Utility Rights of Way and Territory Allocation

ORS 758.025
Relocation of utilities in highway right of way

  • required consultation
  • recovery of costs


As used in this section:


“Highway” has the meaning given that term in ORS 801.305 (“Highway”) (1) but does not include highways located on property owned by the Port of Portland that is subject to federal relocation regulations authorized under 49 U.S.C. 47107, as in effect on January 1, 2010.


“Public body” has the meaning given that term in ORS 174.109 (“Public body” defined).


“Utility” means a public utility, as defined in ORS 757.005 (Definition of public utility), or a telecommunications utility or competitive telecommunications provider, as those terms are defined in ORS 759.005 (Definitions).


If a public body plans a project that would require utilities to relocate their utility facilities that are located in the highway right of way, the public body shall notify affected utilities of the project in writing as soon as is practicable.


During the planning and design phase of a project, the public body shall coordinate with the affected utilities to discuss the project’s scope and schedule. At a minimum, the discussion must include a description of the plans, goals and objectives of the proposed project and options to minimize or eliminate costs to the public body and the utilities. The public body is not required to avoid or minimize costs to the utilities in a way that materially affects the project’s scope, costs or schedule. Failure of the affected utilities to respond or participate in the coordination or discussion does not affect the ability of the public body to proceed with design and construction of the project.


A public body having jurisdiction over a highway may not prohibit a utility from seeking reimbursement from private parties or customers for costs under this section in any permit application, license application or other written agreement authorizing the utility to relocate the facilities.


(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of ORS chapter 759, a telecommunications utility that is not subject to rate-of-return regulation, including a utility regulated under ORS 759.255 (Setting prices without regard to return on utility investment) may, after participating in the process described in subsection (3) of this section, request authorization from the Public Utility Commission to recover from customers prudent costs incurred for the relocation of facilities required by a public body that are not otherwise paid or reimbursed from another source. Recoverable relocation costs are the nonfacility costs incurred in the relocation plus the undepreciated value of the facilities replaced, including the cost of placing such facilities underground if underground placement is required by the public body or other provision of law. The commission may authorize the recovery of relocation costs that the commission determines to be substantial and beyond the normal course of business.


The commission shall:


Verify the relocation costs for which the utility requests recovery;


Determine the allocation of costs between interstate and intrastate services, geographic areas, customers and services; and


Prescribe the method of cost recovery.


In determining the level of cost recovery and the allocation of costs, the commission shall consider:


The overall impact on the utility; and


Other relevant factors identified by the commission.


Relocation costs may be recovered for a reasonable period of time subject to approval by the commission and not to exceed the depreciable life of the facilities. [2009 c.444 §2]


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021