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Challenge: Promoting Environmental Sustainability

Transportation significantly impacts the environment. Motor vehicles are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and while essential to supporting mobility and economic growth, traditional highway designs sometimes disrupt critical wildlife habitats.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a leader in sustainable transportation, developing new technologies and improved practices that minimize negative impacts on people, the environment, and natural resources. FHWA is helping transportation agencies save money through energy-efficient practices and support public health through improving air quality. FHWA also supports agencies' efforts to protect natural spaces and resources that are vital to the health of the Nation's wildlife.

Showcase Activities

The Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool (INVEST) (Planning, Environment, and Realty) is a practical, Web-based collection of noteworthy practices that allow States or other project sponsors to measure and evaluate the sustainability of transportation projects.

Research is identifying the conditions that optimize the use of recycled asphalt in pavement (Infrastructure). These pavements help reduce the environmental impacts of roadway construction by reducing waste, conserving energy, and mitigating air pollution.

A project exploring the benefits of greatly increased use of fly ash in hydraulic cement concrete (Exploratory Advanced Research) seeks to reduce significantly the environmental footprint of concrete pavements and structures. By identifying innovative methods to increase the use of this waste byproduct of coal combustion, new pavement mixtures can be developed that take less energy to produce and last longer.