Department of Transportation

Find department of transportation, highway, roads, and bridge departments. Transportation departments provide information on public transport, including road, highway and bridge traffic, conditions, closures, tolls and travel information.

What is the Department of Transportation?

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) works to provide fast, safe and efficient transportation systems nationwide. To meet its goals, the Department of Transportation drafts transport regulation, develops policy initiatives and offers to fund for the optimization of national traffic volume, improved highway, bridge and tunnel safety, and federal and local road infrastructure and maintenance.

Each state's department of transportation (DOT) is in charge of providing information on local public transport, weather conditions on open roads and in cities, road closures, and toll prices to save time. DOTs additionally work to enhance mobility and increase the safety of local citizens and passengers. State transportation departments do more than manage the construction, maintenance, and preservation of highways, roads, interstates and bridges in their respective geographical areas. They're also responsible for transportation permits, specialized transport education, environmental protection, research and training, green initiatives, and landscape engineering.

Local DOT offices rely on technical and financial assistance from federal, county and city programs to strengthen road and bridge investments, improve traffic conditions, accelerate major transportation projects, and contribute to creating a safe national highway and road network. America's traveler information number, 511, provides up-to-date information about traffic conditions, as well as district and interstate road closures. Although most responsibilities include roads, bridges, and highways, there are some that manage specific areas of air and marine traffic.

Departments of Transportation are responsible for

  1. Road, highway, bridge and tunnel construction and maintenance, and for providing timely information about road conditions.
  2. City-level development of long-term, periodical and one-off projects for local road preservation and maintenance, including actions for plowing snow, patching asphalt, removing dangerous roadside greenery like weeds and bushes, as well as completing drainage.
  3. Easing traffic congestion by updating road information available to the public, redirecting busy traffic to safe roads and highways, and alleviating consequences from inclement weather conditions with regular maintenance.
  4. Deciding at the state level on the distribution of resources from government, business funding, and grants related to transport infrastructures such as rural transit, clean fuels, emergency relief and industrial access programs.
  5. Having a role in environmental programs. These may include air quality, hazardous waste, and asbestos guidance, motor vehicle emissions, noise analysis, fish and wildlife, wetlands, landscape architecture and roadside vegetation management.
  6. Issuing various kinds of transportation permits. These include permits for highway work, traffic signals, residential driveways, outdoor advertising signs, special events, and oversize/overweight and design-related permits.

Are there different types of Departments of Transportation?

It is impossible to classify transportation departments into specific types, as every department has various responsibilities. Individual state DOT offices have consolidated road and highway departments, while the bridge department is either autonomous or affiliated with another government office. Particular states also separate highway or motor safety branches related to research, planning, and development.