VDOT Arterial Preservation Program

Arterial Preservation Program

This page highlights the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Arterial Preservation Program.:

Program purpose and need | Arterial Preservation Network | Program goals | Implementation strategies | Program initiatives | Resources


The Arterial Preservation Program is designed to preserve and enhance the safety and capacity of the critical transportation highways included in the Arterial Preservation Network.

Arterials are major highways that function similarly to the interstate system, accommodating long-distance mobility of people and goods throughout the commonwealth. Preserving mobility on these corridors is critical to the current and future economy.

Within the framework of the Arterial Preservation Program, VDOT is developing methodologies to consistently and programmatically evaluate the corridors through the use of Arterial Management Plans, creating a toolbox of safety, preservation and enhancement strategies and identifying opportunities to implement these strategies.

Safety, preservation and enhancement strategies serve as an alternative to widening major highways to add capacity, promoting the use of innovative transportation solutions, minimizing delays for through traffic and improving safety, while incorporating local economic development goals.

The Arterial Preservation Program is voluntary and developed in partnership with localities- VDOT works closely with localities to plan for infrastructure that supports future land use and development.

Arterial Preservation Network

The Arterial Preservation Network is the state-maintained portion of the National Highway System in Virginia including some additional highways that facilitate connectivity. Over time, additional facilities may be added to further enhance connectivity should the need arise.

The map below shows the current network designation, effective May 1st, 2019.


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National Highway System – includes the Interstate Highway System as well as other roads important to the nation’s economy, defense, and mobility.

  • Interstates
  • Other Principal Arterials
  • Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET)
  • Major Strategic Highway Connectors
  • Intermodal Connectors‌


Program Goals

The overarching goal of the Arterial Preservation Program is to preserve and enhance the safety and capacity of the Arterial Preservation Network while ensuring:
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Increased safety for all users

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Local economic development goals are integrated into each plan

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Mainline through traffic is served with priority 

Implementation Strategies

Implementation strategies for achieving program goals include:
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Solicit public input throughout each planning process and in multiple forms

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Improve access management

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Educate all stakeholders on the benefits of improved mobility

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Inspire comprehensive transportation and zoning planning efforts

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Eliminate unwarranted traffic signals

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Implement innovative intersection configurations

Program Initiatives

VDOT has initiated a review of current policies and procedures to align with the goals of the Arterial Preservation Program. This review process is focused on enhancing current policies and encouraging the use of innovative strategies to preserve safety and capacity.

The review process will evaluate:

  • Current access management regulations – subject to Administrative Process Act procedures
  • Current design exception process
  • Innovative Intersection and Interchange design policies and guidance
  • Traffic signal warrants
  • VDOT’s role in project development on urban extension projects

As a result, the following policies and / or procedures have been updated so far:


Below are instructions and guidance in the deployment of the Arterial Preservation Program implementation strategies:


Page last modified: June 6, 2023