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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 151. Land Use Permit Regulations
7/9/2020

24VAC30-151-30. Permits and Agreements.

A. The following shall apply to all authorized use or occupancy of the right-of-way:

1. A permit is required for any type of utility activity occurring within the right-of-way.

2. A permit is required to install any entrance onto a state highway.

3. A permit is required to perform surveying operations within the right-of-way.

4. A permit is required for any agricultural and commercial use and occupancy of the right-of-way.

5. A permit is required for any miscellaneous activity or use of the right-of-way except for mailboxes and newspaper boxes (see 24VAC30-151-560) and public service signs (see 24VAC30-151-570).

B. Single use permits. A single use permit allows the permittee to perform any approved activities not covered by a districtwide permit held by the permittee within limited access and nonlimited access rights-of-way at a specific location.

The district administrator's designee shall be responsible for the issuance of all single use permits, except that those requests for tree trimming and tree removal may be issued by the district roadside manager in consultation with the district administrator's designee. The size of the specific location covered by a single use permit shall be at the discretion of the district administrator's designee and may cover work up to two miles along the right-of-way (see 24VAC30-151-40). The land use permit issued for the original installation allows the permittee to repair or perform routine maintenance operations to existing facilities. A single use permit shall be required when the following actions are proposed, even if the activities being conducted are normally allowed under a districtwide permit:

1. Stopping or impeding highway travel in excess of 15 minutes or implementing traffic control that varies from the standard, or any combination of these, as outlined in the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (see 24VAC30-151-760).

2. Performing work within limited access right-of-way.

3. Trimming or cutting any trees located within the right-of-way.

4. Applying any pesticide or landscaping within the right-of-way.

5. Construction of a permanent entrance to a state highway.

C. Districtwide permits. A districtwide permit allows the permittee to perform multiple occurrences of certain activities on nonlimited access right-of-way without obtaining a single use permit for each occurrence. The central office permit manager shall be responsible for the issuance of all districtwide permits. VDOT may authorize districtwide permits covering multiple districts (see 24VAC30-151-710).

The following is a list of acceptable activities under the jurisdiction of districtwide permits:

1. Utilities.

a. Districtwide permits may be issued granting cities, towns, counties, public agencies, or utility companies the authority to install and maintain service connections to their existing main line facilities. Work under a districtwide permit will allow the permittee to install a service connection across a nonlimited access primary or secondary highway above or below ground, provided the installation can be made from the side of the roadway without impeding travel for more than 15 minutes to pull or drop a service line across a highway, and provided no part of the roadway pavement, shoulders and ditch lines will be disturbed. The installation of parallel utility service connections, not to exceed 500 feet in length, shall be placed along the outer edge of the right-of-way with a minimum of 36 inches of cover. Telecommunications and cable television service connections may be placed with a minimum of 18 inches of cover; however the permittee assumes full responsibility for any and all damages caused by VDOT or VDOT contractors resulting from a service connection buried with less than 30 inches of cover within the right-of-way.

A districtwide permit allows for the overlashing of telecommunication lines onto existing lines or strand.

b. A separate single use permit will be required when the following activities associated with the installation and maintenance of utility service connections are proposed:

(1) Cutting highway pavement or shoulders, or both, to locate underground utilities.

(2) Working within the highway travel lane on a nonemergency basis.

(3) Constructing a permanent entrance.

(4) Installing electrical lines that exceed 34.5 KV.

(5) Installing telecommunication services that exceed 100 pair copper cable or the fiber optic cable diameter equivalent.

(6) Installing new pole, anchors, parallel lines, or casing pipe extensions to existing utilities where such installation necessitates disturbance to the pavement, shoulder, or ditch line.

(7) Installing underground telephone, power, cable television, water, sewer, gas, or other service connections or laterals where the roadway or ditch lines are to be disturbed.

c. The installation of parallel utility service connections, not to exceed 500 feet in length, shall be placed along the outer edge of the right-of-way with a minimum of 36 inches of cover. Telecommunications and cable television service connections may be placed with a minimum of 18 inches of cover; however the permittee assumes full responsibility for any and all damages caused by VDOT or VDOT contractors resulting from a service connection buried with less than 30 inches of cover within the right-of-way.

d. A districtwide permit allowing the installation and maintenance of utility service connections may be revoked for a minimum of 30 calendar days upon written finding that the permittee violated the terms of the permit or any of the requirements of this chapter, including but not limited to any, all, or a combination of the following:

(1) The permittee shall implement all necessary traffic control in accordance with the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (see 24VAC30-151-760). When warranted, the appropriate Regional Traffic Engineer should be consulted to select or tailor the proper traffic control devices. Each flag-person must be certified by VDOT and carry a certification card when flagging traffic and have it readily available for inspection when requested by authorized personnel.

(2) The permittee shall not perform any activity under the jurisdiction of a districtwide permit that requires the issuance of a single use permit.

e. The permittee must obtain single use permits from the district administrator's designee to continue the installation and maintenance of utility service connections during this revocation period.

2. Temporary logging entrances.

a. Districtwide permits may be issued for the installation, maintenance, and removal of temporary entrances onto nonlimited access primary and secondary highways for the purpose of harvesting timber.

b. A separate single use permit is required when the following activities associated with timber harvesting operations are proposed:

(1) Installing a permanent entrance.

(2) Making permanent upgrades to an existing entrance. Improvements to existing entrances that are not permanent upgrades will not require a separate single use permit.

