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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

About FHWA

Who We Are

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the Nation’s highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program). Through financial and technical assistance to State and local governments, the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world.

An Overview for our Stakeholders [PDF, 6.3 MB]

See FHWA's Core Topics.

FHWA History

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was created on October 15, 1966, after having had several predecessor organizations.

In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry was founded. In 1905 that organization's name was changed to the Office of Public Roads which became a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. The name was changed again to the Bureau of Public Roads in 1915 and to the Public Roads Administration in 1939. It was then shifted to the Federal Works Agency which was abolished in 1949 when its name reverted to Bureau of Public Roads under the Department of Commerce.

In 1966 the FHWA was created; and in 1967 the functions of the Bureau of Public Roads were transferred to FHWA.

Mission & Core Values

FHWA Mission

The mission of FHWA is to deliver a world-class system that advances safe, efficient, equitable, and sustainable mobility choices for all while strengthening the Nation’s economy.

Core Values

These are our core values that help us define our purpose and our mission:

  • Public Service
    We serve the public by providing high-quality, timely products and services that address important transportation issues.
  • Integrity
    Safety, honesty, fairness, and accountability are at the core of all our interactions and processes. We have the courage to be innovative and to make tough, informed decisions.
  • Family and Work-Life Balance
    We support, respond to, and are empathetic to both individual and family needs and provide comprehensive work-life balance flexibilities to accommodate them.
  • Respect
    We value our employees and stakeholders and celebrate our unique knowledge, skills, and abilities. We treat everyone courteously and conduct ourselves professionally.
  • Personal Development
    Through a wide variety of learning opportunities, we nurture the development and use of leadership, technical, and professional skills, as well as the emotional intelligence and social skills, that enable all employees to pursue growth opportunities.
  • Diversity
    We develop and support a workforce that reflects the diversity of our country. We strive to be a model of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by removing barriers to equitable opportunity.
  • Collaboration
    We achieve success by enabling individuals, organizations, and all stakeholders to effectively engage each other on the development, delivery, and stewardship of a safe, efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation system.