The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter,
shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
(1) AASHTO--American Association of State Highway and
(2) Abandoned utility--A utility facility that no longer
carries a product or performs a function and for which the owner:
(A) does not plan to use in future operations; or
(B) is unknown or cannot be located.
(3) Access denial line--A line concurrent with the
common property line across which access to the highway facility from
the adjoining property is not permitted.
(4) As-Built plans--Drawings showing the actual locations
of installed or relocated utility facilities.
(5) Border width--The area between the edge of pavement
structure or back of curb to the right of way line.
(6) Bridge abutment joint--The joint between the approach
slab and bridge structure.
(7) Center median--The area between opposite directions
of travel on a divided highway.
(8) Certified as-installed construction plans--The
construction plans for the installation of a utility facility, accompanied
by an affidavit certifying that the facility was installed in accordance
with the plans.
(9) Commission--The Texas Transportation Commission.
(10) Common carrier--As defined in the Natural Resources
(11) Conduit--A pipe or other opening, buried or above
ground, for conveying fluids or gases, or serving as an envelope containing
pipelines, cables, or other utility facilities.
(12) Controlled access highway--A highway so designated
by the commission on which owners or occupants of abutting lands and
other persons are denied access to or from the highway mainlanes.
(13) Department--The Texas Department of Transportation.
(14) Depth of cover--The minimum depth as measured
from the top of the utility line to the ground line or top of pavement.
(15) Design vehicle load (HS-20)--A design load designation
used for bridge design analysis representing a three-axle truck loaded
with four tons on the front axle and 16 tons on each of the other
two axles. The HS-20 designation is one of many established by AASHTO
for use in the structural design and analysis of bridges.
(16) Director--The chief administrative officer in
charge of either the Maintenance Division or the Right of Way Division,
or a successor division of either the Maintenance Division or the
Right of Way Division.
(17) Distribution line--That part of a utility system
connecting a transmission line to a service line.
(18) District--One of the 25 geographical districts
into which the department is divided.
(19) District engineer--The chief administrative officer
in charge of a district, or his or her designee.
(20) Duct--A pipe or other opening, buried or above
ground, containing multiple conduits.
(21) Engineer--A person licensed to practice engineering
in the state of Texas.
(22) Engineering study--An appropriate level of analysis
as determined by the department, which may include a traffic impact
analysis, that determines the expected impact that permitting access
will have on mobility, safety, and the efficient operation of the
state highway system.
(23) Executive director--The chief administrative officer
of the department, or that officer's designee not below the level
of assistant executive director.
(24) Freeway--A divided highway with frontage roads
or full control of access.
(25) Frontage road--A street or road auxiliary to,
and located alongside, a controlled access highway or freeway that
separates local traffic from high-speed through traffic and provides
service to abutting property.
(26) Gathering line--A line that delivers a raw utility
product from various sites to a central distribution or feed line
for the purposes of refining, collecting, or storing the product.
(27) Hazardous material--Any gas, material, substance,
or waste that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical
or chemical characteristics, is deemed by any federal, state, or local
authority to pose a present or potential hazard to human health or
safety or to the environment. The term includes hazardous substances,
hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated temperature materials,
materials designated as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Table
(49 CFR §172.101), and materials that meet the defining criteria
for hazard classes and divisions in 49 CFR Part 173 (49 CFR §171.8).
(28) High-pressure pipeline--A pipeline that is operated,
or may reasonably be expected to operate in the future, at a pressure
of over 60 pounds per square inch.
(29) Horizontal clearance--The areas of highway roadsides
designed, constructed, and maintained to increase safety, improve
traffic operation, and enhance the appearance of highways.
(30) Idled facility--A utility conduit or line which
temporarily does not carry a product, or does not perform a function
and whose owner has not provided a date for its return to operation.
(31) Inclement weather--Weather conditions that are
hazardous to the safety of the traveling public, highway or utility
workers, or the preservation of the highway.
