U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Vehicle Technologies Office
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.
National Highway System, 2002
|Public road miles
|Share of NHS miles to public road miles
|Public lane miles
|NHS lane miles
|Share of NHS lane miles to public lane-miles
|All vehicle miles of travel
|NHS vehicle miles of travel
|Share of NHS vehicle miles of travel to All vehicle miles of travel
Source: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Highway Statistics 2002, Tables HM-41, HM-20, HM-48, and VM-3.
Graphic from FHWA, Our Nation's Highways 1998.
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