Federal Register Notice – Open Docket for “13 Controlling Design Criteria and Related Exceptions”

Good morning all, In yesterday’s Federal Register, FHWA published a notice requesting comments on revisions to the 13 controlling design of projects on the NHS that require a design exception when not met.  Given the expansion of the NHS with MAP-21, this notice is more applicable to local agencies than it would have been pre-MAP-21.  Comments are … Read moreFederal Register Notice – Open Docket for “13 Controlling Design Criteria and Related Exceptions”

ADA Compliance Review

Update 1/20/2016: All ADAIP contracts have been suspended until further notice. The Caltrans ADA Infrastructure Program is currently performing an audit of all local agencies for federal ADA compliance1. They have consulted with National ADA Accrediting & Consulting, Inc. (ADAAC) to check if local agencies have the ADA administrative requirements2 in place: Designating an ADA … Read moreADA Compliance Review

Functional Classification: On vs Off System

It can be confusing trying to figure out what type of road is classified as an “on” system road versus an “off” system road. And what’s the difference between the NHS and the Federal-Aid System?

I’ve finally found the answers, not to mention a few minor torturing tactics that I developed along the way to pry this information out of my colleagues. But that’s another blog entry for another day 🙂 I hope you find this information helpful.

on vs off system


Streets and highways are grouped into classes based on the service they provide. The California Road System (CRS maps) display functional classification which is used in determining funding eligibility, as well as applicable design standards.

Additionally, here is a breakdown on Functional Classification (FC) by numerical value. They are color coded as displayed on the CRS maps.

A breakdown of non-State Highway NHS can be found here or at the Caltrans NHS website.

The NHS includes the following:

  • The Interstate System.
  • Principal arterials (including those not previously designated as part of the NHS) and border crossings on those routes.
  • Intermodal connectors — highways that provide motor vehicle access between the NHS and major intermodal transportation facilities
  • STRAHNET (Strategic Highway Network) — the network of highways important to U.S. strategic defense
  • STRAHNET connectors to major military installations.


Below is an example of a CRS map.

crs maps example

For more information regarding Functional Classification, NHS or the Federal Aid System, please visit: http://dot.ca.gov/hq/tsip/hseb/index.html



2015 ATP Staff Recommendations – Statewide and Small Urban & Rural Components

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has released the 2015 ATP Staff Recommendations for the Statewide and Small Urban & Rural Components and posted them at: http://www.catc.ca.gov/programs/ATP/2015/2015_ATP_Staff_Recommendation-Statewide_Small_Urban-Rural.pdf Keep in mind that these are the Staff Recommendations and the program of projects will not be final until the CTC formally adopts the program at the October 21-22 … Read more2015 ATP Staff Recommendations – Statewide and Small Urban & Rural Components

Google Earth being discontinued December 12, 2015

The map display in Caltrans Earth uses the Google Earth Application Program Interface (API) and Plug-In software. Google announced they will be retiring their API and Plug-In software on December 12, 2015. We were notified by Google that these components were developed on an older technology that they consider a security risk. There are no announcements from Google … Read moreGoogle Earth being discontinued December 12, 2015

Updated LAPM Exhibit 13-B, RW Certification

LAPM Exhibit 13-B, Right of Way Certification Local Assistance Project, was recently updated to reflect Rights of Entry policy changes. The update was issued and explained through Division of Local Assistance Office Bulletin 15-03: Effective immediately, the use of Rights of Entry are limited to emergency and exceptional situations only and require pre-approval from the … Read moreUpdated LAPM Exhibit 13-B, RW Certification

FHWA’s FMIS Shutdown 09/26/15 – 10/25/15

In a message to transportation partners, Ray Zhang, Division of Local Assistance Chief, explains the upcoming shutdown of FHWA’s authorization approval and reimbursement system: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been working on upgrading its Financial Management Information System (FMIS) for a while to comply with some MAP-21 requirements. The roll out of FMIS upgrade … Read moreFHWA’s FMIS Shutdown 09/26/15 – 10/25/15

Federal Aid Series Sessions Now Open for Registration

New Federal Aid Series (FAS) Sessions have been added to the current schedule of training1 from the LTAP Center: November 3 – 5, 2015, November 9 – 10, 2015: Stockton February 22 – 26, 2016: Fresno April 2016 (dates to be announced): Orange June 6 – 10, 2016: Redding Register at the California LTAP website … Read moreFederal Aid Series Sessions Now Open for Registration

ITS and Traffic Operations Training Resources

The FHWA California Division has put together this list of education and training opportunities for those involved with Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and transportation operations projects. Most of the resources listed are free to local agency representatives. If you have other resources that may be helpful, please share them in the comments below or send … Read moreITS and Traffic Operations Training Resources

New-Look LAPM

If you’ve recently visited the Local Assistance website for the Local Assistance Procedures Manual (LAPM), you’ll notice that all chapters1 have been revised1: The changes made were solely formatting. The new, consistent format was developed to provide the foundation for regular updates (every January and July) of the manual. Although the chapters look different, it should be noted that the contents of … Read moreNew-Look LAPM