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Louisiana State Highway Right-of-Way Overview (3-LA-c)

In Louisiana, a developer must obtain a State Highway Right-of-Way Utility Permit (Permit) from the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LaDOTD) for projects that encroach on a state highway right-of-way. If the project requires installation of utility facilities, the project developer may need to obtain a Permit pursuant to La. Admin. Code tit. 70.2.1; La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381.



State Highway Right-of-Way Overview Process

3-LA-c.1 to 3-LA-c.5 — Does the Project Cross a State Highway Right-of-Way?

In Louisiana, a developer must obtain a State Highway Right-of-Way Permit (Permit) from the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LaDOTD) for projects that encroach on a state highway right-of-way. At the outset of a project, the developer should contact the LaDOTD to determine which permits are required. The LaDOTD chief engineer may issue a Permit for the use and occupancy of the rights-of-way of state highways for the installation and maintenance of underground and overhead cables or pipes along or across highways for the purpose of conveying fluids or transporting electric current. La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381(A).

3-LA-c.6 — State Highway Right-of-Way Utility Permit Application

A developer must submit a complete State Highway Right-of-Way Utility Permit Application (Utility Permit Application) to the appropriate District Right-of-Way Permit Specialist (Permit Specialist) responsible for the Parish in which the work will take place. If the Utility Permit Application includes more than one District, a separate Permit must be prepared for each affected District. LaDOTD Webpage. A complete Utility Permit Application must:

  • Contain the correct number of clearly legible copies and attachments;
  • Describe the nature of the work involved; and
  • Be accompanied by four copies of the required drawings of property lines, the exact location of the proposed work, as well as existing conditions and proposed changes.

La. Admin. Code tit. 70.2.1 §509.

3-LA-c.7 to 3-LA-c.8 — Review Application Materials for Completeness

The LaDOTD District Office and Permit Specialist must review the Utility Permit Application for administrative and technical completeness.

3-LA-c.9 to 3-LA-c.10 — Assess Application Materials for Approval

The appropriate LaDOTD District Office and Permit Specialist must assess a complete Utility Permit Application for approval. The Permit Specialist must confirm with LaDOTD personnel that the proposed project will not interfere with existing or proposed highway operations. La. Admin. Code tit. 70.2.1 §509. The LaDOTD will not approve utility installations that interfere with the proper operation and maintenance of highways.

Moreover, the LaDOTD prohibits utility installations from being placed on or along a state highway right-of-way unless the developer is a public utility operating under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. La. Admin. Code tit. 70.2.1 §513(B); La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381(B)(1). In considering a Utility Permit Application, the LaDOTD may require a deposit or guaranty in the form of a certified check prior to issuing a Permit. If a Utility Permit Application does not meet LaDOTD standards and requirements, the LaDOTD returns the Utility Permit Application to the developer along with an explanation of reasons for denying the Permit. La. Admin. Code tit. 70.2.1 §509(A)(8).

3-MS-c.11 — State Highway Right-of-Way Utility Permit

The developer must comply with the conditions or restrictions on the Permit. All state highway right-of-way utility installations are subject to removal “when it is necessary to permit the widening, relocation, or other improvement of the highway” as determined by the LaDODT chief engineer. La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381(C)(1). For more information regarding relocation requirements and processes see: La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381(C).

Utility Permit holders may also be required to pay LaDOTD utility operator’s annual permit fees pursuant to La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381(E). In addition to obtaining a Utility Permit, a project developer also owes a general duty of care when owning or operating a utility facility on or adjacent to a state highway right-of-way. La. Stat. Ann. § 48:381(C).

3-LA-c.12 to 3-LA-c.13 — Request Review (Optional)

If a Utility Permit Application is denied, the project developer may request a review of the LaDOTD’s decision by the LaDOTD District Administrator and/or the Headquarters Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Engineer. Louisiana Department of Transportation Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Appeal Process.

3-LA-c.14 to 3-LA-c.22 — Appeal Decision (Optional)

If the result of the review is unsatisfactory, the project developer may submit a formal appeal to the LaDOTD Appeal Board. Louisiana Department of Transportation Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Appeal Process. Prior to filing a formal appeal, a project developer must give notice to the LaDOTD District Permit Specialist, and District Administrator and/or Headquarters Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Engineer of the developer’s intent to file a formal appeal. Louisiana Department of Transportation Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Appeal Process. The project developer must submit a written request to the Appeal Board for review.

The project developer must also submit the request to the Headquarters ROW Permit Engineer and the District Administrator. The request should be submitted 30 days prior to the next scheduled Appeal Board meeting. The request for appeal should state the reasons for the appeal and relevant information supporting the reasons for appeal including:

Before the Appeal Board’s consideration of the appeal, the District Administrator’s Office must submit a letter providing the District’s position on the appeal request to the Headquarters ROW Permit Engineer. The Headquarters ROW Permit Unit must then submit a package of information consisting of the submittals provided by the project developer and District Administrator’s Office, and a position paper detailing any rules and policies related to the appeal to the Appeal Board. Louisiana Department of Transportation Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Appeal Process. Once this information has been compiled, the Appeal Board will consider the appeal at the following Appeal Board meeting. Louisiana Department of Transportation Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Appeal Process.

The Appeal Board must issue a written letter outlining the results of the appeal to both the District Administrator and the project developer within 30 days of the Appeal Board meeting. If the District Administrator’s office is favorable to the decision, then the Appeal Board will notify the project developer of the proposed solution. If the District Administrator’s Office is not favorable to the proposed solution on appeal, the Office will inform the Appeal Board, and the Appeal Board will then make its final decision on the appeal request. Louisiana Department of Transportation Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit Appeal Process.


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