The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) coordinates highway transportation programs in cooperation with states and other partners to enhance the country's safety, economic vitality, quality of life, and the environment. Major program areas include the Federal-Aid Highway Program, which provides federal financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, urban and rural roads, and bridges. This program provides funds for general improvements and development of safe highways and roads. The Federal Lands Highway Program provides access to and within national forests, national parks, Indian reservations and other public lands by preparing plans and contracts, supervising construction facilities, and conducting bridge inspections and surveys. The FHWA also manages a comprehensive research, development, and technology program.
Before any project can move forward to construction, the FHWA must address and comply with numerous laws related to the environment. These laws cover social, economic, and environmental concerns ranging from community cohesion to threatened and endangered species (See Summary of Environmental Laws Affecting Transportation). To get through this detailed process, FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration use the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to evaluate impacts associated with each individual project.Within the Federal-aid Highway Program, FHWA’s Planning, Environment, and Realty program oversees the agency’s environmental programs.
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