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Section 2: Coordination

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Objective

The primary objective of coordination is to ensure that all entities, known or suspected of having involvement within the limits of a proposed project understand that they are part of "The Process." They should be made aware that a coordinated effort would be required to accomplish the goal of serving the public's best interest.

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Procedure

Participants are encouraged to attend the Design Conference where specific design considerations are discussed. Involvement of all participants will give both the Design Team and the utilities an opportunity to:

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  • voice concerns over project scheduling, construction phasing, and location; and
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  • participate in a forum for discussion of the process involved with preparation for, and during construction of, the project.

Special considerations that must be adhered to by the utilities as a result of industry standards and local regulations can be discussed. The Design Team may be able to modify the design of a structure or grade to accommodate these considerations. Possible conflicts among the various utilities may be addressed and solutions offered or identified.

The TxDOT Utility Liaison is responsible for assuring utilities and the Design Team that the interests of all participants will be considered. It will be the Liaison’s responsibility, after consultation with all participants, to determine the order of and location of assignments. Solutions arrived at on previous projects may aid in the process. In cases of conflict, TxDOT’s decision is final.

When an adjustment is necessitated, TxDOT’s goal is to perform the adjustment in the most economical manner, consistent with industry standards, safety, and requirements of the UAR. The District can aid the process of coordination by following the UAR TxDOT and the LPA should consider the location of utilities placed within right of way. However, TxDOT has a limited ability to accommodate an ever-growing request for right of way usage by the utility industry. As a result, it is not uncommon to find areas of TxDOT right of way where placement of new utility facilities would not be feasible. Such situations cause a challenge when TxDOT needs to modify the existing roadway facility. Therefore, when the following options should be considered:

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  • Stacking. For example, place sewer, high-pressure oil & gas, water, and fiber optic lines at depths that will accommodate placement of shallow and more frequently accessed low-pressure gas and underground communication lines.
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  • Joint trenching.
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  • Utility conduits.
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  • Compatible arrangements based on classes or types of utilities.
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  • Directional boring may sometimes be used to place gas, water, and underground power and fiber optic lines at greater depths. This allows them to be placed below existing facilities.
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  • Off-site relocation.
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  • Moratorium to deny all Utility Installation Requests on a highway project while undergoing design and/or construction.

Feasibility of the above options is determined by the utilities. TxDOT has no liability for damage to existing facilities nor will it guarantee access to such placements if the utility experiences future problems.

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