Defense Access Roads (DAR)
The Defense Access Road (DAR) Program provides a means for the military to pay their fair 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 Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) will either prepare a 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.
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 MTMC for their review and the review of the appropriate military service.
The MTMC will determine if the proposed work/project/improvements are eligible for DAR funds and certify the road as important to the national defense. Then the military service requests funding for the project through their normal budgeting process. Once the funds are provided by Congress they 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 Minuteman missile program. This portion of the DAR program provides funds each year for the extraordinary maintenance, extraordinary snow removal and regravelling of transporter erector routes supporting the program. About $6 million per year are made available for this program.
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.
Darryl Hampton, P.E.
Defense Access Road Program
Defense Access Roads Program
23 U.S.C. 210. Regulations are contained in 23 CFR 660E
There is no regular appropriation of money available for the DAR program. Military Construction (MILCON) funds are specifically budgeted, authorized and appropriated for justified DAR projects. Since 1957 the DAR program has averaged $20 million per year.
Typical Use of Funding
DAR road funding has been used as follows:
FHWA Administration - 2.0%
Projects - 98%
To initiate a DAR project, the local military installation identifies the access or mobility needs and brings these deficiencies to the attention of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). The SDDC reviews the requirement and makes a preliminary eligibility determination. If it appears eligible, the SDDC requests the FHWA to prepare an engineering evaluation to identify the cost and scope of the needs. The FHWA forwards the evaluation and recommendations to the SDDC. The SDDC then submits its determination of eligibility and its recommended fair share of the improvements to the Commander, SDDC, with the recommendation that the route be certified as important for the national defense. Once certified by the Commander, SDDC, the roads become eligible for DAR funding.
The DAR program is jointly administered by the FHWA and SDDC. The Federal Lands Highway Office administers the program for FHWA and the Transportation Engineering Agency administers the program for SDDC. The roles and responsibilities of each agency are defined in regulations located in 23 CFR 660E.
Selection of Defense Access Road Projects:
If the project is determined to be eligible for financing either in whole or in part with defense access road funds, SDDC will certify the project as important to the national defense and will authorize expenditure of defense access road funds. The Commander, SDDC, is the only representative of the DOD officially authorized to make the certification required by section 210, title 23, U.S.C., in behalf of the Secretary of Defense.
WFLHD Program Office Contact
Matthew Joerin, P.E.
Western Federal Lands
Phone: (360) 619-7602