23 CFR § 645.205 - Policy.

§ 645.205 Policy.

(a) Pursuant to the provisions of 23 CFR 1.23, it is in the public interest for utility facilities to be accommodated on the right-of-way of a Federal-aid or direct Federal highway project when such use and occupancy of the highway right-of-way do not adversely affect highway or traffic safety, or otherwise impair the highway or its aesthetic quality, and do not conflict with the provisions of Federal, State or local laws or regulations.

(b) Since by tradition and practice highway and utility facilities frequently coexist within common right-of-way or along the same transportation corridors, it is essential in such situations that these public service facilities be compatibly designed and operated. In the design of new highway facilities consideration should be given to utility service needs of the area traversed if such service is to be provided from utility facilities on or near the highway. Similarly the potential impact on the highway and its users should be considered in the design and location of utility facilities on or along highway right-of-way. Efficient, effective and safe joint highway and utility development of transportation corridors is important along high speed and high volume roads, such as major arterials and freeways, particularly those approaching metropolitan areas where space is increasingly limited. Joint highway and utility planning and development efforts are encouraged on Federal-aid highway projects.

(c) The manner is which utilities cross or otherwise occupy the right-of-way of a direct Federal or Federal-aid highway project can materially affect the highway, its safe operation, aesthetic quality, and maintenance. Therefore, it is necessary that such use and occupancy, where authorized, be regulated by transportation departments in a manner which preserves the operational safety and the functional and aesthetic quality of the highway facility. This subpart shall not be construed to alter the basic legal authority of utilities to install their facilities on public highways pursuant to law or franchise and reasonable regulation by transportation departments with respect to location and manner of installation.

(d) When utilities cross or otherwise occupy the right-of-way of a direct Federal or Federal-aid highway project on Federal lands, and when the right-of-way grant is for highway purposes only, the utility must also obtain and comply with the terms of a right-of-way or other occupancy permit for the Federal agency having jurisdiction over the underlying land.

[50 FR 20354, May 15, 1985, as amended at 53 FR 2833, Feb. 2, 1988]