Williams Wilson
Utilities Law

Florida Statutes provide utilities with the right to place their facilities in public rights of way throughout the state. Sections 337.301, et seq., Florida Statutes, provide that utility facilities may be placed in highway rights of way, subject to regulation by the “authority. The Department of Transportation is the “authority” regulating the placement and maintenance of utilities in state road and federal highway rights of way.

The Department maintains comprehensive regulations in its Utilities Accommodation Manual (UAM). A utility owner must file an application for a permit prior to placing its facilities in the Department’s right-of-way, or making substantial changes to those facilities. Detailed location and engineering requirements are imposed by the UAM, which also provides a detailed exception process to allow for flexibility.

The Department also may require that existing utilities in the right of way be modified or relocated when they substantially interfere with the operation, construction or maintenance of the roadway. Generally, relocation is required in conjunction with highway construction projects, which often result in widening or other changes in the roadway that conflict with existing utilities.

The Firm of Williams Law Group, P.A. includes past Department attorneys who have substantial experience in this area, including litigation involving the relocation of existing utilities. This Firm has also been directly involved in working with the Department on behalf of the industry to provide for reasonable regulations in the UAM.


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