MnDOT regulates and/or gives approval for the use and occupancy of highway right of way by utility facilities or private lines through a document known as a permit. Utility owners must submit a permit application to place a new facility within trunk highway right of way or to accommodate additions or changes to their existing facilities. Before beginning work, a utility owner must receive an approved permit from MnDOT, and the utility contractor must carry a copy of the approved permit at all times while working on the trunk highway right of way.
Permit approval depends on meeting the technical guidance that is contained in the Utility Accommodation Section of the Utility Accommodation and Coordination Manual (PDF). It is important for utility owners to understand and follow the MnDOT Utility Accommodation on Highway Right of Way Policy, which consists of a policy document and a Utility Accommodation Section that is part of the updated Utility Accommodation and Coordination Manual (PDF).
Find a permit contact near you
For utility relocations necessitated by highway projects, the utility owner must prepare a relocation plan that details the proposed location of any facilities to be placed, as well as any relocation of existing facilities. The relocation plan must be on state construction plan sheets and include the original location, proposed location, and any temporary locations.
The utility owner completes the permit application and submits the following information to the project manager: One separate, completed permit application form for each project; two sets of relocation plans on project plan sheets; schedules; special provision information; and cost estimates (for reimbursable relocations).
To place a new utility facility or change an existing one, utility owners submit one permit application form completed in its entirety; two sets of detailed sketches; a separate application for each trunk highway; and a separate application for each MnDOT district involved. An authorized representative of the utility owner must sign, date, and submit the original permit.
Permit applicants agree to comply with measures to protect the environment, which include required protection measures for specimen trees and environmentally sensitive areas; required steps to preserve the scenic quality of the highway; and erosion control measures, turf establishment, and other environmental requirements. For additional details, see environmental requirements (DOCX).
Please refer to the Utility Accommodation and Coordination Manual (PDF) for additional information about permit application, review, and approval.
View a list of trunk highways within or adjacent to tribal lands and their associated maps and contacts.
What is a “sketch?”
For permit applications, the word “sketch” does have a specific meaning. Sketches for permit applications must meet certain requirements, or the application will be returned or rejected.
First, you use a MnDOT right of way map or state construction plan sheets as the basis for your sketch. Right of way maps are available at http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/cyberdocs_guest/ or www.dot.state.mn.us/maps/gisweb/row/. If a right of way map of the area is not available, a detailed drawing must be submitted with distances given from pertinent features, such as centerline, right of way lines, curb and gutter, distances from nearest county roads and highway mile markers, and other information that generally appears on the right of way map.
Next, plan to draw to a preferred scale of 1 inch = 100 feet, no smaller than 1 inch = 200 feet on paper no larger than 11” x 17”. The sketch must show in detail the proposed location of any utility facilities to be placed, as well as any relocation of existing facilities, and must contain references from the trunk highway centerline or the right of way line. Also, you must show all other existing utilities in the proposed work area.
Besides an unacceptable sketch or plan, are there other reasons why my permit application might be rejected?
Yes, there are. Some of those reasons include a permit application with missing information; a permit application not completed in ink; an unsigned permit application; a photocopy and not the original application; the incorrect form (be sure to download the correct form from this web site).
Before preparing your permit, review the following tips:
Permit tips (DOCX)
How can crowded right of way be used more efficiently?
The right of way, especially in urban areas, is becoming more and more crowded, making it more challenging to accommodate requests for utility placements. To help with that issue, MnDOT encourages utilities to make use of joint trenching and existing conduits whenever possible as a way to maximize the use of the right of way.