Alaska Utility Permit to Construct on ADOT&PF ROW (3-AK-g)
For the definition of a “utility,” see 17 AAC § 15.901(54).
Utility encroachments upon DOT&PF ROW’s are regulated and permitted by the DOT&PF pursuant to Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17,§ 15 and under the authority of Alaska Stat. § 19.05.010-19.05.040. Utility permits establish the terms under which the developer may install, operate, and maintain their utility facilities. Utilities Manual, § 3.3. By regulating construction of utility facilities on DOT&PF ROWs, the DOT&PF aims to protect the safety of the travelling public and other users, protect the integrity of DOT&PF facilities, ensure normal operation and maintenance activities by the DOT&PF are not compromised, ensure new facilities will not impact the immediate or long term construction programs by the DOT&PF, provide for accurate and current records of utility ownership and locations, and ensure the needs of utility companies and developers are met. Utilities Manual, § 3.2.
Utility Permit to Construct on ADOT&PF ROW Process
3-AK-g.1 - Will the Utility be Located on a State Section-Line ROW?
In Alaska, section lines are dedicated for use as public highways, forming the center line of a dedicated ROW. Alaska Stat. § 19.10.010. A developer seeking to install a utility facility within a section-line ROW must check with the DOT&PF to determine whether the DOT&PF either currently uses or has proposed a future use for the affected portion of the section-line ROW. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.031(a).
3-AK-g.2 to 3-AK-g.3 – Does the DOT&PF Have Current or Future Plans for Use of the State-Line ROW??
If the DOT&PF is not currently using the section-line ROW and has not proposed a future use for the portion affected by the proposed utility facility, no Utility Permit is required. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.031(a). If the DOT&PF is currently using or has plans to use the affected portion of the section-line ROW in the future, the developer must apply for a Utility Permit. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.031(a).
The developer must obtain additional written permission from federal agencies before proceeding with the permitting process if proposed project:
- Crosses or is within national forest, national park, military reservation, or other land of the federal government, the developer must obtain written approval from the appropriate controlling federal agency.
- Crosses navigable water the developer must obtain written approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Passes asses through restricted Native allotment land, the developer must obtain written approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Passes through Bureau of Land Management land, the developer must obtain written approval from the Bureau of Land Management.
- Is an overhead facility located within two statute miles of any airport, airstrip, or private air facility, the developer must obtain written approval from the Federal Aviation Administration or, if the airport or airstrip is under military control, from the appropriate military command.
3-AK-g.5 to 3-AK-g.6 - Has the Utility Permit on State Land Undergone Proper Environmental Review?
The developer must ensure their utility project has completed the State of Alaska’s environmental review process prior to the allowance of any construction on a DOT&PF ROW. For a description of the state’s environmental review process, see:
3-AK-g.7 - Request Written Approval from the Relevant Federal Agency
Once the developer’s project has been approved under Alaska’s environmental review process, the developer must request written approval from the relevant federal agency, as required in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021(f)-(k) and described above in element 3.1.
3-AK-g.8 - Written Approval
If the relevant federal agency is satisfied with the developer’s request for permission to construct a utility facility in a DOT&PF ROW located within federal land, it issues a written approval.
3-AK-g.9 to 3-AK-g.10 - Will the Utility be Located within a ROW that Crosses Water Specified in the List of Waters Important to Anadromous Fish?
If a developer plans to construct a utility facility within a DOT&PF ROW that crosses a river, lake, or stream specified in the List of Waters Important to Anadromous Fish incorporated in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 5, § 95.011, the developer must request written approval from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. (ADF&G) Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021.
3-AK-g.11 - Written Approval
If the ADF&G is satisfied with the developer’s request for permission to construct a utility facility in a DOT&PF ROW that crosses a river, lake, or stream specified in the List of Waters Important to Anadromous Fish incorporated in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 5, § 95.011, the ADF&G issues a written approval. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021.
3-AK-g.12 - Notify All Known Utilities in Immediate Vicinity
The developer must notify all known utilities in the immediate vicinity of the proposed construction of the utility facility. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021(d).
3-AK-g.13 - Application for Utility Permit
A complete application for a Utility Permit must contain the following:
For All Applications:
- A completed Application Form 25D-261 or a Permit Amendment Aerial Form NR-7/00 (if construction work only involves non-substantial facility modifications);
- Project plan sheets, specifications, and any other pertinent data;
- A diagram or drawing showing the location of all known overhead, surface, and underground facilities existing in the vicinity of the proposed facility;
- A detailed description of the type of facility and its proposed location; and
- A completed Pipe Carrier Facility Description Form 25D- 261A or Electrical and Communications Facilities Form 25D-261B, and/or a completed Structures Facility Description, Form 25D- 261C.
For Pipeline Installations:
- A description of the nature of the substance to be transmitted;
- The maximum working, test, and design pressures; and
- The design standards for the pipe.
- If the applicant (developer) anticipates that there will be a change in the nature of the substance that is transmitted, or an increase in maximum design pressure from that specified in the permit, the applicant (developer) must obtain written department approval in advance for the change.
Note: For construction work involving substantial reconstructions or modifications of facilities, the developer must complete a form for a new permit. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021(c). Additional regional forms and letters of non-objection may be required in some cases. Utilities Manual, § 3.8.
