This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering
IT. This issue features the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a major
agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Roles and Efforts to Build Up Highway Network of America
According to its website, the mission of the FHWA is to create the best
transportation system in the world for the American people and to enhance
mobility through proactive leadership, innovation, and excellence in service.
The FHWA pursues its vision and mission by focusing on the following six
strategic goals: Safety, Mobility and Productivity, Global Connectivity,
Environment, National Homeland Security, and Organizational Excellence.
The FHWA has the broad responsibility of ensuring that America's roads
and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up-to-date.
On the other hand, State, local, and tribal governments own most of the
highways in the nation. Thus, the FHWA provides financial and technical
support to them for constructing, improving, and maintaining America's
FHWA's annual budget is funded by fuel and motor vehicle excise taxes.
The budget is primarily divided between the Federal-aid Highway Program
and the Federal Lands Highway (FLH) Program.
Top page (Reprinted by courtesy of FHWA)
The former, the Federal-aid Highway Program provides Federal financial
resources and technical assistance to State and local governments for constructing,
preserving, and improving the National Highway System, a network of 160,000
miles. The program also provides resources for one million additional miles
of urban and rural roads that are not included in the system, but are eligible
for Federal-aid. The latter, the Federal Lands Highway Program provides
funding for public roads and highways within federally owned lands and
tribal lands that are not a State or local government responsibility. It
is used to maintain and improve access to such areas as National parks
FHWA Spreads Out Its Services Throughout the Nation with Its Organizational
The FHWA is headquartered in Washington, DC, having three types of field
offices in every State of the U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto
First, Resource Centers are located in five cities of Atlanta, Ga., Baltimore,
Md., Lakewood, Co., Olympia Fields, Il., and San Francisco, Ca. As their
mission, they advance transportation technologies and solutions through
providing training and technical assistance to FHWA's Division Offices,
State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations,
and other transportation partners. They also play a part in achieving the
strategic goals of the FHWA mentioned above, as well as in delivering the
Second, Federal-aid Division Offices provide front line Federal-aid program
delivery support to the parties involved. Fifty-two operating division
offices are located in the same city as the State department of transportation
in each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Additionally,
the FHWA has established four metropolitan offices in the cities of Philadelphia,
New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Third, Federal Lands Highway (FLH) Division Offices administer FLH programs,
the Defense Access Roads Program, and the Emergency Relief Program on Federally
Owed Roads. Besides, they provide engineering related services to other
Federal agencies, FHWA offices, and foreign countries as directed, carrying
out technology and training activities relevant to FLH projects. There
are three FLH divisions (Eastern, Central, and Western) with offices located
in Sterling, Va.; Lakewood, Co.; and Vancouver, Wash., respectively.
FHWA Field Offices(Resource Centers and Division Offices)
FHWA Field Offices Federal Lands Highway Division Offices
A Vast Amount of Information on Highways is Classified in a Practical Way
The website of the FHWA is so designed for users as to easily gain necessary
information on the FHWA on a business basis. For example, on the page of
"FHWA Programs," many different plans and programs are classified
by categories. In addition, on the page of "Legislation and Regulations,"
users can readily read a variety of information on legislation and regulations.
Meanwhile on "FHWA By Day" pages, the historical events of FHWA
are compiled and classified by day. There are some other unique attempts
as well, like "Highway History" pages, which display diverse
pieces of information on highways, one of which is a list of "some
road songs," a large number of songs and hit tunes related with roads
and highways, for example.