Monitoring of transportation system performance is a key element of any transportation operation and planning strategy. Estimation of dependable performance measures relies on analysis of large amounts of traffic data, which are often expensive and difficult to gather. National databases can assist in this regard, but challenges still remain with respect to data management, accuracy, storage, and use for performance monitoring. In an effort to address such challenges, this paper showcases a process that utilizes the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) for generating performance measures for congestion monitoring applications in the Birmingham region. The capabilities of the relational database management system (RDBMS) are employed to manage the large amounts of NPMRDS data. Powerful visual maps are developed using GIS software and used to illustrate congestion location, extent and severity. Travel time reliability indices are calculated and utilized to quantify congestion, and congestion intensity measures are developed and employed to rank and prioritize congested segments in the study area. The process for managing and using big traffic data described in the Birmingham case study is a great example that can be replicated by small and mid-size Metropolitan Planning Organizations to generate performance-based measures and monitor congestion in their jurisdictions.