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Section 6: Other Utility Topics

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Utility Bridges

Structures constructed exclusively for utilities to cross over highways and waterways may be used where underground or aerial crossings are not feasible. The design of these structures must conform to all highway structural and safety standards and all pertinent laws and regulations and be of a type that is in harmony with the appearance of the highway facilities.

Any requests for such structures should be forwarded to the Maintenance Division (MNT) with justification data and proposed designs. The Bridge Division will consider the request for approval by reviewing the design of the installation.

If approved, an agreement will be executed in each case. The agreement should include provisions making the utility owner responsible for maintenance, adjustment for highway improvements, restoration or removal if damaged by traffic or other causes, and any damage to the state or the public which may be caused by the utility bridge.

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Utilities for Highway Facilities

The department will handle the installation of utility lines for highway oriented needs by means other than utility notice forms. These installations must be handled by a written agreement between the district and the utility. The agreement must state the location and method of installation and must include a statement declaring that these lines will be devoted exclusively to highway use, and as such, the utility company will not be permitted to extend these lines at a later date to service other customers.

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Accommodation of Large Communication Equipment Housings on Highway Right of Way

Above ground, non-pole mounted communication appurtenances that are significantly larger in plain view than single poles may be placed on highway right of way if the following stipulations are met:

  • the installation will not significantly hinder highway maintenance operations (this will include consideration of the height of the supporting slab above groundline)
  • the housing will be placed at or near the right of way line
  • the installation will not reduce visibility and sight distance of the traveling public and create an unsafe condition (This will be a particular item of consideration where such housings are proposed for placement at or near highway intersections.)
  • assurance is made that the dimensions of the housing are minimized, particularly where the need to allow space for highway improvement and accommodation of other utility lines is apparent (Outside depth, length, and height dimensions of the above ground portion of the housing should not exceed 36", 60", and 54" respectively. The supporting slab should not project more than 3" above the groundline.)
  • the installation must be compatible with adjacent land uses.
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Accommodation of Utility Facilities on Federal-Aid Freeways

Accommodation of utility facilities on federal-aid freeways longitudinally inside control of access lines is normally not permitted under federal regulations. Special case exceptions may be considered, providing the utility owner can show that:

  • the accommodation will not adversely affect the safety, design, construction, operation, maintenance or stability of the freeway
  • the accommodation will not be constructed and/or serviced by direct access from through traffic roadways or connecting ramps
  • the accommodation will not interfere with or impair the present use or future expansion of the freeway
  • any alternative location would be contrary to the public interest. Environmental and economic concerns will be considered.

This requirement is applicable to new or relocated utility installation on freeways that are proposed or have been constructed with federal-aid participation. Requests to locate on completed freeways should be submitted to MNT through the online Utility Installation Review (UIR) system with the appropriate forms. Requests to locate on an active freeway project or relocation of a utility on an active freeway project should be submitted to the Right of Way Division with the appropriate forms.

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