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NHS Modifications

Additions or Deletions to the National Highway System

Additions/deletions to the National Highway System (NHS) will require coordination with the local Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), review by Caltrans, and formal approval from the FHWA through an official request by Caltrans. Changes to the NHS can be made for the following purposes:

  • Adding/deleting NHS connectors;
  • Adding/deleting a new route to the NHS;
  • Realignment of an NHS route; or
  • Adding a STRAHNET route that is not currently displayed on the official STRAHNET web site maintained by the Department of Defense's Military Traffic Management Command Center. NHS Guidelines: STRAHNET Request for Changes

National Highway System Procedures - Read 23 CFR, 470.113

Proposals for system actions on the NHS shall include the following:

  • Route description;
  • Statement of justification (explanation of why route should be added/deleted);
  • Statements of coordination with impacted MPO’s, local jurisdictions, and adjoining states (concurrence letters from impacted agencies); and
  • Should enhance the transportation characteristics of the NHS and follow the criteria listed in § 470.107 Federal-aid Highway Systems.

The guidance for changes from principal connectors to major intermodal terminals and for other NHS routes is located in 23 CFR 470 Subpart A, Federal-aid Highway Systems, and its Appendix D to Subpart A, "Guidance Criteria for Evaluating Requests for Modifications to the NHS". Additional criteria for connectors and terminals are in Paragraph 9 of Appendix D.

Modifications to the NHS - 23 USC, Section 103(b)(3)

(This link will open a PDF file that is 1.80 MB).
  • Allows the States to propose modifications to the NHS
  • Authorizes the Secretary to approve such modifications provided that they:
    • Meet the criteria established for the NHS, and
    • Enhance the characteristics of the NHS.
  • In proposing modifications, the States must cooperate with local and regional officials; and.
  • In urbanized areas, the local officials must act through the designated MPO.

All requests for addition/deletion to the NHS must go to the Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information's Highway System Engineering Branch (HSEB). The HSEB will review the request and supporting documentation to ensure the request package is complete before forwarding the request to the FHWA.

Page updated on September 30, 2015

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