17-229 C.M.R. ch. 210, § 11 - ABOVEGROUND INSTALLATIONS

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

1. General
A. Vertical Clearances

The vertical clearance of new overhead lines above Highways and intersecting Public Ways shall be a minimum of 18 feet. When existing roadway elevations are increased, existing overhead Facilities that meet vertical clearances defined within applicable National Standards may be allowed to remain unless otherwise directed by MaineDOT. New or adjusted overhead lines running parallel to the Highway and not crossing intersecting Public Ways shall have a minimum vertical clearance as defined within applicable National Standards.

B. Support Structures

Monopole Installations and Utility Pole Structures, as defined herein, will not normally be accommodated within the State or State-Aid Right-Of-Way. These installations are not among the types of facilities specifically authorized to use the highway corridors in accordance with MRS Title 35-A, Chapter 23, nor are they compatible with the types of structures that can be safely located within the typical right-of-way corridor widths.

Utility Pole Structures may become necessary in some instances based upon site conditions and engineering needs. In such cases, where the Department allows the use of a Utility Pole Structure, accommodation will be at offsets that will exceed normal Utility Pole offsets and will typically meet or exceed the offsets required in the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide. Utility Pole Structures are not considered a replacement pole for standard Utility Poles and must always be permitted separately.

Where surplus Right-Of-Way or other separate MaineDOT properties may enable accommodation of Monopole Installations and Utility Pole Structures, and where these facilities are deemed acceptable after review of the application, MaineDOT reserves the right to establish lease rates based on prevailing real estate values. The lease rate process for surplus property will be the same for all companies providing similar services.

C. Use of Existing Department Poles or Structures

The Department may, at its sole discretion and on an asset by asset basis, allow singular small antenna systems to be located on existing poles or other structures owned by the Department. In those cases, an application will be made and all aspects of the installations must meet all industry and engineering standards. For example, structural, electrical, telecommunications, land use, etc.

The Department will review the applications for acceptability. If the installations are deemed acceptable, the Department may charge a reasonable fee for each attachment that is based upon consideration of the facility's impact upon the pole or structure, its ongoing maintenance, rates charged for similar attachments on other similar structures within the highway corridors, or other appropriate and reasonable considerations.

The Department may, at its sole discretion and on an asset by asset basis, allow singular instances of shared facilities when the proposed location of a monopole structure and the need for a highway facility, such as high mast lighting, may coincide. The Department will review the applications for acceptability. If the installations are deemed acceptable, the Department will charge a reasonable fee for such co-location based upon consideration of the facility's construction, impact upon the pole or structure, its ongoing maintenance, rates charged for similar co-located structures within the highway corridors, or other appropriate and reasonable considerations.

D. Utility Poles
(1) Utility Pole Construction

Utility Poles within the Highway limits shall be single-pole construction.

(2) Multiple Pole Lines

Multiple Pole Lines are no longer permitted within the Highway limits. Stub poles or service poles that must be located within the Right-of-Way are not considered a separate pole line, but shall conform to all applicable offset criteria. Existing areas having Multiple Pole Lines shall be reduced to a single, joint use pole line whenever:

(a) MaineDOT undertakes any construction project having a scope beyond a Pavement Overlay and existing poles are required to be relocated, or
(b) MaineDOT determines a particular area to present a significant hazard to the traveling public.

If any Authorized Entity undertakes a project in an area with an existing Multiple Pole Line that is separate from a MaineDOT Project and consists of the replacement of ten or more consecutive poles, one of the following must occur:

(a) the owners of the aboveground Facilities must agree to combine their Facilities onto a single pole line as part of the proposed project, or
(b) the Authorized Entity undertaking the pole replacements must install poles of sufficient height to accommodate the other Facilities when they are upgraded.

Existing Multiple Pole Lines, which involve Electric Supply Lines owned by different Authorized Entities, will not be forced to combine onto a single pole line providing all offset criteria are met.

(3) Service Poles

Unless vertical clearances and the local terrain dictate otherwise, all poles used to exclusively provide service to a customer shall normally be installed at or beyond the Highway R/W limits.

(4) Anchors

Pole anchors shall not be installed on the Traveled Way side of a pole unless located behind guardrail and in compliance with Section 11(2)(B)(1), Guardrail. Anchors shall be adequately designed and installed to enable shared-use whenever possible with standard utility equipment.