(32) Joint use agreement--A use and occupancy agreement
that describes the obligations, responsibilities, rights, and privileges
vested in the department and retained by the utility, and used for
situations in which the utility has a compensable interest in the
land occupied by its facilities and the land is to be jointly occupied
and used for highway and utility purposes.
(33) Low-pressure pipeline--A pipeline that is operated
at a pressure not exceeding 60 pounds per square inch.
(34) Mainlanes--The traveled way of a freeway or controlled
access highway that carries through traffic.
(35) Maintenance Division--The administrative office
of the department responsible for the maintenance and operation of
the state highway system.
(36) Noncontrolled access highway--A highway on which
owners or occupants of abutting lands or other persons have direct
access to or from the mainlanes by department permit.
(37) Outer separation--The area between the mainlanes
of a highway for through traffic and a frontage road.
(38) Pavement structure--The combination of the surface,
base course, and subbase.
(39) Private utility--A person, firm, corporation,
or other entity engaged in a utility business other than a public
utility or saltwater pipeline operator. The term includes an individual
who owns a service line.
(40) Public utility--A person, firm, corporation, river
authority, municipality, or other political subdivision that is engaged
in the business of transporting or distributing a utility product
that directly or indirectly serves the public and that is authorized
by state law to operate, construct, and maintain its facilities over,
under, across, on, or along highways. The term includes a common carrier
and a gas corporation. This term does not include a saltwater pipeline
operator whose only right to occupy state right of way is by a lease
under Natural Resources Code, §91.902.
(41) Ramp terminus--The entrance or exit portion of
a controlled access highway ramp adjacent to the through traveled
(42) Right of Way Division (ROW)--The administrative
office of the department responsible for the acquisition and management
of the state right of way.
(43) Riprap--An appurtenance placed on the exposed
surfaces of soils to prevent erosion, including a cast-in-place layer
of concrete or stones placed together.
(44) Saltwater--Water containing salt and other substances
produced during the drilling or operation of an oil, gas, or other
type of well.
(45) Saltwater pipeline--A pipeline that carries saltwater.
The term includes a pipeline that carries water and water based solutions
from an oil or gas well on which hydraulic fracturing treatment has
been performed to a waste disposal well.
(46) Saltwater pipeline operator--A person, firm, corporation
or other entity that owns, installs, manages, operates, leases, or
controls a saltwater pipeline that is not a public utility.
(47) Service line--A utility facility that conveys
electricity, gas, water, or telecommunication services from a main
or conduit located in the right of way to a meter or other measuring
device that services a customer or to the outside wall of a structure,
whichever is applicable and nearer the right of way.
(48) TMUTCD--The most recent edition of Texas Manual
on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways.
(49) Traffic impact analysis--A traffic engineering
study that determines the potential current and future traffic impacts
of a proposed traffic generator and that is signed, sealed, and dated
by an engineer licensed to practice in the state of Texas.
(50) Transmission line--That part of a utility system
connecting a main energy or material source with a distribution system.
(51) Use and occupancy agreement--The written document,
whether in the form of an agreement, acknowledgment, notice, or request,
by which the department approves the use and occupancy of highway
right of way by utility facilities.
(52) Utility--Any entity owning a utility facility.
(53) Utility appurtenances--Any attachments or integral
parts of a utility facility, including fire hydrants, valves, communication
controller boxes and pedestals, electric boxes, and gas regulators.
(54) Utility facilities--All utility lines, pipelines,
saltwater pipelines, conduits, cables, and their appurtenances within
the highway right of way except those for highway-oriented needs,
including underground, surface, or overhead facilities either singularly
or in combination, which may be transmission, distribution, service,
or gathering lines.
(55) Utility product--The product, such as water, saltwater,
steam, electricity, gas, oil, or crude resources or communications,
cable television, or waste disposal services, carried by the utility
(56) Utility strip--The area of land established within
a control of access highway, located longitudinally within the area
between the outer traveled way and the right of way line, for the
nonexclusive use, occupancy, and access by one or more authorized
(57) Utility structure--A pole, bridge, tower, or other
aboveground structure on which a conduit, line, pipeline, or other
utility facility is attached.