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Alberta Provincial Highway Right-of-Way (3-AB-c)

Information current as of 2018
In Alberta, a developer may need a Permit for the Placement of an Electric Facility from the Alberta Ministry of Transportation (Ministry) to construct a utility line within a permit area of a provincial highway. R.S.A. 2004, c. H-8.5. s.13(1)(f); A. Reg. 326/2009 s. 7(2)(b). “Construct” means the “enlargement, extension, replacement, renovation or repair of the utility line.” A. Reg. 326/2009, s.7(1)(a). “Utility line” means either an electric transmission line or electric distribution line. A. Reg. 326/2009, s.1(i)(i-ii).


A permit area is an area within the highway right-of-way and within a set distance from the middle of the highway. A. Reg. 326/2009, s.7(3). The size of the permit areas differs depending on the type of roadway right-of-way the proposed development will encroach upon. For instance, in the case of a freeway, the permit area is 115 meters from the center line of the roadway or 30 meters beyond the limit of the freeway, whichever is greater. A. Reg. 326/2009, s.7(3)(a)(ii). There are four different types of roadways each with a different size permit area; freeway, multi-lane provincial highway, major provincial highway, minor provincial highway. A. Reg. 326/2009, s.7(3).

The Ministry regulates provincial highway access and rights-of-way pursuant to Alberta - Highways Development and Protection Act, R.S.A. 2004, c. H-8.5 and Alberta - Highways Development and Protection Regulation, A. Reg. 326/2009.


Provincial Highway Right-of-Way Process

3-AB-c.1 – Consult with the Alberta Ministry of Transportation

The developer should consult with the Ministry to discuss the Permit for Placement of an Electric Facility approval process. Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways.

3-AB-c.2 – Contact Local Government

A developer should contact the governing body of the local municipalities where the project is to be located for information regarding additional approvals that may be required.

3-AB-c.3 – Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways

The applicant (developer) must submit a complete Alberta Ministry of Transportation – Application for Placement of Electrical Facility (Application) to the Alberta Transportation District Office where the project will be located. The developer may fax, mail, or submit the Application online to the district office of the ministry that the project is located in. Alberta Ministry of Transportation Website. A complete Application includes, at minimum:

  • Clearly state the purpose of the Application and the type of facility; and
  • It must provide the highway number(s), legal description(s) and particulars of the contact person responsible for the Application.

Alberta Ministry of Transportation – Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways.

In addition, the Ministry may require the applicant (developer) to provide any or all of the following:

  • Maps, plans, designs, and specifications;
  • Location, use, and dimensions of the project;
  • Location and design of the existing physical means of access to the provincial highway affected by the project; and
  • Type and intensity of vehicle traffic and plan to accommodate anticipated traffic.

For a complete list of potential requirements, see: AR 326/2009, s.(8)(3)(a-l).

Overhead Electric Lines

An Application for overhead electrical line must also be supported by an overall plan or a vicinity map in minimum scale of 1:20,000, showing the extent of proposed line including the location of both starting and end points.

If the overhead line runs parallel to the provincial highway the Application must be accompanied by:

  • (2) Copies of engineering plans or township diagrams, with a minimum scale of 1:10,000, showing all the areas where the proposed facility parallels the facility; and
  • Legal description(s), the offset(s) between the highway right-of-way boundary and the proposed electrical line;

If the overhead line crosses the provincial highway, the Application must also be accompanied by:

  • (2) Copies of engineering plans, in the minimum scale 1:5,000 for each highway crossing showing legal description(s); and
  • A precise crossing location in relation to a known point, towners, and all pole and guy wire locations in the crossing area.

Underground Electric Lines

An Application for underground power lines must be supported by an overall plan or a vicinity map of the facility, using a minimum scale of 1:20,000, showing the extent of the proposed facility including location of starting and end points.

If the underground line will parallel a provincial highway, the Application must be accompanied by:

  • (2) copies of engineering plans, with minimum scale of 1:5,000, showing all the areas where the proposed facility parallels the highway;
  • Legal locations;
  • Offset(s) between highway right-of-way boundary and the proposed facility; and
  • Manhole locations.

If the Underground powerline will cross a provincial highway, the Application must be accompanied by:

  • (2) Copies of engineering plans for each highway crossing showing legal location, a precise crossing location in relation to a known point, a highway cross -section at the crossing and highway profile for minimum 400 meters in each direction of the crossing;
  • Minimum scale of 1:5,000 horizontal and 1:200 vertical shall be use for the profile drawing;
  • The cross section must be drawn in the minimum horizontal scale of 1:2,500 and vertical scale of 1:200; and
  • Cross-section drawing shall contain legal crossing description(s), depth of cover, extent of casing/conduit, cable profile through the crossing and roadway right-of-way boundaries.

Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways.

3-AB-c.4 to 3-AB-c.5 – Does the Project Require an Additional Agreement?

If a proposed bulk transmission project will be longer than 1.6km long, will parallel a provincial highway, and is within the highway right-of-way, an additional agreement between the developer and the Ministry for electrical installations within the provincial highway right-of-way is required in addition to the Application. Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways.

3-AB-c.6 to 3-AB-c.7 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Ministry reviews the Application materials for administrative and technical completeness. An incomplete Application, without proper documentation will be returned without review. Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways.

3-AB-c.8 to 3-AB-c.10 – Review Application for Approval

The District Ministry of Transportation Office with jurisdiction has 30 days to review the Application and decide whether or not to issue a Permit for Placement of an Electrical Facility. Application Procedures and Placement Conditions for Electrical Lines in the Vicinity of Provincial Highways. A Permit for Placement of an Electrical Facility may be made subject to any condition that the Minister of Transportation believes is necessary. R.S.A. 2004, c. H-8.5 s. 14.


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