(5) Underground Service Lines

Poles that are located on the Traveled Way side of a ditch line or open drainage area that will require periodic ditch maintenance shall not be used to provide underground service lines to adjacent properties

2. Offsets

Aboveground offsets define the horizontal clearance required to provide a Recovery Area and room for adequate Highway maintenance. Although specific offset values are defined herein, these offsets are minimum values. Greater setbacks should be provided whenever possible to provide improved safety and to minimize the potential for conflicts with future Highway construction. Unless otherwise noted, all offsets are to the portion of the aboveground Facility or Appurtenance that is below a vertical height of 13 feet and located closest to the Edge of Traveled Way.

These offset requirements shall also apply to the Edge of Traveled Way for truck climbing lanes and Highway through lanes. These offsets may also apply to turning lanes, but will be evaluated in a case-by-case basis considering Highway configuration, speed and other adjacent physical features.

Existing aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances that are located within the limits of MaineDOT New Construction, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation Projects shall be adjusted to meet the standards defined in these rules.

For projects conducted within the existing Right-of-Way, such as Pavement Overlay, MaineDOT maintenance projects, or permitted maintenance and betterment projects by Authorized Entities, existing aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances that do not presently meet the minimum offset standards may remain in place for as long as they do not, in MaineDOT's sole discretion, present a safety problem, or conflict with the use, construction or maintenance of the Highway, or conflict with other standards described herein.

Plant Mixed Recycled Asphalt Pavement (PMRAP)projects shall follow the policies outlined in the current MaineDOT PMRAP Program expectations. Contact the project Utility Coordinator for specific requirements of the current PMRAP Program.

A. General
(1)Offset from Edge of Shoulder

Unless site-specific conditions pertaining to guardrail, curb or the "2-foot Rule" apply as described under Section 11(2)(B), Site Specific Conditions, no offset shall result in an aboveground Facility or Appurtenance being located within 6 feet from the Edge of Shoulder, regardless of whether the surface of the Shoulder is paved or unpaved.

(2) Fire Hydrants

Hydrants shall be of breakaway construction and generally located in accordance with the offsets defined herein. However, where local fire equipment presents limitations, the maximum offset possible may be used, providing it is in accordance with Section 11(2)(A)(1), Offset from Edge of Shoulder.

(3) Breakaway Devices

Aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances may be permitted within the minimum offsets specified when authorized by MaineDOT, and when a breakaway system is utilized.

(4) Mid-Span Utility Poles

New Utility Poles located between two existing Utility Poles may be permitted at lesser offsets than defined herein if the new Utility Pole is "in-line" with the two existing, adjacent Utility Poles and that the offset of the new Utility Pole is equal to or greater than the smallest offset of the adjacent Utility Poles.

B. Site-Specific Conditions
(1) Guardrail

For steel beam guardrail, aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances shall be set back a minimum distance of 3 feet from the back of post. Where space permits, greater offsets are encouraged to facilitate snow plowing. Aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances located behind cable guardrail shall be set back 12 feet or in accordance with the offset standards without guardrail, whichever is less.

To facilitate the safe and proper function of the guardrail crash end, facilities installed in the vicinity of a guardrail crash-end shall be set 30 feet or more ahead of the crash-end and/or 40 feet or more beyond the crash-end when installed behind the guardrail. These distances apply to both the leading and trailing ends of all guardrail runs(Ref. Appendix - Utility Poles Located Behind Guardrail Systems).All other offset standards shall apply as appropriate for adjacent site conditions.

Note that the Department distinguishes between "crash-end" and "terminal end." A crash-end is installed where accident energy attenuation occurs in a crumple zone of several sections of guardrail. A terminal end may be installed at the end of a radius such as a driveway entrance or other locations where energy attenuation is not anticipated. The distances described in the paragraph above do not apply to radius guardrail installations.

Where the offsets set forth above conflict with existing safety standards, allowable span lengths applicable to the installation of aboveground Facilities, or otherwise prevent the aboveground Facility from being installed and/or maintained within the Highway Right-of-Way, MaineDOT will consider adjusting the guardrail terminal end location to accommodate the Facilities. If this is not possible, MaineDOT may also consider design exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

(2) Curb

In urban areas with posted speed limits of 40 MPH or less, aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances may be installed 5 feet behind the face of Curb. In locations where insufficient Right-of-Way or other restrictions are present and no other practical solution exists, MaineDOT may elect to allow aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances as close as 18 inches (1.5 feet) behind the face of Curb.

