U.S. Department of Transportation
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Construction Program Guide


It has been recognized that it is generally in the public interest for utility facilities to jointly use the right-of-way of public roads and streets when such use and occupancy does not adversely affect highway or traffic safety, or otherwise impair the highway or its aesthetic quality, and does not conflict with the provisions of Federal, State, or local laws and regulations. The opportunity for such joint use avoids the additional cost of acquiring separate right-of-way for the exclusive accommodation of utilities. As a result, the right-of-way of highways, particularly local roads and streets, is often used to provide public services to abutting residents as well as to serve conventional highway needs.

Authority/Legal Basis

  • Utility and Railwork - Wage Rate and EEO Requirements (05/15/1985) Chief Counsel's determination that Davis-Bacon Wage Rates and EEO requirements are not applicable to utility-let and railroad-let contracts.
  • Utility Adjustment (7/24/1964) Authority to advertise or to concur in award of contract is not to be issued until the utility work is complete or there is adequate evidence that all necessary arrangements have been made for it to be undertaken and completed w/o delay or restriction to the highway construction. In exceptional cases when utility work can't be completed prior to award, the proposal packet must identify the adjustments which will be done concurrently with highway construction.


General Information


  • Headquarters Memorandum dated September 9, 1968. Subject: Time Extensions due to Utility and Right-of-way Delays. FHWA does not normally approve a time extension due to either a utility or Right-of-Way delay; however, an exception may be justified if all of the following conditions are met.
    1. construction was delayed;
    2. the contractor did all he could under the contract to minimize the delay; and
    3. despite the State's best efforts, it could not control the situation
Updated: 03/31/2023
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000