Section 10: Federal-aid Participation

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Both TxDOT and the LPA must follow these procedures when Federal-aid participation is involved.

When a non‑interstate right of way project is converted to Federal-aid participation, the following requirements apply:

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  • Limit TxDOT and Federal participation to the adjustment of facilities located on utility-owned compensable interests.
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  • Use form ROW-U-35 Standard Utility Agreement.
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  • Follow the State Procedures requirements in Section 6 of this chapter, which outlines the required data that must be submitted to ROW Division and to FHWA to receive approval of utility agreements under State Procedure 23CFR 645. 111. This information is required on each right of way project.
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  • When adjustments involve facilities located on both highway right of way and utility-owned right of way, determine an eligibility percentage according to Adjustments.
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For State

Federal-aid cost participation requires that the State has adopted a Utility Accommodation Rules (UAR) that is in compliance with, or stricter than, the federal guidelines listed in 23CFR 645 A & B. TxDOT has been required to submit a statement to the FHWA that complies with the direction of Section 645.215 and documents the following:

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  • the authority of utilities to use and occupy the right of way of State highways;
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  • the State’s power to regulate such use; and
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  • the policies the State proposes to employ for accommodating utilities within the right of way of all Federal-aid highways under its jurisdiction.

Compliance with these guidelines, accompanied by the State’s use of Alternate Procedure, as outlined in Section 645.119, allows the State to recover 90% of the eligible costs of utility adjustments.

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Federal-aid programs in the development of LPA transportation facilities have enabled TxDOT to participate in the design and construction of these roadways without the necessity of bringing them onto the State system.

Under 23CFR, Section 645.209(g) for Federal-aid projects on highways where TxDOT cannot exercise authority to control utility use of the highway right of way, TxDOT is required to make adequate arrangements to ensure that utility use of the highway right of way is properly controlled. TxDOT may:

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  • handle the adjustment of utility facilities in accordance with its FHWA-approved UAR; or
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  • require that the LPA enter into written agreements with the utility, if the LPA is to perform adjustments, that comply with the UAR; and
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  • check to be sure that the LPA’s ordinance, resolution, franchise, or permit process has stricter guidelines than those of TxDOT and FHWA.

Compliance with FHWA requirements gives TxDOT the flexibility to design and construct certain LPA projects in accordance with State laws and standards, rather than in accordance with Federally approved standards. However, FHWA does not consider that the UAR falls under the exemptions allowed by these Federal-aid programs.

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