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FHWA proposes more flexible design standards to repair the nation’s freeways and interstates

November 27th, 2020 / By: / Industry News

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to allow state departments of transportation more flexibility with design standards to repair the nation’s freeways and interstate highways.

“The FHWA proposes to provide regulatory relief to states to address the immediate repair needs of our nation’s roadways without compromising safety and efficiency,” Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason said.

The rule would allow states to develop design standards for resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation projects—commonly known as RRR—for freeways, including those on the interstate system, which has been a longstanding practice for nonfreeway projects.

Consistent with federal law, RRR standards would be required to preserve and extend the service life of the existing road and enhance highway safety. This change would allow states to develop RRR freeway projects using a performance-based, flexible approach.

The RRR standards developed by states would be subject to FHWA approval. FHWA would continue to work with state departments of transportation as they develop RRR design standards that integrate safety and cost-effectiveness.

The rule also proposes to incorporate by reference the latest versions of design standards and standard specifications that have been previously adopted.