.S. Highway System was approved in November 1926. As a result of compromises made to get the U.S. Highway System approved, many routes were divided, with alignments to serve different towns. In subsequent years, AASHTO called for such splits in U.S. Routes to be eliminated.
Expansion of the system continued until 1956, when the Interstate Highway System was formed. After construction was completed, many U.S. Routes were replaced by Interstate Highways for through traffic. Despite the Interstate system, U.S. Highways still form many important regional connections, and new routes are still being added.