Chapter 1: Utility Policy

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Section 1: Overview

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Introduction to Use of Right of Way by Others

The Use of Right of Way by Others Manual contains the following chapters:

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  • Chapter 1, Utility Policy: Summarizes procedures for utility companies to obtain permits for the placement of utilities on the right of way. Policies governing the placement of utilities are contained in Title 43, Chapter 21, Sub-chapter C of the Texas Administrative Code.
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  • Chapter 2, Uses of Right of Way (Long Term): Describes circumstances in which the public, adjacent landowners or other governmental entities are allowed to use the right of way on the state system on a long term basis.
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  • Chapter 3, Uses of Right of Way (Temporary): Describes circumstances in which the public, adjacent landowners, local civic organizations or commercial companies may temporarily use the right of way.
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Purpose of this Chapter

It is TxDOT's policy to stipulate the location, materials and methods for installation and adjustment of utility lines on all highways on the state highway system. This policy was developed for the safety, protection, use and future development of the highways with due consideration given to public service afforded by adequate and economical utility installations.

Whereas governing laws provide that certain utilities have a legal right to be placed on the highway rights of way, TxDOT will designate the location and conditions that will govern their installation and maintenance in every case. However, in specific instances TxDOT may deny a request for the placement of certain utilities on highway right of way. For example, on a section of highway where the only available space for utilities is between the ditch backslope and the pavement, the request can be denied.

Policies governing the location, materials, and methods of installation are set out in this chapter and in the Title 43, Chapter 21, Sub-chapter C of the Texas Administrative Code. This chapter does not include the administration of utility adjustments or financial participation therein. For such guidance, see the Right of Way Utility Manual.

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In this chapter, the word utilities, as defined in the rules, applies to all private as well as public lines, including electric power transmission, electrical power service, telephone, television coaxial cable, water, gas, petroleum products, chemicals, steam, waste water and similar lines. These utilities may involve underground, surface appurtenances or overhead facilities either singularly or in combination.

The Utility Installation Request (Form 1082) gives TxDOT official notice that a utility installation on highway right of way is proposed:

The form specifies the location and conditions under which TxDOT approves the utility installation. Section 3 explains the proper use of this form.

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