(3) Urban Areas with No Curb

Aboveground offsets may be limited to that specified in Section 11(2)(A)(1), Offset from Edge of Shoulder, in urban areas with speed limits of 4 0 MPH or less when Curb is not present.

(4) Ditches

No aboveground Facilities or Appurtenances shall be set in the Flow Area of a ditch. New Facilities and Appurtenances installed in areas with ditches shall generally be installed behind the ditch and at least 2 feet up the Backslope (as measured horizontally) unless the offset of the ditch exceeds the required aboveground offset by at least 8 feet. Existing Facilities or Appurtenances that meet offset standards in the In slope of a ditch area may be permitted to remain in their present locations until replaced.

(5) Islands/Traffic Circles

Aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances are not permitted in the center island of a traffic circle, roundabout or in traffic islands.

(6) Culverts

Aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances are not permitted within 8 feet of the end of any culvert.

(7) Restricted Right-Of-Way

If a Highway segment has not experienced 3 or more crashes relating to aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances in the past 3 years, and there is insufficient Right-of-Way to attain the minimum offset requirements defined herein, MaineDOT may elect to permit aboveground Facilities as close as practicable to the existing Right-of-Way limits.

(8) "2-foot Rule"

When aboveground offsets are reviewed for compliance in conjunction with a MaineDOT Project, MaineDOT may elect to allow a Facility or Appurtenance to remain at an offset of up to 2 feet less than the required minimum provided that existing location complies with the following:

(a) The existing Facility or Appurtenance does not conflict with the Highway construction or any permanent Highway features;
(b) The existing Facility or Appurtenance does not conflict with any other standard defined in these rules.
(c) The existing Facility or Appurtenance has not been involved in run-off-the-road crashes in the past.
C. Minimum Corridor Offsets for Utility Poles

This Section presents the minimum offsets from the Edge of Travelway that apply to a given highway corridor for new construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation projects unless the site-specific conditions described elsewhere in this Section are applicable. The Edge of Travel way is defined in Section 4, Definitions.

MaineDOT has established Corridor Priority classifications for all state and state-aid Highways. Maps that identify the Corridor Priority for state and state-aid Highways are available on Map Viewer on the MaineDOT website.

The following tables define the minimum offsets for all Utility Poles and Appurtenances located along state and state-aid Highways. These minimum offsets are based upon the Corridor Priority designation, highest AADT anticipated within the life of the Facility and the posted speed limit. Utility Pole Structures and other aboveground cabinets or structures will normally require greater offsets. In addition, corridors that already have wider Right-Of-Way limits established will also normally require offsets that will exceed these tables. Permitting of new or replacement Utility Poles within a corridor that is not associated with a project will involve consideration of these offsets as well as the Right-Of-Way width and other specific characteristics of the corridor. Whenever poles are already accommodated at greater offsets than indicated in the following tables, those greater offsets will normally continue to be required for replacement poles. Conversely, when insufficient right-of-way or other conflicts prevent the minimum offsets from being attained, the Department may elect to allow reduced offsets on a case-by-case basis.

Interstate and other Control Of Access Highways have unique accommodation requirements. See Section 12, Controlled Access Highways.

The Following Offset Tables Shall be Used for All New Construction, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation Projects.

Note: All Offsets are measured from the Edge of Traveled Way

Offset Table for Corridor Priority 1 and 2

Speed (mph)

25-30

35-40

45-50

55+

AADT 0 - 2000

10'

10'

12'

15'

AADT

2001 - 6000

10'

12'

14'

18'

AADT > 6000

10'

12'

18'

20'

Offset Table for Corrid or Priority 3, 4, 6

Speed (mph)

25-30

35-40

45-50

55+

AADT 0 - 2000

10'

10'

10'

15'

AADT

2001 - 6000

10'

10'

10'

15'

AADT > 6000

10'

10'

15'

15'

Restoration-Resurfacing Projects - All Corridor Priorities

Existing aboveground Facilities and Appurtenances that do not presently meet the minimum offset standards may or may not remain in place. See Section 11(2), Offsets, for details.

PMRAP Projects:

Plant Mixed Recycled Asphalt Pavement (PMRAP) projects shall follow the policies outlined in the current MaineDOT PMRAP Program expectations. See Section 11(2), Offsets for details.

Notes

17-229 C.M.R. ch. 210, § 11

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