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Subject: INFORMATION: Proposed Utility Installations Within Massachusetts Turnpike Right-of-Way Date: May 13, 2008
From: /s/ Original signed by:
Dwight A. Horne
Director of Program Administration

Gerald Solomon, Esq.
Director, Office of Real Estate Services

Refer To: HIPA-20
To: Lucy Garliauskas
Division Administrator
Cambridge, MA

In response to the Division's request for guidance regarding the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority's (MTA) proposal to install utilities within the rights-of-way of the Massachusetts Turnpike (Turnpike) which is designated as Interstate 90, we offer the following:

  1. Because no Federal-aid highway funding was used in constructing or maintaining this section of the Turnpike, the FHWA does not look to the usual Federal statues and regulations in determining its jurisdictional authority to approve or reject the proposed utility installations.
  2. The MTA is responsible for ensuring that all sections of the Turnpike designated as an Interstate route comply with the federal laws, FHWA regulations and policies, and national standards applicable to the Interstate System. If a section of the Interstate Highway System does not meet Interstate standards, its status as a part of that system is in question.
  3. The Division, through its stewardship and oversight responsibilities, is expected to work with the appropriate State agency to encourage the MTA to develop the necessary policies and procedures and make decisions in a manner that ensures the Turnpike is being operated and maintained in compliance with these Federal requirements and national standards.
  4. If the Division's partnering efforts are unsuccessful, and it is determined these sections of the Turnpike are not being operated and maintained according to these Federal requirements and national standards applicable to the Interstate Highway System, the Division has the authority to pursue a variety of legal measures to achieve compliance by the appropriate State agency.

Our final assessment containing additional guidance and background information regarding the proposed installation of utilities on the Turnpike is attached. This guidance is fundamentally built off of the principles and direction contained in the FHWA memorandum (July 12, 2004) titled "Federal Jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Turnpike". If you have any questions on this guidance, please contact Jeffrey Zaharewicz (Jeffrey.zaharewicz@dot.gov) at (202) 493-0520.


Updated: 04/19/2018
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