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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 § 459.10a. Bridge occupancy.

§ 459.10a. Bridge occupancy.

 (a)  License required. No person may attach a utility facility to a State bridge or modify an existing facility until the owner of the utility facility has obtained a license (Form M-906L) from the Department under this chapter.

 (b)  Application procedure.

   (1)  General. A separate bridge license application (Form M-906A) shall be completed and signed by the facility owner and submitted to the district office bridge engineer for each utility facility and for each bridge. An application from a facility owner not in the business of providing utility service shall identify how the public will benefit from the occupancy and shall furnish other information as may be required by §  459.3(b)(2) (relating to permit application procedure). License applications shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to the anticipated start of work.

   (2)  Plans. Plan requirements are as follows:

     (i)   Bridge license application. Three sets of plans shall accompany the bridge license application. A fourth set of plans is required when a part of the work involves Interstate highway right-of-way. The plans shall have a horizontal scale of 1 inch equal to no more than 20 feet, and shall clearly illustrate the location and pertinent dimensions of both the proposed installation and related highway and bridge features. The plans shall also show the installation in plan and elevation, unless excused, with a cross section and enlarged details of the installation showing appurtenances, such as brackets, inserts, supports, couplings, encasements, hangers, sleeves, insulators, fabricated structural steel—if required, crossarms and poles. The details shall be complete throughout the entirety of the structure including treatment at the diaphragms and abutments.

     (ii)   Traffic control plans.

       (A)   Three sets of traffic control plans shall be submitted in the following situations:

         (I)   For work on limited access highways.

         (II)   Whenever it will be necessary to close a portion of a travel lane during hours of darkness without work in active progress.

         (III)   Whenever it will be necessary to completely close a highway to perform the permitted work.

       (B)   The district office may require an applicant to submit a traffic control plan under other special circumstances.

       (C)   Traffic control plans shall comply with 75 Pa.C.S. §  6123 (relating to erection of traffic-control devices while working) and the applicable provisions of Chapter 203 (relating to work zone traffic control).

       (D)   Traffic control plans shall clearly indicate how the work area and vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be protected, maintained and controlled.

   (3)  License fees. A check or money order, payable to the Department, shall accompany a bridge license application in the appropriate amount under this paragraph.

     (i)   Issuance fee—$80.

     (ii)   Inspection fee—$20.

     (iii)   Accommodation fee (each 1,000 pounds or fraction thereof)—$50.

     (iv)   Annual rental fee (each 1,000 pounds or fraction thereof)—$10.

     (v)   Accommodation and annual rental fee weights shall be calculated to include the ultimate weight of the utility facility and contents—running full—as well as appurtenances, including the weight of 1/2 inch of ice or sleet on listed items exposed to the elements on any part of the bridge or structure.

     (vi)   License fees will not be assessed against the following entities:

       (A)   The Federal government.

       (B)   The Commonwealth.

       (C)   Political subdivisions of this Commonwealth.

       (D)   Utilities ordered by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to occupy a bridge over which the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has taken jurisdiction.

       (E)   Governmental authorities, except that annual rental fees specified in subparagraph (iv) shall be assessed.

     (vii)   The annual rental fee is payable upon receipt of an invoice from the Department.

 (c)  Issuance of license.

   (1)  Upon approval of an application made under this chapter, a license will be issued by the Department, subject to this chapter and the conditions contained on the license and its attachments. The license shall be the applicant’s authority to proceed with the work specified in the license. A copy of the license, application and authorized plans shall be available for inspection at the work site.

   (2)  A license shall be issued only to the owner of the utility facility. A license will not be issued to a contractor nor to persons only being serviced by the facility.

   (3)  The license shall be maintained by the licensee as a permanent record. A license shall be valid until revoked by the Department or until the Department ceases to be responsible for the bridge for which the license is granted or until the bridge is reconstructed or relocated, at which time a new license application may be submitted to the district office.