(3) Cutting pavement.

(4) Grading within the right-of-way beyond the immediate area of the temporary entrance.

c. A logging entrance permit may be revoked for a minimum of 30 calendar days upon written finding that the permittee violated the terms of the permit or any of the requirements of this chapter, including but not limited to any, all, or a combination of the following:

(1) The permittee shall implement all necessary traffic control in accordance with the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (see 24VAC30-151-760). When warranted, the appropriate district traffic engineer should be consulted to select or tailor the proper traffic control measures. Each flag-person must be certified by VDOT and carry a certification card and have it available for inspection upon request by authorized VDOT personnel.

(2) The permittee shall contact the appropriate district administrator's designee prior to installing a new logging entrance or initiating the use of an existing entrance for logging access.

(3) The permittee shall contact the appropriate district administrator's designee for final inspection upon completion of logging activities and closure of the temporary entrance.

(4) The permittee shall restore all disturbed right-of-way at the temporary entrance, including but not limited to ditches, shoulders, and pavement, to pre-activity condition subject to acceptance by the appropriate district administrator's designee.

(5) The permittee shall remove excessive mud and any debris that constitutes a hazardous condition from the highway pursuant to a request from the appropriate district administrator's designee. Noncompliance may also result in the issuance of a separate citation from the Virginia State Police or a local law-enforcement authority.

(6) The permittee shall not perform any activity under the jurisdiction of a districtwide permit that requires the issuance of a single use permit.

d. The permittee must obtain single use permits from the appropriate district administrator's designee to continue accessing state maintained highways for the purpose of harvesting timber during this revocation period.

3. Surveying.

a. Districtwide permits may be issued for surveying operations on nonlimited access primary and secondary highways subject to the following:

(1) No trees are to be trimmed or cut within the right-of-way.

(2) No pins, stakes, or other survey markers that may interfere with mowing operations or other maintenance activities are to be placed within the right-of-way.

(3) No vehicles shall be parked so as to create a traffic hazard. Parking on through lanes is strictly prohibited.

b. A separate single use permit is required when the following surveying activities are proposed:

(1) Entering onto limited access right-of-way. Consideration for the issuance of such permits will be granted only when the necessary data cannot be obtained from highway plans, monuments, triangulation, or any combination of these, and the applicant provides justification for entry onto the limited access right-of-way.

(2) Stopping or impeding highway travel in excess of 15 minutes or varying the implementation of standard traffic control, or any combination of these, as outlined in the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (see 24VAC30-151-760).

(3) Trimming or cutting any trees located within the right-of-way.

(4) Cutting highway pavement or shoulders to locate underground utilities.

c. A districtwide permit for surveying activities may be revoked for a minimum of 30 calendar days upon written finding that the permittee violated the terms of the permit or any of the requirements of this chapter, including but not limited to any, all, or a combination of the following:

(1) The permittee shall implement all necessary traffic control in accordance with the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual (see 24VAC30-151-760). When warranted, the appropriate Regional Traffic Engineer should be consulted to select or tailor the proper traffic control devices. Each flag-person must be certified by VDOT and carry a certification card when flagging traffic and have it readily available for inspection when requested by authorized personnel.

(2) The permittee shall not perform any activity under the jurisdiction of a districtwide permit that requires the issuance of a single use permit.

d. The permittee must obtain single use permits from the district administrator's designee to continue surveying activities during this revocation period.

D. In-place permits. In-place permits allow utilities to remain within the right-of-way of newly constructed secondary streets. These utilities shall be installed according to VDOT approved street plans and shall be in place prior to VDOT street acceptance.

E. Prior-rights permits. Prior-rights permits allow existing utilities to remain in place that are not in conflict with transportation improvements authorized under the auspices of a land use permit.

F. As-built permits. Agreements for the relocation of utilities found to be in conflict with a transportation project may stipulate that an as-built permit will be issued upon completion of the project.

G. Agreements. In addition to obtaining a single use permit, a utility may be required to enter an agreement with VDOT allowing the utility to use the limited access right-of-way in exchange for monetary compensation, the mutually agreeable exchange of goods or services, or both.

1. Permit agreement. A permit agreement is required for:

a. Any new longitudinal occupancy of the limited access right-of-way where none have existed before, as allowed for in 24VAC30-151-300 and 24VAC30-151-310.

b. Any new communication tower or small site facilities installed within the right-of-way, as allowed for in 24VAC30-151-350.

c. Any perpendicular crossing of limited access right-of-way, as allowed for in 24VAC30-151-310.

All permit agreements shall specify the terms and conditions required in conjunction with work performed within the right-of-way. If appropriate, all agreements shall provide for the payment of monetary compensation as may be deemed proper by the Commissioner of Highways for the privilege of utilizing the right-of-way.

2. Shared resource agreement. A shared resource agreement allows the utility to occupy the limited access right-of-way in exchange for the utility providing the needed VDOT facility or services. VDOT and the utility will agree upon the appropriate facilities or services to be provided and will establish the length of the term that will be compensated through the infrastructure needs or monetary compensation, or both. Any shared resource agreement shall also provide for compensation as may be deemed proper by the Commissioner of Highways in any renewal term. The shared resource agreement shall specify the initial and renewal terms of the lease.

Statutory Authority

§ 33.2-210 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 26, Issue 12, eff. March 17, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 04, eff. November 23, 2011.

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