National Road Network Pilot Project

The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is a national level highway information system that includes data on the extent, condition, performance, use and operating characteristics of the nation's highways. The HPMS contains administrative and extent of system information on all public roads, while information on other characteristics is represented in HPMS as a mix of universe and sample data for arterial and collector functional systems. Limited information on travel and paved miles is included in summary form for the lowest functional systems. 
The December 2019 Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, 2020, title I of division H, P.L. 116-94 and House Report 116-106 provided funding for a National Road Network Pilot Program also referred to below as the HPMS Pilot.
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Contents


Objective

This project will gather requirements and the process framework to improve the quality of the HPMS road network in three areas:
  1. Connectivity of networks at intra- and inter-state borders,
  2. Spatial representation of multi-carriageway roadways, and
  3. Spatial accuracy of networks.
These focus areas will be addressed through outreach to select pilot states and coordination with U.S. Department of Transportation agencies.  The project will identify tools for improved network edge matching and standardized reporting of data that are attached to state linear road networks.  Requirements for interagency use will be identified.  A working project timeline is below.

Background

The FHWA maintains the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) to collect state level roadway information. Since its inception in 1978, the HPMS evolved to become a critical data source for system performance assessment and national infrastructure investment models. Following updates during the last decade, the HPMS now includes state level spatial road networks for all public roads.
HPMS spatial networks are now a critical source for several national applications. The networks are updated annually, directly sourced from state departments of transportation, and include all public roads. FHWA applications using the HPMS spatial network include:
  • the National Highway Planning Network (NHPN),
  • the National Highway System (NHS),
  • the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF),
  • the Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS), and
  • the Fatality Analysis Reporting System  (FARS).
Although the networks created from HPMS are extensive, state to state connectivity, complete intersection models, and consistent roadway representation between states would increase their application. Recent attempts to use state level HPMS networks for natural disaster impact assessment have highlighted the need for these enhancements.
With dedicated funding from Congress, the FHWA is embarking on a project to enhance the FHWA national spatial road network. The project will produce a national spatial file with improved spatial network connectivity across jurisdiction lines, refined data to network relationships and improved spatial accuracy. It is expected that these enhancements will lead to improved usability of the spatial road network derived from HPMS for applications including travel monitoring, safety analysis, freight modeling and emergency response.

Program Timeline

Project timeline with milestones and attributed activities

Events

Upcoming Events:

State Workshops
 
Two workshops will engage participating states via a dialog about challenges and opportunities to meet the HPMS Pilot objectives. Details on the timing of the workshops will be posted as it is available.
National Outreach Webinar
A webinar to brief state Departments of Transportation will be held to engage the broader HPMS community.  Details on the timing of this webinar will be posted as it becomes available.
Past Events:
National Roads Network Symposium
September 16-17, 2020 
The symposium obtained stakeholder input and perspective from the private sector and research community with regard to the status, goals, needs, and missing pieces of national spatial (GIS based) road networks for transportation use. This feedback will be used to help guide priorities, federal funding and resource allocations during the development of enhanced, national networks derived from the Highway Performance Monitoring System.
Several big picture questions were addressed during the symposium. 
  • What are the goals and key elements of a national spatial roadway network? 
  • How would this data be used?
  • How do we improve the HPMS spatial data to better serve the transportation community’s needs? 
  • How would these improvements impact the core objectives of the HPMS program? 

Documents (click to download)

This briefing paper is intended to provide information following the National Roads Network Symposium that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) convened virtually in September. The purpose of this symposium was to obtain input and perspective on the status, goals, needs, and missing pieces of national spatial (geographic information system (GIS) based) road networks for transportation use in advancing a National Road Network Pilot Program. This feedback will be used to help guide priorities, Federal funding and resource allocations during the development of enhanced, national networks derived from the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS).

Over two, half-day sessions on September 16 and 17, 2020 FHWA hosted a virtual policy symposium to discuss current trends, recommendations, ideas, and best practices regarding FHWA’s approach towards the National Roads Network Pilot Program. The goal of the symposium was to obtain stakeholder input and perspective on the status, goals, needs, and missing pieces of national spatial (geographic information system (GIS)-based) road networks for transportation use.
This white paper documents the discussion that occurred to obtain insights into these questions and the issues associated with them. It draws on information contained in materials circulated as part of the symposium as well as inputs received from participants in the September 2020 FHWA symposium.

Office of Highway Policy Information
The Office of Highway Policy Information serves as the national source of surface transportation data; providing the U.S. DOT, Congress, and transportation community with accurate information products in a timely manner to inform the development and implementation of decisions, policies, legislation, programs, and performance goals, while constantly striving to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of data collection and analysis on travelers and the physical, operational and financial condition of our transportation system.