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TITLE 43TRANSPORTATION
PART 1TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER 21RIGHT OF WAY
SUBCHAPTER CUTILITY ACCOMMODATION
RULE §21.37Design

(a) General. Utility facility design will be accomplished in a manner and to a standard acceptable to the department. The location and manner in which a utility facility installation, adjustment, or relocation work will be performed within the right of way must be reviewed and approved by the department. Measures must be taken to preserve the safety and free flow of traffic, structural integrity of the highway or highway structure, ease of highway maintenance, appearance of the highway, and the integrity of the utility facility. Utility facility installations shall conform with:

  (1) the requirements of this subchapter;

  (2) the National Electrical Safety Code rules for the installation and maintenance of electric supply and communication lines;

  (3) 23 CFR Part 645B, Accommodation of Utilities;

  (4) 49 CFR Part 192, Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards;

  (5) 49 CFR Part 195, Transportation of Hazardous Liquids by Pipeline;

  (6) the latest American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications;

  (7) the latest edition of the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices;

  (8) 30 TAC §§290.38 - 290.47 (relating to Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems);

  (9) applicable state and federal environmental regulations, including storm water pollution prevention, endangered species, and wetlands; and

  (10) applicable Railroad Commission of Texas and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality safety regulations.

(b) Location.

  (1) Utility facilities shall be located to avoid or minimize the need for adjustment for future highway projects and improvements, to allow other utilities equal access in the right of way, and to permit access to utility facilities for their maintenance with minimum interference to highway traffic.

  (2) Longitudinal installations, if allowed, shall be located on uniform alignments to the right of way line to provide space for future highway construction and possible future utility facility installations.

  (3) New utility facilities crossing the highway shall be installed at approximately 90 degrees to the centerline of the highway.

  (4) The horizontal and vertical location of overhead utility facilities shall conform with §21.41 of this subchapter (relating to Overhead Electric and Communication Lines), consistent with the clearances applicable to all roadside obstacles. No aboveground fixed objects will be allowed in the horizontal clearance.

  (5) Every effort must be made to insure that the proposed installation is compatible with existing and approved future utility facilities.

  (6) A utility facility on controlled access highways or freeways shall be located to permit maintenance of the facility by access from frontage roads, nearby or adjacent roads and streets, or trails along or near the right of way line without access from the mainlanes or ramps. A utility facility may not be located longitudinally in the center median or outer separation of controlled access highways or freeways.

  (7) On highways with frontage roads, longitudinal utility facility installations may be located between the frontage road and the right of way line. Utility facilities shall not be placed or allowed to remain in the center median, outer separation, or beneath any pavement, including shoulders.

  (8) The procedures and requirements of this paragraph apply if a longitudinal installation is proposed within existing access denial lines of a controlled access highway or freeway without frontage roads.

    (A) The public utility or saltwater pipeline operator seeking the installation shall submit to the district engineer a written request that includes for each facility proposed for installation the following detailed information:

      (i) the information required by §21.35 of this subchapter (relating to Exceptions);

      (ii) survey data as directed by the department to identify and designate the location of a utility strip, the utility strip's relationship to existing highway facilities and the right of way line, and the specific area of use, occupancy, and access for installation and maintenance of the utility facility;

      (iii) a plan for the utility's access to, from, and within the utility strip with clearly described procedures that preserve the safety and free flow of traffic on the controlled access highway or freeway during installation, maintenance, and emergency service or repair of the utility facility; and

      (iv) any additional information, including an engineering study requested by the department, that is reasonably necessary for a determination of the impact of the proposed utility facility on the safety, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and stability of the controlled access highway.

    (B) If the requested utility facility installation meets the conditions of §21.35 of this subchapter and the other applicable requirements of this subchapter, the department shall establish a utility strip along the outer edge of the right of way by:

      (i) locating a utility-access denial line between the proposed utility facility installation and the mainlanes and connecting ramps; and

      (ii) designating the specific area of use, occupancy, and access for installation and maintenance of the requested utility facility.

    (C) The department may adjust the utility-access denial line of an established utility strip to accommodate additional authorized utility facilities within the utility strip.

    (D) The utility requesting installation of the utility facility is responsible for all costs associated with providing the information required for designation of a new or expanded utility strip. The utility shall delineate the utility-access denial line on the ground by setting readily identifiable, durable, and weatherproof permanent markers to represent or reference the corners, angle points, and points of curvature or tangency of the utility-access denial line.

    (E) All existing and proposed fences shall be located at the freeway right of way line.

    (F) Denial of access regarding property adjoining the right of way line will not be altered.

(c) Plans. The plans shall protect the public investment in the highway, inclusive of all its components, and maintain traffic capacity and safety for each highway user.

  (1) All utility facility installations shall be of durable materials designed for long life expectancy and relatively free from the need for routine servicing or maintenance. In addition to the requirements of this subchapter, any existing utility facilities to remain in place must be of satisfactory design and condition in the opinion of the district.