For Applicants with Facilities Located on a Section-Line Rights of Way:
- Proof of the existence of the section-line-ROW.
3-AK-g.14 - Review Application Materials
Once the applicant (developer) submits the application materials, the DOT&PF reviews the materials. In analyzing whether to issue a permit, the department will consider the utility standards and requirements set out in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.131 - 15.301, as well as criteria outlined in Utilities Manual, § 3.8, to ensure the presence and accuracy of all required information and analyze possibilities of present and future impacts of the utility facility upon DOT&PF projects. The review process may also involve review by additional agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Tribal governments, and various Municipal Governments or Boroughs. Utilities Manual, § 3.8.4. Comments from the review process and special provisions may be incorporated into the permit, as appropriate. Utilities Manual, § 3.8.4.
3-AK-g.15 – Is the Application Complete?
The DOT&PF notifies the developer of any discrepancies, inconsistencies, errors, or other issues discovered during the review process and returns the materials to the developer for correction and re-submittal. Once all issues have been addressed, the permit is processed for signature and approval. Utilities Manual, § 3.8.6.
3-AK-g.16 – Was the Application Approved?
If the DOT&PF approves the developer’s request for a Utility Permit, the DOT&PF will issue the permit and process the developer’s required fees. The DOT&PF will provide two copies of the utility permit to the developer for signature once all issues are resolved. The developer must sign the copies of the permit, have the signatures notarized, and return them to the DOT&PF for agency signature. Utilities Manual, § 3.9. If the DOT&PF does not approve the request for a Utility Permit, it will return the application to the developer with a formal letter of explanation. Utilities Manual, § 3.8.6; Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021(l).
3-AK-g.17 - Letter of Explanation
If the developer’s application proposes installations not in accordance with DOT&PF requirements and policies, the DOT&PF provides a formal letter explaining the denial. Utilities Manual, § 3.8.6; Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.021(l). If the DOT&PF denies an application for a section-line ROW, the DOT&PF will also immediately submit written notice to the Department of Natural Resources. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.031(e).
3-AK-g.18 – Pay Required Fees
- The developer must pay a $600 non-refundable fee, in a form acceptable to the DOT&PF, for permits that allow the following:
- Installation of aerial or underground distribution and transmission lines;
- Construction of duct systems;
- Construction of utilidors and utility tunnels, including crossings and extensions;
- Structure or appurtenance construction, including installation/construction of manholes, utility poles, pedestals, switch cabinets, transformers, and other design features of a similar nature;
- Crossing or installation activities, including service connections, requiring boring, trenching, or opening a roadway surface; and
- Installation of aerial service lines requiring placing of poles in a right-of-way.
- The developer must pay a $100 nonrefundable fee in a form acceptable to the department for permits, including permit amendments, that allow the following:
- Installation of aerial service lines not requiring structures within the right-of-way, including service lines from longitudinal distribution lines outside a right-of-way and service lines attached to existing poles; and
- Installation of underground service lines that do not occupy any portion of the roadway prism and connect to existing poles, pedestals, manholes, collection systems, distribution facilities and similar structures within the right-of-way.
- For projects that involve construction or installation of facilities of more than 200 feet in length, the developer must also pay an additional nonrefundable fee (not to exceed $10,000) of $1 per each foot of length in excess of 200 feet.
Note: The DOT&PF may require the developer to reimburse the DOT&PF for inspection costs if any special provisions of the utility permit require such an inspection. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.041(d).
3-AK-g.19 – Utility Encroachment Permit
If the DOT&PF approves the application, it grants the applicant (developer) a Utility Permit. The DOT&PF may attach special provisions to the permit if it considers them necessary to protect the public interest. 17 AAC § 15.011(a),(d). If the Utility Permit is for a utility facility within a section-line ROW, the applicant (developer) must coordinate the installation of the facility with any current or proposed DOT&PF projects in the affected section of the ROW and must provide a copy of the permit to the Department of Natural Resources. 17 AAC § 15.031(c)-(d).
A Utility Permit expires if construction or installation of the facility does not begin within one (1) year of approval, unless the developer obtains an extension of time in writing from the department. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, § 15.011(e).
3-AK-g.20 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)
If the DOT&PF denies the developer’s request for a Utility Permit, or if the developer is dissatisfied with any conditions attached to the encroachment permit as issued, the developer may appeal the decision by following the process and requirements outlined under 17 AAC § 85.010-85.990. 17 AAC § 10.950. To initiate the appeals process, the developer must submit a notice of the appeal to the director of the regional DOT&PF office where the decision was made within 30 days after receiving notification of the department's decision. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, §.020.
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- Alaska – Alaska Stat. § 19.25.010, Protection and Use of State Highways
- Alaska—Alaska Stat. § 19.05.010-19.05.040, Administration
- [ Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17 ,§ 15.011(c), Utility and Road Permits
- Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 15, § 15.901, Definitions
- Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17 ,§ 15.021, Application for Utility Permit
- Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 ,§ 195, Anadromous Fish
- Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, §85, Appeals
- Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 17, §10, Encroachments, Driveways and Road Permits
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
Statewide Right-of-Way Chief 907-465-6954 heatherabbazabbafair@alaskaabbazabbagov