 (d)  License conditions. The provisions of this chapter governing permits and permittees, except those that are not technically feasible, are incorporated herein by substituting license and licensee for permit and permittee, respectively. The following conditions apply in addition:

   (1)  The license authorizes only those facilities specifically designated on the license.

   (2)  Work authorized by the license is subject to laws or regulations which give jurisdiction to the Army Corps of Engineers, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, or other Federal, State or local authority having jurisdiction over any aspect of the location, construction or maintenance of the licensee’s facility. The licensee is responsible for complying with Department of Environmental Resources license requirements under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105 (relating to dam safety and waterway management).

   (3)  The licensed work shall be done at a time and in a manner consistent with the safety of the public and conform to requirements and standards of the Department, including, but not limited to, Publication 408 and acceptable practices of the industry not inconsistent therewith.

   (4)  The licensee shall pay fees, costs and expenses incident to or arising from the project, including the cost of related highway or bridge improvements which the license work may necessitate.

   (5)  No license application will be approved for occupancy of a section of right-of-way within which a highway or bridge construction project is underway, or if a contract for the project has been let, until the project is completed and accepted by the Department, unless the applications are accompanied by an attested certificate signed by the contractor or other authority constructing the project, consenting to the applicant’s proposed work within the right-of-way, together with a waiver, release and quitclaim to the Department of damages and defenses for delays by reason of the work and occupation of the right-of-way by the licensee, or from a cause resulting by reason of the work and occupation. This paragraph does not apply:

     (i)   To an emergency. In an emergency, the licensee shall obtain the consent of the Department to do work necessary to correct the existing emergency condition.

     (ii)   If the licensee has been authorized by the Department to relocate or adjust its facilities simultaneously with the highway or bridge construction, under Design Manual, Part 5.

   (6)  If the bridge is reconstructed or relocated, the privilege granted in this subsection ceases and the licensee shall bear the expense of reconstruction as will be necessary if the privilege is to be continued for the benefit and at the request of the licensee.

   (7)  The licensee shall notify the district office at least 1 week prior to the start of work and notify the district maintenance office at least 1 week in advance of maintenance work.

   (8)  Upon notification that the Department has scheduled maintenance painting of a bridge, the licensee shall, unless excused, have its attached facilities promptly painted in accordance with specifications furnished by the district office or enter into an agreement with the Department’s contractor for the painting of its facilities.

   (9)  If in the future the licensee desires to change, alter or remove a structure or property belonging to it from the bridge or highway, it may do so upon approval of an amended application, if disturbed parts of the bridge or highway are restored at the expense of the licensee, as directed by the district office.

   (10)  If the rent remains unpaid on a day when it is due, including default on a check submitted in payment of rent and after 15 days’ notice of default:

     (i)   A prothonotary or an attorney of a court of record is empowered to appear for the licensee in actions which may be brought for rent or to sign for the licensee an agreement for entering in a competent court an amicable action for the recovery of rent or other charges or expenses; and in the suit or in the amicable action, to confess judgment against the licensee for all or a part of the rents specified in this license, and then unpaid, and for interests and costs, together with attorney’s commission of 10%. The authority will not be exhausted by one exercise thereof, but judgment may be confessed from time to time as often as rent is in arrears.

     (ii)   The Department may revoke and annul the license and order and direct the licensee to remove structures, equipment or property belonging to the licensee or its contractors from the bridge or legal limits of the right-of-way and to restore the right-of-way to its former condition. If the licensee fails to remove the structure, equipment or property after notice from the Department to do so, the Department or an attorney of a court of record is authorized to appear for the licensee, and to enter an amicable action of ejectment and confess judgment against the licensee. The attorney is authorized to issue a writ of possession without leave of court, at the cost of the licensee.

   (11)  Facility occupancy of State bridges shall comply with applicable provisions of Design Manual, Part 5.


   The provisions of this §  459.10a issued 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 §  459.10a adopted January 20, 1989, effective March 22, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 241.

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