Interchange Access Change and Guidance Documents

The following resources provide guidance and templates when completing an access change request on Interstate and State highways in Iowa.

PREPARING CHANGE IN ACCESS DOCUMENTS

The Iowa DOT User Guide for New or Revised Interchange Access provides a process for preparing change in access documents, and other related documents to gain approval for new or revised interchange access on Interstate and State highways in Iowa.

The User Guide references Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Policy documents that provide the basis for the process. It also presents an overview of the documents needed to complete an access change request, analysis methodologies and the review/approval process.

User Guide (PDF)

    Interchange access user guide

Access Change Document Templates

The following access change document templates are Microsoft Word documents that provide materials to be included in access change documents and in the order in which the materials are to be presented. The templates provide example text, tables, figures and instructional text to guide the author in preparing access change documents. The following templates are to be used when preparing any of the following access change documents.


Letter of Request

Iowa DOT Letter of Request Template

Word template iconThe Letter of Request provides information on the intent of the requested access change, including a definition of the problem and concepts being considered. The Letter of Request is used by the project Advisory Group to understand the proposed access change, identify potential issues and give direction on the level of analysis and documentation required to satisfy the access change request. It is also used to inform the FHWA of work on the Interstate System. The Letter of Request is created for all requests led by a Local Public Agency (Interstate and non-Interstate) and Iowa DOT-led requests on the Interstate System.


Methods and Assumptions Document

Iowa DOT Methods and Assumptions Template

Word template iconThe Methods and Assumptions (M&A) document outlines the area of influence, data, analysis procedures, and design criteria to be used on the project. The M&A document is used by the Local Public Agency and project Advisory Group to confirm this information. An M&A document is created for Interchange Justification Reports (IJRs) and Interchange Operations Reports (IORs) at the discretion of the Iowa DOT District Engineer and other Advisory Group members. The M&A document is most critical for projects in urban areas or with complex features.


Interchange Justification Report (IJR)

Iowa DOT Interchange Justification Report Template

Word template iconAn IJR is used to document the operational and safety evaluations, and conclusions of a request for new access or major modifications to an existing access on the Interstate System. The IJR addresses the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Policy on Access to the Interstate System through documenting and addressing Policy requirements. The Interchange Justification Report Template is to be used when preparing an IJR.


IJR Amendment

Iowa DOT Interchange Justification Report Amendment Template

Word template iconAn IJR Amendment is used for situations when an IJR is approved, time passes, and the project is not constructed. These situations may necessitate an update to the previously approved IJR, depending on the amount of time that has passed since the previous approval of the IJR and conditions that may have changed. The IJR Amendment documents materials which have changed since the approval of the previous IJR.


Interchange Operations Report (IOR)

Iowa DOT Interchange Operations Report Template

Word template iconAn IOR is used to summarize the operational/safety evaluations and conclusions of a request for minor modifications to an existing access on the Interstate System, or new access or major modifications to an existing access on a State highway. An IOR provides a summary of the operational and safety analysis without providing the level of detail and background that is included in an IJR. This template provides materials to be supplied in all IJRs and in the order in which the materials are to be presented. The template provides example text, tables, figures and instructional text to guide the author in preparing an IJR.

Supporting Guidance Documents

The Iowa DOT has developed guidance for microscopic simulation (microsimulation) analysis and data driven safety analysis. This guidance should be used on all access change requests that include microsimulation and safety analysis.


Microsimulation Analysis Guidance

Iowa DOT Microsimulation Guidance

PDF guidance iconThe Microsimulation Guidance provides guidance on conducting microscopic simulation (microsimulation) analysis on projects for the Iowa DOT. The microsimulation guide aims to communicate consistent expectations among practitioners across geographic boundaries and between analysts and project leadership staff of varying technical backgrounds when completing microsimulation analysis.


Data Driven Safety Analysis Guidance

Iowa DOT Data Driven Safety Guidance

PDF guidance iconThe Data Driven Safety Guidance provides guidance for completing safety analyses and reporting results for Iowa DOT interchange projects. The steps and information in this guide can be applied to a wide range of transportation studies, including safety, feasibility, and alternative studies. The data driven safety guide aims to communicate consistent expectations among practitioners across geographic boundaries and between analysts and project leadership staff of varying technical backgrounds when completing safety analysis.