The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a series of key highways to serve as a highway Primary Freight Network, as required by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The notice appeared in Tuesday's Federal Register.

MAP-21 calls for the Secretary of Transportation to designate up to 27,000 miles on existing interstate and other roadways, with a possible addition of 3,000 miles in the future, as a PFN to help states strategically direct resources toward improving freight movement. The Federal Register notice identifies more than 41,000 miles of comprehensive, connected roadway that a Federal Highway Administration analysis shows would be necessary to transporting goods efficiently on highways throughout the nation to make up the highway PFN.

Through this notice, FHWA invites comment on all aspects of this draft designation, including the importance of a connected highway PFN; the routes proposed for final initial designation of the PFN; the appropriate size and criteria for the highway PFN; and potential uses for the highway PFN.

The PFN proposal is based on the origins and destination of freight movement, shipment tonnage and values, truck traffic volumes and population. Under MAP-21, the highway PFN will become part of a larger highway National Freight Network that includes all interstates and other rural highway routes designated by states that make up critical highway portions of the nation’s multimodal freight system.