Guideline for Depicting Existing and Proposed Utility Facilities in Design Plans

State departments of transportation (DOTs) are stressing the importance of utility coordination as more utilities continue to be installed within the right-of-way (ROW) nationwide. Utility data varies in source, detail, accuracy, and collection timeframe, making it difficult to depict correctly and reliably. The proper denotation, use, and standardization of utility data can substantially reduce risk in construction projects. However, without guidelines and specifications for the collection, management, and depiction of utility data, it can be challenging for state DOTs and utility owners to determine if conflicts exist. Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) Project R01A, “3D Utility Location Data Repository,” laid the groundwork for a 3D storage and retrieval data model to accommodate data, interface with existing design software, and provide designers a tool to use captured data on underground utilities. The forthcoming American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Standard 75-22 is to provide guidelines for ROW and utility owners in specifying the essential elements of documenting the location and attributes of subsurface and aboveground utility infrastructure. Also, the Federal Highway Administration has promoted the appropriate use of utility investigations and depiction of utility information in proposed project design plans, as explained in the ASCE Standard 38 guidelines. If the appropriate utility data is collected and then depicted correctly, products like SHRP2_R15B,_”Idenfifying_and_Managing_Utility_Conflicts” and the concept of the Utility Conflict Matrix (UCM) can be leveraged to improve coordination among transportation agencies and utility companies for faster and more efficient project delivery. Research is needed to document a sound approach for collecting utility data, managing that data, and determining the reliability of data obtained from various sources. This approach could help prevent unnecessary utility relocation, reduce risk to the delivery of timely projects, and reduce project costs. The objectives of this research are the following: (1) Identify current, successful practices for (a) retrieving, depicting, and managing data for various utilities; and (b) determining and depicting utility conflicts. (2) Develop sound approaches to (a) depict existing, proposed, and relocated facilities; (b) prioritize the depiction of data from multiple sources; (c) reconcile inconsistent utility data from various sources; and (d) determine reliability of depicted data for design standards. (3) Develop guidelines for state DOTs on practices for retrieving, depicting, and managing data for various utilities and for utility conflict identification and depiction.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $550000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 15-81

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jared, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Institute for Transportation
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, Iowa  United States  50010-8664
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sturgill, Roy

  • Start Date: 20221020
  • Expected Completion Date: 20251020
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01773414
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 15-81
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 27 2021 7:57PM