  (2) Utility facility installation shall not disturb existing drainage courses. In addition, soil erosion shall be held to a minimum and sediment from the construction site shall be kept away from the highway and drain inlets.

  (3) Utility facility installations shall be planned to minimize hazards to, and interference with, future highway projects or other utility installations.

  (4) Plans shall include the design, proposed location, vertical elevations, and horizontal alignments of the utility facility based on the department's survey data, the relationship to existing highway facilities and the right of way line, and location of existing utility facilities that may be affected by the proposed utility facility.

  (5) As-built plans or certified as-installed construction plans shall include the installed location, vertical elevations, and horizontal alignments of the utility facility based upon the department's survey data, the relationship to existing highway facilities and the right of way line, and access procedures for maintenance of the utility facility. As-installed construction plans certified by a utility or its representative shall be submitted to the department for each relocation or new installation. In the alternative, if approved by the director of the Maintenance Division or Right of Way Division, a district may require a utility to deliver either as-installed construction plans that are certified by an independent party or final as-built plans that are signed and sealed by an engineer or registered professional land surveyor. In determining whether to authorize a requirement for independently certified or signed and sealed plans, the director shall consider:

    (A) the amount of available right of way or the proposed utility facility's proximity to department facilities and other utility facilities that may be impacted;

    (B) the type of utility facility; and

    (C) past performance of the utility in providing accurate location data and conformance with its certified as-installed construction plans.

  (6) If approved by the director of the Maintenance Division or the Right of Way Division, a district may require a utility to deliver plans that are signed and sealed by an engineer. In determining whether to authorize a requirement for signed and sealed plans, the director shall consider:

    (A) the amount of available right of way or the proposed utility facility's proximity to department facilities or other utility facilities that may be impacted;

    (B) the complexity of required traffic control plans;

    (C) the type of utility facility;

    (D) whether the installation or adjustment activity requires a storm water pollution prevention plan; and

    (E) the utility's past performance in providing accurate location data and conformance with its construction plans.

(d) Tunnels and bridges.

  (1) Interstate highways. In providing a utility tunnel or utility bridge, the requirements in subparagraphs (A) - (I) of this paragraph apply.

    (A) Mutually hazardous transmittants, such as fuels and electric energy, shall be isolated by compartmentalizing or by auxiliary encasement of incompatible carriers.

    (B) The utility tunnel or utility bridge structure shall conform in design, appearance, location, bury, earthwork, and markings to the culvert and bridge practices of the department.

    (C) Where a pipeline on or in a utility structure is encased, the casing shall be effectively opened or vented at each end to prevent possible build up of pressure and to detect leakage of gases or fluids.

    (D) Where a casing is not provided for a pipeline on or in a utility structure, additional protective measures shall be taken, such as employing a higher factor of safety in the design, construction, and testing of the pipeline than would be required for cased construction.

    (E) Communication and electric power lines shall be insulated, grounded, and carried in protective conduit or pipe from the point of exit from the ground to reentry, and the cable carried to a manhole located beyond the backwall of the structure.

    (F) Carrier and casing pipe for gas, liquid petroleum, hazardous product, and water lines shall be insulated from electric power line attachments.

    (G) Sectionalized block valves shall be installed in lines at or near ends of utility structures, pursuant to 49 CFR §192.179, Transmission Line Valves, unless segments of the lines can be isolated by other sectionalizing devices within a distance acceptable to the department.

    (H) Any maintenance, servicing, or repair of the utility lines will be the responsibility of the utility.

    (I) The utility shall notify the district 48 hours in advance of any maintenance, servicing, or repair; however, in an emergency situation, the utility shall notify the district as soon as practicable.

  (2) Non-interstate highways. If a utility facility exists on the utility's own easement and it would be more economical to the department to adjust the utility facility across a highway by use of a utility tunnel or bridge rather than to provide separately trenched and cased crossing, consideration should be given to provision of such a structure. Where the utility facility was placed through an approved use and occupancy agreement and the adjustment of the utility facility is the sole responsibility of the utility, the department may allow for the provision of a utility structure without cost to the department, provided the conditions outlined in subsection (a) of this section and all other pertinent requirements are met. If a structure is to serve as a joint utility/pedestrian crossing or a joint utility/sign support structure, the department will participate to the extent necessary for accommodation of pedestrians or highway signs only.

(e) Joint use of utility and highway structures.

  (1) The attachment of utility facilities to bridges and grade separation structures is prohibited if other locations are feasible and reasonable.

  (2) Where other arrangements for a utility facility to span an obstruction are not feasible, the utility may submit a request to the district for attachment of the utility facility to a bridge structure through a bridge attachment agreement. Each attachment will be considered on an individual basis, and permission to attach will not be considered as establishing a precedent for granting of subsequent requests for attachment.

Cont'd...

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