23 USC 103 - Federal-aid systems

(a) In General.— 
For the purposes of this title, the Federal-aid systems are the Interstate System and the National Highway System.
(b) National Highway System.— 

(1) Description.— 
The National Highway System consists of the highway routes and connections to transportation facilities depicted on the map submitted by the Secretary to Congress with the report entitled Pulling Together: The National Highway System and its Connections to Major Intermodal Terminals and dated May 24, 1996. The system shall
(A) serve major population centers, international border crossings, ports, airports, public transportation facilities, and other intermodal transportation facilities and other major travel destinations;

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(B) meet national defense requirements; and
(C) serve interstate and interregional travel.
(2) Components.— 
The National Highway System described in paragraph (1) consists of the following:
(A) The Interstate System described in subsection (c).
(B) Other urban and rural principal arterial routes.
(C) Other connector highways (including toll facilities) that provide motor vehicle access between arterial routes on the National Highway System and a major intermodal transportation facility.
(D) A strategic highway network consisting of a network of highways that are important to the United States strategic defense policy and that provide defense access, continuity, and emergency capabilities for the movement of personnel, materials, and equipment in both peacetime and wartime. The highways may be highways on or off the Interstate System and shall be designated by the Secretary in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and the States.
(E) Major strategic highway network connectors consisting of highways that provide motor vehicle access between major military installations and highways that are part of the strategic highway network. The highways shall be designated by the Secretary in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and the States.
(3) Maximum mileage.— 
The mileage of highways on the National Highway System shall not exceed 178,250 miles.
(4) Modifications to nhs.— 


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(A) In general.— 
The Secretary may make any modification, including any modification consisting of a connector to a major intermodal terminal, to the National Highway System that is proposed by a State or that is proposed by a State and revised by the Secretary if the Secretary determines that the modification
(i) meets the criteria established for the National Highway System under this title; and
(ii) enhances the national transportation characteristics of the National Highway System.
(B) Cooperation.— 

(i) In general.— 
In proposing a modification under this paragraph, a State shall cooperate with local and regional officials.
(ii) Urbanized areas.— 
In an urbanized area, the local officials shall act through the metropolitan planning organization designated for the area under section 134.
(5) Congressional high priority corridors.— 
Upon the completion of feasibility studies, the Secretary shall add to the National Highway System any congressional high priority corridor or any segment of such a corridor established by section 1105 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (105 Stat. 2031 et seq.) that was not identified on the National Highway System described in paragraph (1).
(6) State eligible projects for nhs.— 
Subject to approval by the Secretary, funds apportioned to a State under section 104 (b)(1) for the National Highway System may be obligated for any of the following:
(A) Construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation of segments of the National Highway System.
(B) Operational improvements for segments of the National Highway System.
(C) Construction of, and operational improvements for, a Federal-aid highway not on the National Highway System, and construction of a transit project eligible for assistance under chapter 53 of title 49, if
(i) the highway or transit project is in the same corridor as, and in proximity to, a fully access-controlled highway designated as a part of the National Highway System;
(ii) the construction or improvements will improve the level of service on the fully access-controlled highway described in clause (i) and improve regional traffic flow; and
(iii) the construction or improvements are more cost-effective than an improvement to the fully access-controlled highway described in clause (i).
(D) Highway safety improvements for segments of the National Highway System.
(E) Transportation planning in accordance with sections 134 and 135.
(F) Highway research and planning in accordance with chapter 5.
(G) Highway-related technology transfer activities.
(H) Capital and operating costs for traffic monitoring, management, and control facilities and programs.
(I) Fringe and corridor parking facilities.
(J) Carpool and vanpool projects.
(K) Bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways in accordance with section 217.
(L) Development, establishment, and implementation of management systems under section 303.
(M) In accordance with all applicable Federal law (including regulations), participation in natural habitat and wetland mitigation efforts related to projects funded under this title, which may include participation in natural habitat and wetland mitigation banks, contributions to statewide and regional efforts to conserve, restore, enhance, and create natural habitats and wetland, and development of statewide and regional natural habitat and wetland conservation and mitigation plans, including any such banks, efforts, and plans authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of 1990 (Public Law 101640) (including crediting provisions). Contributions to the mitigation efforts described in the preceding sentence may take place concurrent with or in advance of project construction; except that contributions in advance of project construction may occur only if the efforts are consistent with all applicable requirements of Federal law (including regulations) and State transportation planning processes. With respect to participation in a natural habitat or wetland mitigation effort related to a project funded under this title that has an impact that occurs within the service area of a mitigation bank, preference shall be given, to the maximum extent practicable, to the use of the mitigation bank if the bank contains sufficient available credits to offset the impact and the bank is approved in accordance with the Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks (60 Fed. Reg. 58605 (November 28, 1995)) or other applicable Federal law (including regulations).
(N) Publicly-owned intracity or intercity bus terminals.
(O) Infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems capital improvements.
[(P) Repealed. Pub. L. 109–59, title I, § 1118(b)(1)(B), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1181.]
(Q) Environmental restoration and pollution abatement in accordance with section 328.
(R) Control of noxious weeds and aquatic noxious weeds and establishment of native species in accordance with section 329.
(7) Territory eligible projects.— 
Subject to approval by the Secretary, funds set aside for this program under section 104 (b)(1) for the National Highway System may be obligated for projects eligible for assistance under the territorial highway program under section 215.
(c) Interstate System.— 

