This paper discusses the extent to which either the State or the utility must pay the cost of relocation when the utility is required to move its facilities because of highway construction or improvements. It also discusses the reimbursements of States for payments to utilities pursuant to Title 23, Section 123 of the U.S. Code. If utilities that are located in or along the State highways or rights-of-way must be relocated, the interest, if any, held by the utility must be analyzed in order to determine whether the State or the utility must bear the cost. If utility facilities are located on property that the utility has acquired, such as an easement right-of-way, then the State must pay relocation cost if, during highway construction or improvement, it requires that the utility relocate its facilities. Rather than having an easement or fee interest, the utility is more likely to locate its facilities in accordance with the terms of the franchise, permit license, or other agreement. In these instances, unless there is statutory authority for paying relocation cost, the rule is that the utility must bear its own cost when required to relocate or remove its facilities in order to accommodate highway improvements. In many States, statutes have been enacted that authorize the highway agency to pay relocation cost on certain types of highways, usually Interstate and other federal-aid primary and secondary highway projects. In some instances where State law does not sanction utility relocation payments, utilities have sought to obtain reimbursement under other statutes.


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  • Accession Number: 00310757
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Addendum 2
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1998 12:00AM