The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) has the responsibility and authority to regulate utility occupancy on all State highways. Accommodation of utility occupancy generally falls into two categories:
Permitting: Utility facilities may be located within State right-of-way, but the utility company must be permitted, outlined in the permitting section below.
Coordination: Proposed NDOT construction projects may impact existing utilities located on State right-of-way. Relocations must be coordinated with NDOT to mitigate conflicts, manage assets on the State right-of-way, and prevent utility-related delays to highway construction projects. This is a two-step process, which first involves identifying the existing utilities that may be present and/or in conflict with a planned highway construction project. Secondly, communication, coordination, and cooperation between NDOT, the utility company(ies) and the contractor must occur to facilitate necessary relocations.
NDOT is committed to making the accommodation process transparent and straight-forward so any necessary installations and relocations can proceed as efficiently as possible. This webpage is designed to be a helpful resource for utility companies and contractors to navigate the permitting and coordination processes. If you need assistance, please reach out to your designated District permitting and/or utility coordinator.
To apply to occupy State right-of-way, download our (NDOT Form 19) Application to Occupy Right of Way document [insert hyperlink to word document]. Visit the Use of Right of Way page for additional information on where to mail your application. Following receipt of your application and payment, an NDOT representative will be in contact with you.
Additional permit application guidelines, including direction on how to establish a permit account with NDOT for frequent permit applicants, can be found in this guidance document.
Utilities relocation expenses are eligible for reimbursement in certain circumstances. NDOT may require information on labor, overhead construction costs, travel expenses, transportation, equipment, materials and supplies, handling costs, and other services in order to approve your reimbursement request.
- Utility Accommodation Policy
- Utility Coordinators and Permit Officers Contact Sheet
- AASHTO’s A Guide for Accommodating Utilities within Highway Right-of-Way
- Federal-Aid Policy Guide
- Upcoming projects preliminary plans
- Contact the Contracts Section at (402) 479-4525 with any questions or comments regarding preliminary plans.
- Buy America Policy for Utility Relocations (Under Revision)
- FHWA Construction Program Guide for Buy America Program, including authority / legal basis, guidance, and training
Relevant Nebraska Statutes
- Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
- Standard Plans for Traffic Control
- Minimum Design Standards
Frequently Asked Questions
How can my permit officer or utility coordinator help me?
If you need to apply for a permit to occupy State right-of-way and have any questions, contact your District permit officer. If your utility facilities are in conflict with a NDOT construction project, contact your utility coordinator for a status update. Permit officer and utility coordinator contact information can be found in this map.
Why is there a utility accommodation policy?
NDOT is responsible for the planning, development, design, construction, maintenance and administration of the state highway system in a safe, efficient and economical manner. Similarly, utility companies provide crucial infrastructure to their ratepayers. Coordination and cooperation between NDOT and utility companies is essential to serving the public at the lowest possible costs. The utility accommodation policy formalizes the process of coordinating with utility companies. The policy also increases transparency and eases the coordination process between NDOT and utility companies, serving the general public in a timely, prudent manner.
Why are utilities allowed to occupy State right-of-way?
Highways are a safe and efficient place for transportation activities to occur. Similarly, utility companies also need these types of spaces to provide service to their ratepayers. Using the State’s existing right-of-way, utility companies can avoid the costly purchasing of easements. By allowing this, NDOT continues to grow vital transportation corridors across the state.
Why doesn’t NDOT pay for every relocation cost?
In general, NDOT’s policy compensates utility owners for relocation of facilities impacted by a highway construction project if the existing utility is located on their own property or easements previously acquired by the utility. However, NDOT generally doesn’t compensate utility owners for impacts if the existing facility is located on State right-of-way. The primary purpose of the State’s right-of-way is for the location of transportation assets - utility owners assume the risk that highway construction could impact their facilities by locating within the right-of-way.
Why can’t reimbursement payments be made faster?
Reimbursement submittals can vary significantly and must be audited for conformance to the utility’s agreement with NDOT. The audit process timeline can vary somewhat, particularly for projects that include Federal funding.
What is Buy America and when does it apply to utility relocation activities?
Buy America provisions require Federal agencies to procure domestically produced materials. Buy America extends to Federally funded projects undertaken by States, including Federal aid highway projects. The provisions of Buy America encompass all elements of Federal aid project, including utility relocation, provided reasonable quality materials are produced in the United States and available in sufficient quantities. More information about Buy America conformance in the State of Nebraska can be found in this document.
Why does NDOT require encasements for some facilities?
NDOT requires encasements to protect utilities from accidental damage, as secondary containment to prevent primary carrier pipes leaks from damaging the transportation facility, and to protect the public and workers from the hazards of a penetrated utility. For example, encasements are necessary to keep pressurized sanitary force main or water main leaks from eroding soils from beneath the roadway.
Who should I contact if I have maintenance needs that affect traffic?
Utilities should contact the District permit officer for the area in which the utility work is proposed.
For questions or information regarding accommodation or permits, contact your District permit officer.
For questions or information regarding coordination between existing utilities and NDOT construction or relocation projects, contact your District utility coordinator.
Submit Your Utility's Point of Contact Information
To better communicate and coordinate with you during an accommodation or coordination process, we need your utility’s best contact information! Please fill in the form below so we can keep this information on file.