(1) Description.— 

(A) In general.— 
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways within the United States (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) consists of highways designed, located, and selected in accordance with this paragraph.
(B) Design.— 

(i) In general.— 
Except as provided in clause (ii), highways on the Interstate System shall be designed in accordance with the standards of section 109 (b).
(ii) Exception.— 
Highways on the Interstate System in Alaska and Puerto Rico shall be designed in accordance with such geometric and construction standards as are adequate for current and probable future traffic demands and the needs of the locality of the highway.
(C) Location.— 
Highways on the Interstate System shall be located so as
(i) to connect by routes, as direct as practicable, the principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers;
(ii) to serve the national defense; and
(iii) to the maximum extent practicable, to connect at suitable border points with routes of continental importance in Canada and Mexico.
(D) Selection of routes.— 
To the maximum extent practicable, each route of the Interstate System shall be selected by joint action of the State transportation departments of the State in which the route is located and the adjoining States, in cooperation with local and regional officials, and subject to the approval of the Secretary.
(2) Maximum mileage.— 
The mileage of highways on the Interstate System shall not exceed 43,000 miles, exclusive of designations under paragraph (4).
(3) Modifications.— 
The Secretary may approve or require modifications to the Interstate System in a manner consistent with the policies and procedures established under this subsection.
(4) Interstate system designations.— 

(A) Additions.— 
If the Secretary determines that a highway on the National Highway System meets all standards of a highway on the Interstate System and that the highway is a logical addition or connection to the Interstate System, the Secretary may, upon the affirmative recommendation of the State or States in which the highway is located, designate the highway as a route on the Interstate System.
(B) Designations as future interstate system routes.— 

(i) In general.— 
If the Secretary determines that a highway on the National Highway System would be a logical addition or connection to the Interstate System and would qualify for designation as a route on the Interstate System under subparagraph (A) if the highway met all standards of a highway on the Interstate System, the Secretary may, upon the affirmative recommendation of the State or States in which the highway is located, designate the highway as a future Interstate System route.
(ii) Written agreement of states.— 
A designation under clause (i) shall be made only upon the written agreement of the State or States described in such clause that the highway will be constructed to meet all standards of a highway on the Interstate System by the date that is 25 years after the date of the agreement.
(iii) Removal of designation.— 

(I) In general.— 
If the State or States described in clause (i) have not substantially completed the construction of a highway designated under this subparagraph within the time provided for under clause (ii), the Secretary shall remove the designation of the highway as a future Interstate System route.
(II) Effect of removal.— 
Removal of the designation of a highway under subclause (I) shall not preclude the Secretary from designating the highway as a route on the Interstate System under subparagraph (A) or under any other provision of law providing for addition to the Interstate System.
(III) Existing agreements.— 
An agreement described in clause (ii) that is entered into before the date of enactment of this subclause shall be deemed to include the 25-year time limitation described in that clause, regardless of any earlier construction completion date in the agreement.
(iv) Prohibition on referral as interstate system route.— 
No law, rule, regulation, map, document, or other record of the United States, or of any State or political subdivision of a State, shall refer to any highway designated as a future Interstate System route under this subparagraph, nor shall any such highway be signed or marked, as a highway on the Interstate System until such time as the highway is constructed to the geometric and construction standards for the Interstate System and has been designated as a route on the Interstate System.
(C) Financial responsibility.— 
Except as provided in this title, the designation of a highway under this paragraph shall create no additional Federal financial responsibility with respect to the highway.
(5) Exemption of interstate system.— 

(A) In general.— 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Interstate System shall not be considered to be a historic site under section 303 of title 49 or section 138 of this title, regardless of whether the Interstate System or portions or elements of the Interstate System are listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places.
(B) Individual elements.— 
Subject to subparagraph (C), the Secretary shall determine, through the administrative process established for exempting the Interstate System from section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), those individual elements of the Interstate System that possess national or exceptional historic significance (such as a historic bridge or a highly significant engineering feature). Such elements shall be considered to be a historic site under section 303 of title 49 or section 138 of this title, as applicable.
(C) Construction, maintenance, restoration, and rehabilitation activities.— 
Subparagraph (B) does not prohibit a State from carrying out construction, maintenance, restoration, or rehabilitation activities for a portion of the Interstate System referred to in subparagraph (B) upon compliance with section 303 of title 49 or section 138 of this title, as applicable, and section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f).
(d) Transfer of Interstate Construction Funds.— 

(1) Interstate construction funds not in surplus.— 

(A) In general.— 
Upon application by a State and approval by the Secretary, the Secretary may transfer to the apportionment of the State under section 104 (b)(1) any amount of funds apportioned to the State under section 104 (b)(5)(A) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century), if the amount does not exceed the Federal share of the costs of construction of segments of the Interstate System in the State included in the most recent Interstate System cost estimate.
(B) Effect of transfer.— 
Upon transfer of an amount under subparagraph (A), the construction on which the amount is based, as included in the most recent Interstate System cost estimate, shall not be eligible for funding under section 104 (b)(5)(A) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century) or 118(c).
(2) Surplus interstate construction funds.— 
Upon application by a State and approval by the Secretary, the Secretary may transfer to the apportionment of the State under section 104 (b)(1) any amount of surplus funds apportioned to the State under section 104 (b)(5)(A) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century), if the State has fully financed all work eligible under the most recent Interstate System cost estimate.
(3) Applicability of certain laws.— 
Funds transferred under this subsection shall be subject to the laws (including regulations, policies, and procedures) relating to the apportionment to which the funds are transferred.