Fact #320: May 17, 2004
The National Highway System
The National Highway System (NHS) Designation Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-59) was enacted to specify a network of nationally significant highways. It includes the interstate system and over 100,000 miles of arterial and other roads.
The NHS represents only about 4% of the nation's total public road miles and 6.6% of its lane miles, but carries over 44% of the travel. Most travel on the NHS takes place in urban areas even though there are more NHS miles in rural areas.
|Public road miles||3,966,485|
|Share of NHS miles to public road miles||4.1%|
|Public lane miles||8,295,168|
|NHS lane miles||549,948|
|Share of NHS lane miles to public lane-miles||6.6%|
|All vehicle miles of travel||2,855,756|
|NHS vehicle miles of travel||1,269,372|
|Share of NHS vehicle miles of travel to All vehicle miles of travel||44.4%|
Source: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Highway Statistics 2002, Tables HM-41, HM-20, HM-48, and VM-3.