SCS/SB 314 - This act modifies the law with respect to highway right-of-ways. The act provides that certain utility companies and services, including cable television and Internet services, shall be permitted to place their facilities or systems within the right-of-ways of any state highway, county road, or other political subdivision. This provision is similar to one contained in SB 311 (2005).
This act creates the "State Highway Utility Relocation Act". The act establishes a procedure for the relocation of utilities from highway right-of-ways in connection with highway construction projects. This portion of the act has an effective date of January 1, 2006, and shall not apply to construction projects having a letting date prior to December 31, 2005 (Section 227.241).
DETERMINING LOCATIONS OF UTILITY FACILITIES - The commission shall attempt to determine what utility facilities are located within the right-of-way of a planned construction project by researching permit files and reviewing map files. The commission shall also conduct field investigations and contact local governments to identify any utility facilities within the right-of-way.
Within 30 days of completing the survey, the commission shall notify utility owners that a construction project is planned that may conflict with their facilities. The act sets forth what the notification must include (e.g. the desired date for completion of a relocation plan and the anticipated month and year a letting date could be set for the construction protect). The owner shall examine the notice and notify the commission in writing of any utility facility not correctly described in the notice. The response shall describe the general location of each utility facility by confirming the location shown in the notice or by providing additions or corrections (section 227.243).
SUBMISSION OF PROJECT PLAN - Upon completion of the initial design of the construction project, the commission shall provide at least one set of project plans to each owner of a utility facility. The project plans shall show those portions of the project upon which the owner's utility facilities are located. The plans shall show where the owner's utility facilities are located and where the utility facilities of other owners are located in relation to work required for the project.
RESPONSE BY UTILITY OWNERS TO PROJECT PLAN - If the owner determines that it owns utility facilities that are not shown an the project plans, the owner shall within 30 days mark their location on the project plans and return the marked-up protect plans to the department. If utility facilities owned by the owner are correctly shown on the project plan, the owner shall notify the department in writing within 30 days, but shall not be required to return the project plans (section 227.244).
SUBMISSION OF RELOCATION PLAN BY UTILITY OWNERS - Within 120 days of receiving the completed project plan from the commission, the owner shall provide the commission with a relocation plan.
CONTENTS OF RELOCATION PLAN - The relocation plan shall include a description of work that will be done in relocating the owner's utility facilities and whether the work or a portion of the work must be coordinated with or is contingent upon work being performed by other utility owners or the contractor to the commission. The plan shall state when the work will be started and the length of time in days estimated to complete the work. It shall also describe whether the plan is incomplete due to other owners or the commission failing to provide information needed to complete the relocation plan.
When two or more owners have facilities in the construction project area, the commission shall schedule a utility coordination meeting. If, as a result of the meeting, a conflict in relocation plans is determined to exist between the two or more owners, the owner shall have an additional 30 days to submit a revised relocation plan. If there is a conflict between two owners that cannot be resolved by the owners, the commission shall determine the method to resolve the conflict.
COORDINATION WITH HIGHWAY CONTRACTOR - If the utility owner's relocation work is dependent upon or must be coordinated with work being performed by the department's contractor, the commission shall convene a meeting of the contractor and the one or more owners whose relocation work is dependent upon or must be coordinated with the contractor's work. If the approved relocation plan is dependent upon or must be coordinated with work to be performed by the contractor, the contractor shall notify the commission of its best estimate of the date that all construction necessary for the relocation of utilities will be completed, at least 14 days prior to such date. If such completion date is delayed due to weather or other causes, the contractor shall immediately notify the commission of the delay and the revised expected completion date. The contractor shall give a second notice to the department five days prior to the date work will be completed as necessary for relocation work to begin.
COMMISSION REVIEW OF RELOCATION PLAN - The commission shall review the relocation plan to ensure compatibility with permit requirements, the project plan, and the anticipated letting date and notice to proceed for the project. The commission shall notify the owner in writing within 30 days of receiving the plan whether the plan is acceptable or not. The commission shall specify which parts of the relocation plan are not acceptable. The owner shall submit a revised relocation plan within 30 days after receipt of notice by the commission. The commission shall review the revised relocation plan, and if the relocation plan is still not acceptable, it shall provide a relocation plan to the owner. The owner shall not be bound by the commission's relocation plan if it requires the payment of overtime or imposes an unreasonable deadline.
IMPLEMENTATION OF RELOCATION - The commission shall notify the owner in writing not less than 30 days before the owner is required to begin relocation required by the relocation plan. The owner shall complete its work within the time frame described in the plan. The owner shall notify the department when relocation work has started and when all relocation work is complete. The commission may require the owner to submit progress reports until relocation is completed.
DAMAGES - If the owner fails to provide the responses or corrections to project plans, the commission may recover from the owner damages of $100 per day for each day the required act is not completed. If the owner fails to provide a relocation plan or fails to timely relocate utility facilities in accordance with the plan resulting in any delay to the construction project, the commission may recover damages of $1,000 per day for each day the required act is not completed. Damages may be recovered through actions brought by the commission's chief counsel or by the attorney general. Damages shall be deposited in the state road fund. Damages shall not be assessed due to acts of God, extreme weather events, labor strikes and shortages, or other events beyond the reasonable control of the owner.
PAYMENT OF RELOCATION COSTS - The removal and relocation of utility facilities shall be made at the owner's expense unless otherwise provided for by the commission. If the owner fails to relocate its utilities in accordance with the relocation plan, the commission may remove and relocate the facilities at the expense of the owner.
LOCAL REGULATION - Under this act, any home rule city having a a population of 60,000 or greater or any charter county of the first classification may adopt ordinances or regulations consistent with the act regarding the relocation of utility facilities located within the right-of-way of streets, highways, or roads under their respective jurisdiction. Any ordinance, policy, resolution, or regulation adopted under the authority of this section shall not infringe upon, negate or otherwise abrogate an owner's right to construct, own, operate, and maintain utility facilities within the right-of-ways of such political subdivision that the owner otherwise enjoyed prior to the adoption of such ordinance, policy, resolution, or regulation.