Chapter 12: Unique Conditions and Special Cases

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Section 1: Cable, Communication, and Fiber Optic Telecommunication Lines

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Overview

The deregulation of fiber optics and telecommunications has created new challenges in adjustment and placement of utilities in TxDOT right of way, especially in the placement of additional conduits for future expansion and communication or cable lines located in or on structures owned by other utilities. Utilities currently submit a Form 1082, Utility Installation Request, to utilize spare conduits or available space on an existing pole in the permitted location.

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Policy

When an existing utility rents, leases, or sells conduit usage to another utility, the new utility must submit a Utility Installation Request before placement of a new line within the conduit or on the pole. The utility owning the conduit or pole shall execute the Utility Installation Request in conjunction with the utility lessee or the lessee must include documentation supporting the right to occupy the pole, structure, or conduit with the Form 1082. For more information, refer to Chapter 1 of TxDOT’s Use of Right of Way By Others manual. This procedure also applies to all utilities located on pole or tower structures owned by others.

The utility originally requesting use of TxDOT right of way will be responsible for all relocations and adjustments of the conduit system, unless TxDOT is notified in writing of the change of ownership or existence of an additional party.

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  • Refer to the Utility Accommodation Rules (UAR) for specifications regarding design, installation and construction of fiber optic telecommunications within TxDOT right of way.
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  • During the adjustment of existing telecommunication facilities, there often is a dispute over the amount of cable or fiber optic line that must be replaced. Industry standards should be the criteria for determination of how much line is replaced. The utility must provide TxDOT with copies of its operating standards to determine acceptable splice points. This would minimize claims that a large quantity of fiber optic line needs to be replaced simply because TxDOT requires an adjustment to an existing line.
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  • Form ROW-U-139, Indemnification Agreement and Form ROW-U-139A, Master Indemnification Agreement have been created to allow the telecommunication industry to indemnify the State from damages if the depth of placement is reduced to 36-inch from the 42-inch specified for placement of fiber optic lines.
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    • Form ROW-U-139, Master Indemnification Agreement, is an agreement between a particular utility and TxDOT, executed by the ROW Division and the utility, to cover any of the utility’s facilities statewide. The utility must submit a copy to the District along with their plans.
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    • Form ROW-U-139A, Indemnification, allows for the indemnification in a particular instance and is not statewide. This form is useful if a situation arises where line placement at 42-inch is an unreasonable depth.
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