HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES
40-210. legislative intent — utility facilities — Coordinated relocation policies — definitions. (1) Public highways are intended principally for public travel and transportation; however, the public highways and the public right-of-way used in connection with the public highways are also lawfully used in connection with uses associated with utility purposes necessary to provide utility services to the public. Without making use of public highways and their associated rights-of-way, the utility facilities and services could not reach or economically serve the residents of the state of Idaho.
Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature that the public highway agencies and utilities engage in proactive, cooperative coordination of highway projects through a process that will attempt to effectively minimize costs, limit the disruption of utility services, and limit or reduce the need for present or future relocation of such utility facilities.
(2) In furtherance of the legislative intent expressed in subsection (1) of this section, public highway agencies engaged in a public highway project that may require the relocation of utility facilities, or any private party working with a public highway agency on a project that may require the relocation of utility facilities in connection therewith, shall permit the affected utility to participate in project development meetings. In addition, at the beginning of the preliminary design phase of the project, the public highway agency shall, upon giving written notice of not less than thirty (30) days to the affected utility, meet with the utility for the purpose of allowing the utility to review plans, understand the goals, objectives and funding sources for the proposed project, provide and discuss recommendations to the public highway agency that would reasonably eliminate or minimize utility relocation costs, limit the disruption of utility services, eliminate or reduce the need for present or future utility facility relocation, and provide reasonable schedules to enable coordination of the highway project construction and such utility facility relocation as may be necessary. While recognizing the essential goals and objectives of the public highway agency in proceeding with and completing a project, the parties shall use their best efforts to find ways to (a) eliminate the cost to the utility of relocation of the utility facilities, or (b) if elimination of such costs is not feasible, minimize the relocation costs to the maximum extent reasonably possible.
(3) If a utility has received notice of the preliminary design meeting as set forth in subsection (2) of this section and has failed to respond or participate in meetings described therein, such failure to respond or participate in such meetings shall not in any way affect the ability of the public highway agencies to proceed with the project design or construction.
(4) As used in this section:
(a) "Utility" means an entity comprised of any person, private company, public agency or cooperative owning and/or operating utility facilities.
(b) "Utility facility" means all privately, publicly or cooperatively owned lines, facilities and systems for producing, transmitting or distributing communications, cable television, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, ore, water, steam, waste or storm water not connected with highway drainage and other similar commodities.
(5) No provision of this chapter shall diminish or otherwise limit the authority of this state, highway district or other political subdivision having jurisdiction over the public right-of-way. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit, abrogate or supersede the provisions of the applicable local ordinance or regulations governing the use of the public right-of-way.
[40-210, added 2009, ch. 142, sec. 1, p. 426.]