|(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
(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
(6) the latest American Society for Testing and Materials
(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
(10) applicable Railroad Commission of Texas and Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality safety regulations.
(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
(3) New utility facilities crossing the highway shall
be installed at approximately 90 degrees to the centerline of the
(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
(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
(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,
(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
(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
(ii) designating the specific area of use, occupancy,
and access for installation and maintenance of the requested utility
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.