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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

67 Pa. Code § 459.1. Definitions.

§ 459.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Acknowledgment of completion—The date on which the Department records that permitted work appears to be completed under the permit and this chapter.

   Adjacent area—The area surrounding the immediate area of the permitted work which can reasonably be assumed to have been affected by the permitted work.

   Backfill—Material used to replace or the act of replacing material removed during construction.

   Base course—The layer or layers of specified or selected material or designed thickness placed on a subbase or a subgrade to support a surface course.

   Bridge—A structure including supports, erected over a depression or an obstruction, as water, highway or railway, which has a track or passageway for carrying traffic or other moving loads and having an opening measured along the center of the pavement of more than 20 feet between supports.

   Central permit office—The office which administers this chapter, located at: Department of Transportation, Central Permit Office, 400 North Street, 6th Floor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120-0041.

   Clear zone—The portion of right-of-way beyond the pavement edge within which, under Design Manual, Part 5, no new obstructions may be located.

   County office—One of the maintenance district offices of the Department.

   Culvert—A structure under the pavement with an opening of 20 feet or less measured along the center of the pavement.

   Department—The Department of Transportation of the Commonwealth. The term includes municipalities authorized to issue permits for the Department under the authority of a municipal permit issuance agreement. If this chapter confers powers or imposes duties upon the Department which under a statute may be exercised by or imposed only on the Secretary, the reference to the Department shall be construed to mean the Department acting by and through the Secretary or the person for the time being acting as the Secretary personally.

   Design Manual, Part 2—A Department publication containing the Department’s highway design criteria.

   Design Manual, Part 5—A Department publication containing the Department’s utility relocation and accommodation policies relating to permits issued in conjunction with highway construction projects.

   Detour—To send traffic by a circuitous route around a portion of a highway that has been closed in accordance with § §  459.3(f) and 459.7(7) (relating to permit application procedure; and general conditions).

   Director—The bureau director of the Department having administrative authority over the central permit office.

   District engineer—The engineer in charge of one of the 11 district offices.

   District office—One of the 11 engineering district offices of the Department. The term includes a municipality authorized to issue permits for the Department under the authority of a municipal permit issuance agreement.

   Emergency—An unforeseen occurrence or combination of circumstances which calls for immediate action or remedy.

   Emergency Permit Card—Department Form M-940 used under §  459.6 (relating to emergency work).

   Emergency repair—Repair to a utility facility undertaken under §  459.6 to repair damage resulting from a vehicle accident or collision with the facility, a failed component or storm damage. The term does not include service connections or disconnections unrelated to vehicle accident, a failed component or storm damage.

   Equipment—Machinery and equipment, together with the necessary supplies for upkeep and maintenance, and tools and apparatus necessary for the proper construction and completion of the work.

   Flexible base pavement—A pavement structure which maintains intimate contact with and distributes loads to the subgrade and depends on aggregate interlock, particle friction and cohesion for stability.

   Grout—A mixture of cement, water and sand.

   High early strength concrete—Cement concrete meeting specifications set forth in section 704 of Publication 408.

   Highway—A highway or bridge on the system of State highways and bridges, including the entire width between right-of-way lines, over which the Department has assumed or has been legislatively given jurisdiction.

   Improved area—The area within the right-of-way which has been constructed for highway purposes, including roadbed, pavement, shoulders, slope, sidewalks, drainage facilities and other appurtenances.

   Inspector—The Department’s authorized representative assigned to inspect permit operations.

   License—A bridge occupancy license—Form M-906L—issued by the Department under this chapter.

   Limited access highway—A highway in respect to which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right of access except at points and in the manner determined by the Department.

   Pavement—The combination of subbase, base course and surface course placed on a subgrade to support the traffic load or distribute it to the roadbed, or both. The term normally includes the traveled portion of the highway and extends to the face of the curb in a curbed section. The term does not include shoulders.


     (i)   A highway occupancy permit—Form M-945P—issued by a district office under this chapter.

     (ii)   A highway occupancy permit issued to a utility by a municipality which has entered into a municipal permit issuance agreement with the Department.

     (iii)   An authorization to occupy highway right-of-way when a utility facility relocation is required by a highway construction project, granted either by written agreement or by a highway occupancy permit—utility relocation (Form D-4181-P) under the Design Manual, Part 5.

   Person—A natural person, firm, copartnership, association, corporation, authority or political subdivision.

   Plans—Drawings which show the location, character and dimensions of the proposed occupancy and related highway features, including layouts, profiles, cross sections and other details.

   Plowing—Direct burial of a utility line by means of a plow-type mechanism which breaks the ground, places the utility line and closes the break in the ground in a single operation.

   Private status—The status of a utility’s facilities, which are situated within public right-of-way by agreement with the Department, after the Department condemned the utility’s easement and did not provide a substitute right-of-way.

   Publication 408—A Department publication containing the Department’s highway construction specifications, as supplemented.

   Right-of-way—The area which has been acquired by the Department for highway purposes.

   Rigid base pavement—A pavement structure which distributes loads to the subgrade having as one course a portland cement concrete slab of relatively high bending resistance.

   Roadbed—The graded portion of a highway within top and side slopes, prepared as a foundation for the pavement and shoulder.

   Roadway construction standards—Department publication No. 72 containing the Department’s design standards for highway construction.

   Seal coat—A thin treatment consisting of bituminous or other approved material, usually with cover aggregate, applied to a surface course.

   Secretary—The Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth.

   Select granular material or 2 RC—A material meeting specifications in section 703.3 of Publication 408, when placed and compacted under §  459.8(g) (relating to special conditions—subsurface operations).

   Shoulder—The existing improved or graded portion of the highway, contiguous to the traffic lanes, for accommodation of stopped vehicles, for emergency use, or for lateral support of base and surface courses of pavements.

   Subbase—The layers of specified or selected material of designed thickness placed on a subgrade to support a base course.

   Subgrade—The top surface of a roadbed upon which the pavement structure and shoulders including curbs are constructed.

   Suitable material—Soil, granular material or shale meeting specifications in section 206.2 of Publication 408, when placed and compacted under §  459.8(g).

   Supplement—An amendment to a highway occupancy permit issued on Department Form M-945S.

   Surface course—One or more layers of a pavement structure designed to accommodate the traffic load, the top layer of which resists skidding, traffic abrasion, and the disintegrating effects of climate. The top layer is sometimes called ‘‘Wearing Course.’’

   Tack coat—An application of bituminous material to an existing surface to provide bond with a superimposed course.

   Test hole—An exploratory opening of less than 100 square inches.

   Utility—A person owning a utility facility including any wholly owned or controlled subsidiary.

   Utility facility or facility—Privately, publicly or cooperatively owned lines, facilities and systems for producing, transmitting or distributing communications, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, coal, water, steam, waste, storm water not connected to Department drainage facilities, and other similar commodities including fire and police signal systems and street lighting systems, which directly or indirectly serve the public or any part thereof.

   Vehicle—Every device which is or may be moved or drawn upon a highway.


   The provisions of this §  459.1 amended under sections 411, 420 and 702 of the State Highway Law (36 P. S. § §  670-411, 670-420 and 670-702).


   The provisions of this §  459.1 adopted July 13, 1979, effective August 13, 1979, 9 Pa.B. 2338; amended August 7, 1981, effective August 8, 1981, 11 Pa.B. 2779; amended January 20, 1989, effective March 22, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 241; amended September 2, 2011, effective September 3, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 4772. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (317549) to (317550) and (254075) to (254077).

Cross References

   This section cited in 67 Pa. Code §  459.8 (relating to special conditions—subsurface operations).

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