17-229 C.M.R. ch. 210, § 12 - CONTROLLED ACCESS HIGHWAYS

Current through 2022-14, April 6, 2022

For the purposes of these rules, Controlled Access Highways (Syn: COA) are separated into two categories: Freeways and non-Freeways.

1. Freeways
A. New Utility Installations Along Freeways

New Facilities will not normally be permitted longitudinally within Freeway COA. Where special circumstances exist, MaineDOT may elect to permit such installations under strictly controlled conditions.

Where such longitudinal installations are requested, the Authorized Entity must demonstrate to MaineDOT's satisfaction:

(1) Highway and Traffic Safety

That the accommodation will not adversely affect Highway and traffic safety;

(2) Alternate Locations

That alternate locations are not available or cannot be implemented at reasonable cost, from the standpoint of providing efficient service in a manner conducive to safety, durability, and economy of maintenance and operations;

(3) Adverse Affects

That the accommodation will not adversely affect the design, construction, operation, maintenance, or stability of the Freeway and that it will not interfere with or impair the present use or future expansion of the Freeway;

(4) Accommodation Conditions

That the accommodation satisfies the conditions of Section 12(1)(D), Access for Constructing and/or Servicing Facilities;

(5) Public Interest

That the accommodation will be shown to be in the substantial public interest of the State of Maine;

All longitudinal accommodations considered under these rules shall be in accordance with a valid Location Permit. Where longitudinal installations must traverse interchange areas, they shall be located and treated in the same manner as Facility crossings within interchange areas, as in Section 12(1)(C), Facilities Crossing Freeways.

Service connections to adjacent properties shall not be permitted from longitudinal installations located within the Freeway COA.

B. Existing Facilities Along Proposed Freeways.

When a pre-existing Facility or Appurtenance within a proposed Freeway Right-of-Way can be serviced, maintained and operated without access from the through traffic roadways or ramps, it may remain as long as it does not adversely affect the safety, design, construction, operation, maintenance or stability of the Freeway. Otherwise, it must be relocated, except for special cases as covered by Section 12(1)(A), New Utility Installations Along Freeways.

C. Facilities Crossing Freeways

New Facilities and adjustments or relocations of existing Facilities require a permit to cross a Freeway and must also meet the requirements of Section 7(7)(B), Freeways.To the extent feasible and practicable they should cross on a line generally normal to the Freeway alignment and preferably under the Freeway.

(1) Facilities Along Roads or Streets Crossing Freeways

Where a Facility follows a crossroad or street that is carried over or under a Freeway, provision should be made for the Facility to cross the Freeway on the locations of the crossroad or street in such manner that the Facility could be constructed and/or serviced without access from the Freeway or ramps. Generally, the Facilities and Appurtenances are to be located within the Right-of-Way of the crossroad or street, existing or relocated, and may cross over or under the Freeway or be carried on or through the grade separation structure as may be authorized, provided installation and servicing thereof can be accomplished without access from the through-traffic roadways or ramps. Where distinct advantage and appreciable cost saving is effected by locating the Facilities or Appurtenances outside the Right of-Way of the crossroad or street they may be so located, in which case they shall be located and treated in the same manner as overhead Facilities crossing the Freeway at points removed from grade separation structures as in subparagraphs (2) and (3) which follow.

(2) Overhead Facility Crossings

Overhead Facilities crossing a Freeway at points removed from grade separation structures, or those crossing near a grade separation but not within the Right-of-Way of a crossroad or street, in general, should be adjusted so that supporting structures are located outside the COA. In any case supporting poles shall:

(a) Not be placed within the appropriate Clear Zone.
(b) Not be located within a Median of 80 feet or less in width.
(c) Not impair sight distance from any point on the through roadway or ramps.

The vertical clearance to overhead Facilities crossing Freeways shall be the greater of 20 feet or as required by the National Electrical Safety Code, ANSI C2, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

(3) Underground Facility Crossings

Facilities crossing underground below the Freeways shall be of durable materials and so installed as to virtually preclude any necessity for disturbing the roadways to perform maintenance or expansion operations. The design and types of materials shall conform to appropriate National Standards. Manholes and other points of access to underground utilities shall be located outside the Right-of-Way limits.

