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Section 15: Geophysical Surveys

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The department may authorize the use of highway rights of way for geophysical surveys. These surveys should conform to the following requirements in order to protect the highway facility and the traveling public.

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In order to safeguard the highway against damage, avoid interference in maintenance operations and preserve the safe and efficient flow of traffic, the following requirements have been established:

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  • No blasting should be performed.
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  • No operations should be conducted in an area that may result in damage to the pavement or shoulder or other highway facilities, and impact or vibration equipment should not be used on traffic lanes or paved shoulders.
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  • Access for conducting any surveys on controlled access highways should not be allowed from the main lanes or ramps.
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  • On controlled access highways, cables should not be placed across the pavement. All cable crossings must be made using existing drainage facilities.
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  • On non-controlled access highways, cables placed on the pavement should be arranged so they do not create a hazardous condition or rumble strip effect. All cables should be securely anchored to the roadway with materials that will not damage and/or puncture the pavement. Nails, spikes and similar materials used for anchors should be placed beyond the pavement edge.
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  • Adequate signs, barricades, flags, etc. should be maintained as necessary to protect the traveling public. Compliance with the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Controlled Devices is mandatory.
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  • The operations should not interfere with the flow of traffic. All equipment should be parked and/or operated on one side of the roadway only, as far from the shoulder as practical and should not be parked in the clear zone as defined by the Highway Design Manual.
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  • Operations will not be allowed when the ground conditions are such that work within the right of way would cause rutting and/or tracking of mud onto the roadway surface.
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  • The geophysical survey company should restore the right of way to its original condition, free of any damage, including ruts or any injury to vegetation. Any costs incurred by the department for necessary restoration work will be billed to the company at cost.
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  • The firm making the request should understand any actions of the geophysical survey company that create any liability or affect the rights of the holders of any property and/or mineral ownerships involved should be solely their concern and responsibility.
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  • The requestor will meet any additional requirements deemed necessary by the districts.

A letter, not a permit, should be used when responding to requests to perform geophysical surveys on highway right of way. The Form 2049 Letter for Use of Highway Rights of Way for Geophysical Survey may be used to authorize this activity.

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