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  • Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed in the group area discussions are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Government, the Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration.
Edited: 4/24/2012 8:41 AM
Joan D.

System Linkage Need

One of the listed "needs" of a transportation project is System Linkage, but I can not find a definition of what that includes.  Does it only apply to a missing link in a transportation network (for example if an old bridge is removed without replacement), or can it also apply to highway improvements, for example, improving a two-lane segment of road to four lanes to match adjacent four-lane segments? 
2011-04-11 08:41:06
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:41 AM
Mary Ann Rondinella
The FHWA Technical Advisory on preparation of NEPA and Section 4(f) documents offers this brief definition in the Purpose and Need section: 
System Linkage – Is the proposed project a "connecting link?" How does it fit in the transportation system?

The Long Range Transportation Plan developed by the metropolitan or regional planning organization or the State DOT often outlines what projects will serve as "connecting links."  They can include a diverse range of projects, including HOV/HOT lanes projects that provide connectivity to existing HOV/HOT lanes.  Some MPO's have even developed bicycle route plans and have prioritized additions or improvements in them.  Upgrading a two lane road to match connecting four lane sections may be driven more by capacity and/or safety considerations; the link exists, but it may not be functioning well to accomodate current or projected travel demand. 
4/27/2011 1:37 PM
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:41 AM
Matching the number lanes in an adjacent section could be considered system linkage - having fewer lanes in one section could introduce a restricted link in the road network, which could negatively affect the operation of the roadway system.

System linkage can also include things like providing for redundancy in case of accidents or emergencies.  For instance - if a subdivision only has one entrance, providing a second entrance could be considered system linkage (so that if the initial enterence were closed due to an accident, there is another way out).  Similar issues for bridges, etc.
4/19/2011 2:26 PM
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:41 AM
All of the above including a bus stop, to a bus, to the rail, to the rail depot, to the sidewalk you finally get to work on. 
4/11/2011 1:50 PM