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Section 4(f) Guidance

Larix trees

Parkland adjacent to highway.

This web page describes how WSDOT works with FHWA to evaluate potential highway impacts to public parks, recreation areas, wildlife or water fowl refuges, or historic sites. This process is required by Section 4(f) of the federal Department of Transportation Act (49 USC 303).

The information on this page is designed for a technical audience.

WSDOT's policy is to comply with FHWA's procedure for completing a Section 4(f) analysis. Chapter 457 of the Environmental Manual provides policy guidance.

New FHWA Process for CE Level Projects

The purpose of the new guidance and process for FHWA approval is described on the Process Flow Chart  (pdf 85 kb).  Use the forms to apply for approval. Guidance for answering the questions is contained on the form.  Replace text in brackets and submit hard copy with appropriate attachments to FHWA.

Process For Section 4(f) Analysis


  • Chapter 457 WSDOT EM ( Environmental Manual) - describes the WSDOT policy and requirements
  • FHWA Technical Advisory "T 6640.8A" - provides the current procedures and formats for preparing a Section 4(f) document.
  • AASHTO Practitioner's Handbook for Complying with Section 4(f) of the US DOT Act. This link takes you to the AASHTO website where you can download a copy of the handbook.

Section 6(f)
Parcels purchased with Land and Water Conservation Land Act funds require additional work to convert land to transportation uses.  Follow this procedure for analyzing Section 6(f) impacts.