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Utilities

Utility Laws and Regulations

Utility facilities, unlike most other fixed objects that may be present within the highway environment, are not owned nor are their operations directly controlled by State or local highway agencies. Because of this, highway authorities have developed policies and practices which govern when and how utilities may use public highway right-of-way, and under what conditions public funds may be used to relocate utility facilities to accommodate highway construction. Federal laws and FHWA regulations contained in title 23 of the United States Code (cited 23 U.S.C.) and the Code of Federal Regulations (cited 23 CFR), respectively, have been developed to reflect this situation.

Two sections of Federal highway law in title 23 of the United States Code (cited 23 U.S.C.) deal specifically with utilities:

  • 23 U.S.C. 109(l) (.pdf) addresses with the accommodation of utilities on the right-of-way of Federal-aid highways.
  • 23 U.S.C. 123 (.pdf) addresses with reimbursement for the relocation of utility facilities necessitated by the construction of a project on any Federal-aid highway.

Present FHWA regulations, policies, and practices dealing with utility relocation and accommodation matters have evolved from basic principles established decades ago, with many of the policies remaining unchanged. Present utility regulations in part 645 of title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (cited 23 CFR 645) and non-regulatory supplements are contained in chapter I, subchapter G, part 645 of the Federal-Aid Policy Guide (FAPG).

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Contact

Ken Leuderalbert
Office of Program Administration
317-226-5351
E-mail Ken

 
 
Updated: 08/15/2013
 

FHWA
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration