Cover Adjustment = Utility Relocation

The recent hot topic regarding authorizations has been utility cover adjustments.  The requirement to include this type of work in the R/W Certification is not new, but some agencies are unaware that the adjustment of utility covers (e.g. manhole covers, water valve covers, and box lids) are considered utility relocations and require proper notification.

If utility involvement is limited to only these type of adjustments, the new Exhibit 13-A can be used to properly summarize the notifications and relocations of utilities on the project.  Although the exhibit is new, the requirement, again, to disclose these types of relocations has been around and should have been included in the 13-B R/W Certification.

About David Giongco

David is an Area Engineer with the Division of Local Assistance at Caltrans helping local agencies throughout California successfully deliver their federal and state funded projects.

2 thoughts on “Cover Adjustment = Utility Relocation

    • Hi Virginia, great question … The Notice to Owner (NTO) and other requirements detailed in Chapter 13 of the LAPM (Utility Relocations) are required in the situation you’ve inquired about.

      The NTO is required even if the utility owner is the local agency themselves. It may sound unnecessary, but the NTO serves as assurance and documents that the utility owner has agreed to the schedule and liability of a relocation. Depending on the size of an agency, the requirement may make more sense. For example, for large agencies, the utilities department may be separate from the public works / transportation department.

      Bottom line, relocation of utilities owned by a local agency themselves should be handled in the same manner as those owned by others.

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