(4) Provisions for Expansion of Facilities

When existing Facilities are relocated, or adjusted in conjunction with construction of a Freeway, provisions may be made for known and planned expansion of the Facilities, particularly those underground. They should be planned to avoid interference with traffic at some future date when additional or new overhead or underground Facilities and Appurtenances are installed.

D. Access for Constructing and/or Servicing Facilities

In general, Facilities and Appurtenances are to be located and designed in such a manner that they can be constructed and/or serviced without direct access from the through roadways or connecting ramps. Such direct access shall not be permitted except for special cases where alternate locations and/or means of access are unavailable or impractical due to terrain and/or environmental constraints, and such use will not adversely affect safety or damage any part of the Highway. Where direct access is requested for the Interstate System, a permit must be obtained from MaineDOT and coordinated with the FHWA for approval.

Access for construction and/or servicing a Facility along or across a Freeway should be limited to access via (a) frontage roads where provided, (b) nearby or adjacent public roads and streets, or (c) trails along or near the Highway, connecting only to an intersecting road, from any one or all of which entry may be made to the outer portion of the Freeway Right-of-Way. Subject to 23 USC 111, a locked gate along with COA fence may be utilized to meet periodic service access needs. Where a gate is allowed, it will be documented by an approved permit that will include adequate provisions against unauthorized use.

In those special cases where supports, manholes, or other Appurtenances are located in Medians, interchange areas, or otherwise inaccessible portions of Freeway Rights-of-Way, access to them from through-traffic roadways or ramps may be permitted when other alternatives do not exist. Such access shall be by permit setting forth the conditions for policing and other controls to protect Highway users.

Entry to the Median area should be restricted where possible to nearby grade separation structures, stream channel crossings, or other suitable locations not involving direct access from through roadways or ramps.

Where Facilities and Appurtenances are located outside the COA line and where such Facilities and Appurtenances may require maintenance from within the Freeway Right-of-Way, a permit must be obtained from MaineDOT.

All permits shall include adequate provisions for COA to the Facility work zone, direction of traffic and protection of workers and the traveling public. All new Facility construction or adjustments and relocations of existing Facilities must satisfy the requirements of Section7(7)(B), Freeways.Advance arrangements should also be made between the Authorized Entity and MaineDOT for emergency maintenance procedures.

E. Manner of Making Utility Installations and Adjustments

In general, Authorized Entity installations and adjustments are to be made with due consideration to Highway and Authorized Entity costs and in a manner that will provide maximum safety to the Highway users, will cause the least possible interference with the Highway facility and its operation, and will not increase the difficulty of or cost of maintenance of the Highway.

F. Special Case Underground Point-To-Point Facilities

MaineDOT may grant non-exclusive permits allowing the longitudinal underground installation of transmission or backbone Facilities and Appurtenances within the Rights-of-Way of Freeways.

(1) Negotiated Agreements

MaineDOT may negotiate agreements and receive compensation for the use of Freeway Rights-Of-Way to install such Facilities.

(2) MaineDOT May Waive Requirements

Upon a determination that it is in its best interest, MaineDOT may waive the requirements of Section 12(1)(A)(2), Alternate Locations, with regard to the availability of alternate locations.

(3) Applicable Provisions

All other applicable provisions of this Section regarding the siting, installation and maintenance of such Facilities shall apply.

2. Non-Freeways

Non-Freeway Controlled Access can vary from small segments along a Highway to entire corridors, such as a by pass. In general, Facilities within these Controlled Access areas will be treated in the same manner as Freeways. However, based upon the specific conditions involved, MaineDOT may consider allowing longitudinal installations. Non-Freeway Controlled Access areas are currently shown on the MaineDOT Map Viewer available on the MaineDOT website.


17-229 C.M.R. ch. 210, § 12

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