Section 5: Combined Transportation Utility Construction

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If it is determined that the adjustment of utility facilities is to be included in the proposed highway construction contract, the following items should be considered:

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  1. Who is responsible for the cost of the adjustment?

    In certain instances, the proposed work may result in a proportionate cost sharing whereby the utility funds certain aspects of the adjustment and the appropriate governmental agency participates as well.

    If it is determined that the utility is solely responsible for the adjustment costs and the TxDOT contractor will perform all or part of the adjustment, an escrow account should be established to fund the required work.

    Before the project can be awarded, funds must be collected from utility and escrowed into the newly established account. In addition, a statement should be placed in TxDOT’s PS&E, noting the adjustment work is to be billed from these funds. Per Transportation Code Section 224.008, the ROW CSJ number should be used as a sub-estimate identifier to accumulate utility adjustment costs within the overall construction project estimate. The issue of escrow accounts is discussed in Chapter 2, TxDOT Utility Cooperative Management Process & Subprocess.

    If utility work will be performed by TxDOT’s contractor, place a ROW CSJ number and statement in the PS&E, noting that work will be billed from right of way funds, or from LPA funds placed in escrow.

    Escrow agreements are required for all nonreimbursable utility work, (i.e., incorporation of work determined to be ineligible for State cost participation or in some instances, betterments) included in TxDOT’s PS&E. If an LPA elects to pay for the work performed by TxDOT contractors, work detailed in the PS&E and either of the two requirements must be met: LPA must be the responsible agency, or the project must be converted to an SUP.

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  3. Who will perform the adjustment?

    Include a statement of how the work to be accomplished is handled in TxDOT’s PS&E. The part to be performed by each party involved should be described.

    As a rule, highway right of way should be clear of utilities before the letting of transportation construction projects. However, utility adjustments may be performed by, or coordinated with, the transportation contractor in the transportation construction contract, and included in the PS&E.

    Preliminary plan estimates and Advance Funding Agreements (if applicable) for utility work must be forwarded to ROW Division. After coordination and review by applicable divisions, the District will include the utility plans and estimate in the appropriate utility agreement assembly. After approval, work will be incorporated in the highway PS&E. The work must be identified by the construction Control Section Job (CSJ) number using the ROW CSJ. The ROW CSJ is a sub-estimate contained within the project construction estimate. Construction funds must not be used when any portion of the utility adjustment is eligible for reimbursement. By law, eligible utility adjustment costs must be funded out of the ROW CSJ.

    Utility work must be shown as sub-estimates of the transportation project estimate for each utility. At the head of each sub-estimate, the following identifying language must be included:

    “The following work is to be performed by highway contractor for [utility name] and funded by right of way funds using the above ROW CSJ, or Advance Funding Agreement executed on such date and agreement number associated with the ROW CSJ.”

    Modifications to the scope of work, before or after letting, that impact associated costs/quantities should be coordinated with the District’s Design and Right of Way Sections. Changes before letting need to be coordinated with Design Division and ROW Division; changes after letting need to be coordinated with Construction Division and ROW Division.

    NOTE: If utility adjustments are included in the highway construction contract, the plans submitted must be signed and sealed by an Engineer.

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Advance Funding Agreements (AFA)

Utility work included in the highway construction contract may include items that are ineligible for TxDOT cost participation. Therefore, it will be necessary for the utility to place the estimated amount of ineligible costs in escrow through an AFA with TxDOT before letting. A statement should be added to the PS&E, in that section where utility items are addressed, stating that the ineligible utility items are financed by an AFA with the utility.

The utility will also escrow the appropriate percentage of engineering and construction charges for the highway construction cost, which also applies to the utility construction cost.

Engineering and construction percentages shall comply with Finance Division guidelines.

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