WASHINGTON — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) last month published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would 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,” said Nicole R. Nason, Federal Highway administrator.
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 non-freeway 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. According to FHWA, the proposed change would allow individual states to develop RRR freeway projects using a performance-based, flexible approach.
If the rulemaking is approved, RRR standards developed by each state 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.
To review the notice of proposed rulemaking or to comment, click here. The deadline for comments is Dec. 24.
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