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 capacity and safety of the critical transportation highways included in the Arterial Preservation Network.

These major highways accommodate 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, creating a toolbox of preservation and enhancement strategies and identifying opportunities to implement these strategies.

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

Developed in partnership with localities, the strategies will be used as tools to plan for infrastructure that supports future land use and development.

Arterial Preservation Network

The Arterial Preservation Network includes segments of selected major highways that are part of the Corridors of Statewide Significance (CoSS) system or are functionally classified as principal or other principal arterials.

These major highways are needed for statewide connectivity, which is critical for economic development.

The proposed Arterial Preservation Network is below, pending adoption into VTrans2040 by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).

On the map:
   Mobility enhancement segment
   Mobility enhancement segment (non-CoSS)
Mobility preservation segment
Mobility preservation segment (non-CoSS)
Not part of Arterial Preservation Network
Urbanized area
Urban center

View larger map

The roadway segments selected for the Arterial Preservation Network are the:

  • Mobility Preservation Segments (MPS) – These are segments of arterial roadways outside urban areas (population of 50,000 or more) that serve long-distance mobility needs where no parallel freeway route exists.

    VDOT’s focus on these segments is to preserve mobility by minimizing delays for through traffic whenever access changes are proposed.

  • Mobility Enhancement Segments (MES) – These are segments of arterial roadways inside urban areas (population of 50,000 or more) where there may be opportunities to improve traffic flow without major roadway widening.

    Significant traffic growth and travel delays often occur on MES segments due to the impacts of commercial entrances and traffic signals that serve adjacent land uses. MES segments also serve multiple travel modes.

Program Goals

The overarching goal of the Arterial Preservation Program is to preserve and enhance the capacity of the Arterial Preservation Network while ensuring:
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Mainline through traffic is served with priority

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Access points and traffic control do not degrade travel speed and safety

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Safety is improved

Implementation Strategies

Implementation strategies to preserve and enhance corridors include:
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Integrate program priorities with local economic development goals

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Improve access management

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Educate communities 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 capacity and safety.

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:

  • Office of Land Use – Revisions to IIM-LU-200, IIM-LU-500, and IIM-LU-501
  • Road Design Manual – Chapter 2D, Appendix A, and Appendix F (Consideration for Innovative Intersections, state location and design engineer approval needed for new crossovers on Arterial Preservation Network)
  • Traffic Engineering Division - IIM-TE-387 (Requirements for traffic signal justification reports)
  • Transportation and Mobility Planning Division – IIM-TMPD-2.0 (Process for conducting planning studies on the Arterial Preservation Network)


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


Page last modified: Dec. 19, 2017