U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Utility Agreements Questions & Answers (Q&A)

Question 1: Is a utility agreement required if Federal-aid highway funds will reimburse a utility relocation?
Answer: Yes.  If Federal-aid highway funds are used to reimburse a utility relocation, then a utility agreement is required under23 CFR 645.113. Utility agreements under 23 CFR 645.113 must include, among other requirements, utility relocation plans and cost estimates (23 CFR 645.113(c)), as well as utility relocation schedules (23 CFR 645.113(g)(3)).

Question 2: Is a utility agreement required if Federal-aid highway funds will not be used to reimburse a utility relocation on a Federal-aid highway?
Answer:  Yes.  A utility agreement is required even if Federal-aid highway funds will not be used to pay for a utility relocation on a Federal-aid highway.  In such situations, a utility agreement is required under 23 CFR 645.203(b); 645.209(i); and 645.213, and must provide, among other requirements:

  • a description of the requirements for relocation, construction, protection of traffic, maintenance, access restriction, and any special conditions applicable to the installation (23 CFR 645.213(a));
  • a general description of the size, type, nature, and extent of the facilities being relocated (23 CFR 645.213(b)); and
  • adequate drawings and sketches showing the existing and/or proposed location with respect to the existing and/or planned highway improvements (23 CFR 645.213(c)).

More information can be found in the National Utility Review October 2018 Final Report, available at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/utilities/hif18039.pdf.

Updated: 12/20/2021
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000