Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act

Key FAST Programs

National Highway Freight Program

Total Funds: $6.3 billion

FHWA Fact Sheet (PDF)

The National Highway Freight Program (NHFP) is a new five-year, formula-based fund for projects that contribute to the efficient movement of freight on the newly established National Highway Freight Network (NHFN).  The NHFN was established to strategically direct Federal resources and policies toward improved performance of highway portions of the U.S. freight transportation system (click on maps for larger images).

A map of the National Highway Freight Network.

A map of the National Highway Freight Network.

Comparison maps of the primary highway freight system. showing its expansion in Minnesota by approximately 14,000 miles in 2015.

The primary highway freight system in Minnesota was expanded in 2015 by approximately 14,000 miles.

Important dates

  • Dec. 2017 – State Freight Plan completion deadline
  • Dec. 2017 – State Freight Investment Plan completion deadline


The FAST Act established the new NHFP program to improve the efficient movement of freight on the National Highway Freight Network and to improve safety, flexibility, efficiency, and environmental impacts of freight movement in the country. The NHFP program replaces the National Freight Policy provisions of MAP-21 (see also Minnesota MAP-21 freight provision website). 

Under the program, each state must establish a Freight Advisory Committee and develop a Freight Investment Plan before obligating funds.  Minnesota has had these programs in place for many years. 

Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee
Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee Logo.

The Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee (MFAC) was established in 1998 as one of the nation’s first freight advisory committees.  In October 2015, a new executive committee and formal membership structure was established. The new MFAC membership includes representation from private companies, shippers and carriers, tribal interests, MPOs and others.   Information including meeting notices and minutes, current projects and studies, freight maps, and data analyses can be found on the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee website

Minnesota Statewide Freight System Plan

Minnesota completed its first statewide freight plan in 2005. An update to the most recent plan is currently under development. The plan has been developed cooperatively with private and public entities and will provide a framework and strategies to guide planning and investment. The updated plan will be completed in May, 2016. See the Minnesota Statewide Freight System Plan website for more details. 


The NHFP program provides $6.3 billion in formula funds for freight-related highway improvements. NHFP funding for Minnesota is estimated at $104 million for federal fiscal years 2016-2020.

National Highway Freight Program

Fiscal Year


2017 2018 2019 2020

$1.150 B

$1.100 B $1.200 B $1.350 B $1.500 B
Estimated Funding*

$1.140 B

$1.091 B $1.190 B $1.339 B

$1.487 B

*Represents net amount available after a portion of the authorized amount is set aside for Metropolitan Planning.

Eligible projects

Collage featuring a train, a truck, a barge and an airplane.

NHFP projects are targeted toward the newly designed National Highway Freight Network and to other critical urban freight corridors. Projects must contribute to the efficient movement of freight. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Development phase activities
  • Road projects that separate passenger vehicles from commercial trucks
  • Truck-only highway lanes
  • Traditional road and bridge projects that improve truck movement
  • Railway-highway grade separation
  • Truck parking facilities
  • Traffic signal optimization
  • Intelligent freight transportation systems
  • Highway and/or bridge projects that improve the flow of freight
  • Surface transportation projects that improve the flow of freight