Section 2: Utility Plan Preparation

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TxDOT personnel should not develop plans, estimates, and other related data for the utility.

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Plan Requirements

The Utility Agreement and Utility Joint Use Agreements must be supported by a set of utility relocation plans that provide a clear presentation of the work required. When the utility work, or some portion of the work, is eligible for State cost participation, the plans should be signed and sealed by an Engineer. A vicinity map may be used to illustrate the scope of an adjustment and the extent to which the utility system is affected. Plan sheets should clearly indicate the conflict between the existing utility facility(s) and the proposed highway work.

Submit two sets of utility plans.

The plan must show:

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  • existing and proposed highway right of way;
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  • existing and proposed utility right of way;
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  • proposed joint use areas;
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  • station and offset to highway control baseline;
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  • dimensions between existing/proposed right of way line and existing/proposed utilities;
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  • symbols used to represent existing facilities and conflict with proposed highway improvements delineating the justification for the utility adjustment; (Clearly explain the symbols using legends or notations.)
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  • symbols used to represent proposed facilities; (Clearly explain the symbols using legends or notations.)
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  • major material items;
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  • dimensions showing length of encasement, length of conductor, extent of trenching or boring, etc., if drawings are not to scale;
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  • existing and proposed highway features, i.e., edge of pavement, shoulder lines, piers, ditch lines, etc.;
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  • existing, temporary, and proposed utilities with:
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    • operating pressures, directions of flow, source of power, wall thickness, coated and wrapped lines, anode beds, yield strength, design factor or class location, etc., when applicable; and
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    • enough information about the existing and proposed installation to determine any betterment in the proposed facility, such as types and quantities of materials, strength classifications, conductor sizes, number of cable pairs, protective devices upon existing and proposed lines, etc.;
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  • limits of compensable interests;
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  • control of access / access denial lines and highway station numbers;
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  • traffic control and safety;
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  • environmental control (SWPPP);
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  • in some cases, explanatory notations and/or a letter of transmittal explaining the need for all work phases;
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  • a brief explanation of factors that justify the work, such as:
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    • direct construction conflict between the existing utility and the proposed highway improvements;
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    • lack of UAR compliance of the existing utility facility after the proposed highway improvements; and/or
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    • inclusion of the existing/proposed highway profile and the existing/proposed utility profile to justify lowering the utility line(s).
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    • indication of fill or cut slopes to justify adjustment of poles, etc.;
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  • specifications. (If they are not included in the agreement, plans may be used to show specifications. This may include any special instructions that will need to be incorporated into the utility project in the interest of the highway facility. When applicable, show backfill specifications.)
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  • To determine the eligibility ratio, a distinction of that portion of the adjustment located on utility-owned right of way and public right of way must be made; and,
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  • explanations and calculations used in deriving eligibility percentage ratios for adjustments that are less than fully eligible for state cost participation.

Utility plans will be reviewed by the District to verify that the adjustment is necessary, justified, feasible, economical, and UAR-compliant.

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Preparation of Utility Specifications and Proposals

Specifications governing utility contract work may sometimes involve methods that will not permit proper construction of the transportation facility. The most common example is that of backfilling procedure. Flooding or ponding is frequently employed in backfilling a utility trench or around utility structures. These methods are not generally permitted under TxDOT standard specifications when the limits of such backfill fall in areas supporting embankment, pavement, etc. Therefore, the utility must furnish drafts of utility specifications to TxDOT for review of compliance with TxDOT specifications. The section of each district office responsible for approval of Utility Installation Request Forms should have utility spec sheets that can be included in the agreement.

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