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

Information current as of 2020
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 rights-of-way, including state highway access. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 43-1-110 et seq.; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 43 -2-102; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 43-2-147. 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).” Colo. Code Regs. §601-1-2.3(3)(a).

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 rights-of-way.

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. Colo. Code Regs. §601-18- 2.2.1.1. If a developer needs a Utility-Special Use Permit, see:

State Utility-Special Use Permit:
3-CO-e

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:
3-CO-d

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 Visit Website