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RULE §21.31Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) AASHTO--American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

  (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 Code, §111.002.

  (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 lanes.

  (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 facility.

  (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 utilities.

  (57) Utility structure--A pole, bridge, tower, or other aboveground structure on which a conduit, line, pipeline, or other utility facility is attached.

Source Note: The provisions of this §21.31 adopted to be effective March 17, 2005, 30 TexReg 1455; amended to be effective December 11, 2008, 33 TexReg 10064; amended to be effective December 10, 2009, 34 TexReg 8795; amended to be effective October 12, 2014, 39 TexReg 7946

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