Utility Relocation and Accommodation: A History of Federal Policy Under the Federal-Aid Highway Program - Part 1: Utility Relocation
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Utility Relocation and Accommodation: A History of Federal Policy Under the Federal-Aid Highway Program - Part 1: Utility Relocation

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      Historically it has been in the public interest for public utility facilities to use and occupy the rights-of-way of public roads and streets. This is especially the case on local roads and streets that primarily provide a land service function to abutting residents, as well as on conventional highways that serve a combination of local, State, and regional traffic needs. This practice has generally been followed nationwide since the early formation of utility and highway transportation networks. Over many years it has proven to offer the most feasible, economic and reliable solution for transporting people, goods, and public service commodities (water, electricity, communications, gas, oil, etc.), all of which are vital to the general welfare, safety, health, and well being of our citizens. To have done otherwise would have required a tremendous increase in the acquisition of additional rights-of-way for utility purposes alone. This could have also resulted in significant added costs to be borne by the utility consumers through increased rates for utility services so provided. Under the practice of jointly using a common right-of-way there are two broad areas of concern to highway and utility officials alike. First is the cost of relocating, replacing or adjusting utility facilities that fall in the path of proposed highway improvement projects, commonly referred to as "Utility Relocations and Adjustments." Second is the installation of utility facilities along or across highway rights-of-way and the manner in which they occupy and jointly use such rights-of-way, commonly referred to as the "Accommodation of Utilities." Accordingly, Part I is a history of Federal policy on "Utility Relocations and Adjustments." Part II is a history of Federal policy on the "Accommodation of Utilities."
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