What is an IJR?

An Interchange Justification Report (IJR) is required if a roadway project proposes a new interchange on a limited-access facility, such as Interstate 75 (I-75). Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Procedure No. 525-030-160, Interchange Justification, defines the state and federal requirements and the processes to be used when developing an IJR. The purpose of an IJR is to demonstrate the need for the project and its viability based on traffic, engineering, financial and other criteria.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulates the addition of access points along the interstate system, and has determined that proposed new interchanges must meet the following eight requirements:

  1. The existing system, even with reasonable improvements, cannot satisfactorily accommodate the projected design year traffic demands;
  2. All reasonable alternatives to a new interchange must be considered, including ramp metering, mass transit, and HOV facilities;
  3. The proposed interchange does not have a significant adverse impact on the operations and safety of the Interstate or on the local street network based on both the current and future traffic projections;
  4. The proposed project provides a full interchange with all traffic movements connecting to a public road;
  5. The proposed project considered and is consistent with local and regional land use and transportation plans;
  6. The proposed project is consistent with long-range systems or network plans;
  7. The proposed project is coordinated with the area's development; and
  8. The proposed interchange will be included as an alternative in the required environmental evaluation, review and processing.

FHWA approval of new access points on the Interstate Highway System is considered a Federal Action. This requires approval of the IJR document, as well as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document approval which is obtained through FDOT's PD&E process.