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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

Defense Access Road Program (DAR)

Since 1919 the Department of Defense (DOD) and predecessors of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have cooperated in insuring the needs of the military are considered in the nations Federal-aid Highway Program.

The Defense Access Road (DAR) Program provides a means for the military to pay their share of the cost of public highway improvements necessary to mitigate an unusual impact of a defense activity. An unusual impact could be a significant increase in personnel at a military installation, relocation of an access gate, or the deployment of an oversized or overweight military vehicle or transporter unit.

To initiate a DAR project, the local military base identifies the access or mobility needs and brings these deficiencies to the attention of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). The base commander formally submits the requirement to SDDC if it is determined to impact the mission or welfare of the base or military service. The SDDC will then either prepare a DAR needs evaluation or request the FHWA to make an evaluation, in accordance with 23 CFR, Part 660E, of improvements that are necessary, develop a cost estimate, and determine the scope of work to address the noted deficiencies.

An onsite meeting is usually held before the evaluation begins to explain the DAR program, the process for performing the needs evaluation, identify possible alternates, and the assignment of work. The FHWA will forward the needs evaluation to the SDDC for their review and the review of the appropriate military service.

The SDDC will determine if the proposed work/project/improvements are eligible for DAR funds and certify the road/roads/intersection as important to the national defense if appropriate. Then the military service is responsible for requesting DOD funding for the project through their normal budgeting process. Once programmed by the military service, the funds must be authorized and appropriated by Congress. After Congressional approval, the funds are transferred to FHWA and allocated to the agency administering the project. Title 23 Federal-aid procedures are followed in the design and construction of the project.

Minuteman Missile Program

The FHWA also works with the SDDC to support the Air Force Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program (Minuteman). This portion of the DAR program provides DOD funds each year for the extraordinary maintenance, extraordinary snow removal and regravelling of transporter erector routes supporting the missile program.

Further Questions

Headquarters Program Office Contact

Frances Ramirez
Office of Federal Lands Highway
Phone: 202-961-8605

Jeffrey Mann
Senior Program Manager
Office of Federal Lands Highway
Phone: 703-404-6230

SDDC Defense Access Road Program Contacts

Darryl Hampton, P.E.
Phone: (618) 220-5578

Bryan Hall, P.E.
Phone: (618) 220-5253