MAP-21 created the NHPP as a new category for federal transportation funding that incorporates Interstate Maintenance, the National Highway System (NHS) and the Highway Bridge Program for bridges that are on the NHS. It is the largest of the MAP-21 funding categories, receiving 58% of all highway formula dollars. The Steering Committee (pdf 244 kb) agreed to provide $45 million for local bridges, of which approximately $23 million comes from the NHPP program and the remaining from the STP.
MAP-21 expands the NHS (pdf 243 kb) to include many other roads that are important for travel within a region. This change in definition resulted in an increase of 864 Center Line Miles and 2,880 Lane Miles in the state of Washington that are eligible for MAP-21 funding.
Projects eligible for NHPP must be located on the Interstate or NHS and includes: construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation, and preservation of highways and bridges; bridge and tunnel inspection and evaluation; safety projects; environmental restoration and mitigation; intelligent transportation systems (ITS); and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. For projects located on the NHS, agencies are required to have certified testers.
MAP-21 requires a new focus on performance and accountability that will help prioritize NHPP spending to reach performance targets on the NHS. USDOT is developing national performance measures for the NHS. Three measures that apply to the NHS are pavement condition, bridge condition and system performance. WSDOT must then set specific, quantifiable targets for each of their performance measures.
Also, the NHPP requires what’s known as an “asset management plan” to prioritize spending to reach performance targets for the NHS. States take an inventory of their assets and determine the highest priorities for repair and then craft a strategy to best address those issues. To help prioritize spending, the bill also establishes penalties for failure to perform. These steps are intended to ensure that states make progress towards improving the condition of NHS highways and bridges.
Further details on the NHPP program are available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/