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Colorado State Highway Right-of-Way Overview (3-CO-c)

In Colorado, a developer may need a State Highway Access Permit and/or a State Utility-Special Use Permit for projects that encroach on a state highway right-of-way. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has the authority to regulate the design, construction, improvement, maintenance and general management of the state highway system and state highway right-of-ways, including state highway access. CRS 43-1-110 et seq., Powers and Duties of the Department of Transportation; CRS 43-2-102, Department of Transportation Maintain Highway System; Colorado – C.R.S. 43-2-147, Access to Public Highways. The CDOT administers State Highway Access Permits and Utility-Special Use Permits, both of which take the place of the single highway right-of-way/encroachment permit used in other states.

State Highway Right-of-Way Overview Process

3-CO-c.1 to 3-CO-c.2 — Will the Developer Construct, Relocate, Close, Modify, or Change the Use of a State Highway Access Point?

A developer must obtain a State Highway Access Permit and/or a State Utility-Special Use Permit to “construct, relocate, close, or modify access(es) to a state highway or when there are changes in use of such access point(s).” 2 CCR 601-1 §2.3(3)(a), State Highway Access Code.

If the project will not encroach on any state highway rights-of-way, the developer will not need a state highway encroachment permit. However, localities may also have their own encroachment permits for encroachments on local rights-of-way. A developer should consult with local authorities for encroachments on local right-of-ways.

3-CO-c.3 to 3-CO-c.5 — Will the Developer Perform Utility Accommodation Work within a State Highway Right-of-Way?

Utility owners must obtain a Utility-Special Use Permit from the Colorado Department of Transportation prior to performing any utility accommodation work, including the initial installation, relocation, maintenance activities not covered under an existing permit, or for facilities removal. 2 CCR 601-18 §, State Utility Code. If a developer needs a Utility-Special Use Permit, see:

State Utility-Special Use Permit:

If the developer is not performing utility accommodation work, then a developer only needs a State Highway Access Permit. For more information regarding a State Highway Access Permit, see:

State Highway Access Permit:

Note, a developer may need both a State Highway Access Permit and a State Utility-Special Use Permit.

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Contact Information

Edit Colorado Department of Transportation
Regional Contacts for State Highway Access Permits Visit Website

Edit Colorado Department of Transportation
Regional Contacts for State Utility and Special Use Program 303-757-9273 Visit Website

Edit Colorado Department of Transportation
State Highway Access Program Administrator 303-757-9841 alexabbazabbakarami@stateabbazabbacoabbazabbaus Visit Website