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Illinois State Highway Right-of-Way (3-IL-c)

In Illinois, a developer may need a Highway Utility Permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) to work within the right-of-way of an Interstate, U.S. State route, Illinois state route, or state maintained roadway. 606 I.C.S §9-113; Illinois Department of Transportation Website – Utility Permits. IDOT and county highway authorities have authority to “...promulgate reasonable and necessary rules, regulations and specification for state highway right-of-ways.” 606 I.C.S §9-113(b). IDOT and county highway authorities regulate state highway encroachments pursuant to Illinois – 605 I.L.C.S. §§ 9-101 et seq., General Highway Provisions, and Illinois Regulations – 92 I.A.C. §§ 530 et seq., Accommodation of Utilities on Right-of-Way.


State Highway Right-of-Way Process

3-IL-c.1 to 3-IL-c.2 – Does the Project Require a Highway Utility Permit?

A utility, municipal corporation, or other private or public corporation, association or person (developer) must obtain a Highway Utility Permit to construct any “ditch, drain, track…poles, wires, pipe line or other equipment…located, placed, or constructed upon, under or along any highway, or upon any township or district road…” from the Illinois Department of Transportation. 605 I.L.C.S. §113(a), Illinois Regulations – 92 I.A.C. §§ 530 et seq., Accommodation of Utilities on Right-of-Way. Illinois defines utility to include any “privately, publicly or cooperatively owned line, facility or system for producing, transmitting or distributing….power, electricity…which directly or indirectly serves the public.” 92 I.A.C. §530.30.

3-IL-c.3 – Contact District IDOT Office (Optional)

A developer should contact the district Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”), where the proposed project will be located, for specific permit requirements. Illinois Department of Transportation Website – Utility Permits. The developer may utilize the IDOT District Map and IDOT District Project Contact Page for further information. Illinois Department of Transportation Website – Utility Permits.

3-IL-c.4 – Highway Utility Permit Application

The developer must submit two complete copies of the Illinois Department of Transportation – Highway Utility Permit Application (“Utility Permit Application”) or an IDOT region specific Highway Utility Permit Application to the applicable IDOT district office for processing. 606 I.C.S §9-113; Illinois Department of Transportation Website – Utility Permits. The Utility Permit Application should include, at minimum, the following:

  • The applicant’s (developer) name, address, and contact information;
  • A detailed description of the proposed work and/or attached sketch or plans of the proposed project, including location, physical description and the type of materials to be used. Scale drawings are preferred;
  • A time schedule for initiation and completion of various steps of the work proposed;
  • Two copies of a surety bond, if required pursuant to 92 I.A.C. §530.270; and
  • Applicant (developer) must show compliance with other State agencies, or that the regulations of no other State agencies are relevant to what has been proposed by the applicant (developer).

606 I.C.S §9-113; Illinois Department of Transportation Website – Utility Permits; and 92 I.A.C. §530.100.

3-IL-c.5 to 3-IL-c.6 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

IDOT reviews the Utility Permit Application materials for administrative and technical completeness. IDOT may require the developer submit supplemental information. During the review, IDOT will determine whether the proposed project requires a surety bond pursuant to 92 I.A.C. §530.270.

Illinois Department of Transportation Website – Utility Permits.

3-IL-c.7 to 3-IL-c.9 – Review Application Materials for Approval

IDOT must review the Application materials for approval. After reviewing the Utility Permit Application materials, IDOT makes a permit determination which must preserve the “…integrity, safe usage, and visual qualities of the State Highway System.” 92 I.A.C. § 530.10(a). IDOT must make a decision regarding the accommodation of a utility at a particular location through sound engineering practices. 92 I.A.C. § 530.10(b). IDOT will also “…evaluate the direct and indirect environmental and economic effects of any loss of productive agricultural land which would result from the disapproval of the use of the right-of-way of a highway for the accommodation of a utility.” 92 I.A.C. § 530.10(c). IDOT should grant the Utility Permit Application unless:

  • “...[T]he applicant (developer) has a history of not responding to IDOT requests;
  • There is no public need for the placement of the requested facility on the highway right-of-way;
  • The placement of the requested facility on the highway right-of-way will unduly threaten the safety and convenience of highway users;
  • That the proposed facility, its installation, or its maintenance will interfere with the ability of IDOT to construct, maintain, operate or improve the highway, including appurtenant facilities;
  • The proposed installation is not in compliance with 605 I.L.C.S. §113(a) or Illinois Regulations – 92 I.A.C. §§ 530 et seq., Accommodation of Utilities on Right-of-Way; or
  • The applicant (developer) does not have liability insurance sufficient to satisfy 92 I.A.C. §530.50.

92 I.A.C. §530.800.

If IDOT denies the Utility Permit, IDOT must submit a letter to the utility (developer) explaining the reason for denial. The developer may resubmit the Application for consideration if the developer can modify the Application to meet IDOT’s objectives as specified in the letter of denial. 92 I.A.C. § 530.800.

If IDOT grants the Utility Permit, IDOT will submit a letter to the utility (developer) granting the Utility Permit subject to terms and conditions in accordance with Illinois – 605 I.L.C.S. §§ 9-101 et seq., General Highway Provisions, Illinois Regulations – 92 I.A.C. §§ 530 et seq., Accommodation of Utilities on Right-of-Way, and the public interest. 605 I.L.C.S. §9-113(h).

3-IL-c.10 – Highway Utility Permit

The developer must comply with the any conditions of the Highway Utility Permit.

3-IL-c.11 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

An applicant (developer) may appeal IDOT decision regarding the issuance of a Utility Permit or the conditions upon the issuance, within fifteen (15) days after the issuance of IDOT permit decision, to the Chief of IDOT’s Central Bureau of Maintenance. 92 I.A.C. § 530.900.



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Transportation Operations (217) 782-7228 dotabbazabbapermitoffice@illinoisabbazabbagov