Project specific utility relocation agreements
(1)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a utility company enters into a project specific utility relocation agreement with the department, the department may:
(a)Pay for the performance of the design work to relocate a utility company’s facilities that are affected by the scope of the design-build transportation project;
(b)Advance funds for the performance of the construction work to relocate a utility company’s facilities affected by the scope of the design-build transportation project; except that any advance of funds pursuant to this paragraph (b) shall be subject to full repayment by the utility company with interest based on the cost incurred by the department for advancing the funds; and
(c)Perform any utility relocation work through the contractor for the design-build transportation project in accordance with the utility company’s specifications for the relocation work and subject to the utility company’s prior review and written approval of the relocation work to assure that the work meets the quality standards and construction methods of the company. The performance of any relocation work shall also be subject to inspection and approval by the utility company, during the performance of the work and prior to completion of the relocation work, and the department shall take appropriate measures to ensure service continuity.
(2)It is the intent of the general assembly that the department work with the utility company to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement with the utility company so that the design-build transportation project may proceed to be constructed in an efficient manner without causing interruption of utility services. If the utility company is unable to reach a project specific utility relocation agreement with the project manager negotiating such agreement for the department, the utility company shall be provided the opportunity to address its concerns with the department’s district engineer, who shall give due consideration to all issues raised by the utility company and shall strive to accommodate reasonable modifications requested by the utility company to the department’s proposed project specific utility relocation agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached between the district engineer and the utility company, the executive director of the department shall review the disputed issues and seek to resolve the dispute. If the executive director is unable to reach agreement with the utility company, the executive director shall prepare a written report setting forth the reasons that the dispute could not be resolved and shall provide such report to the utility company within three business days.
(3)For any utility company that chooses not to enter into a project specific utility relocation agreement with the department for the performance of utility relocation work:
(a)The department may direct the utility company to perform or allow the performance of the utility relocation work within the performance schedule for the design-build transportation project;
(b)The utility company shall pay for damages caused by the company’s delay in the performance of the utility relocation work or interference with the performance of the design-build transportation project by other contractors, including, but not limited to, payments made by the department to any third party based on a claim that performance of the design-build transportation project was delayed or interfered with as a direct result of the utility company’s failure to timely perform the utility relocation work; except that damages resulting from delays in the performance of the utility relocation work caused by a force majeure shall not be charged to the utility company; and
(c)The department may withhold issuance of a permit for the location or installation of other facilities to a utility company until the company pays the department damages caused by the company’s delay in the performance of the relocation work or interference with the performance of the design-build transportation project by any other contractor. Any person aggrieved by an action of the department in denying a permit may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief pursuant to the Colorado rules of civil procedure or section 24-4-106, C.R.S.
(4)The department shall provide written notice to any utility company of a design-build transportation project that will require the relocation of the company’s facilities as soon as practicable following the environmental clearance for the project. The notice shall include all available and relevant information concerning the project, including the performance schedule for the project within which the utility relocation work must be completed in order to coordinate with and avoid delay in the performance of the project.
(5)When feasible, the department shall provide a replacement easement for a utility company whose facilities are to be relocated from an easement owned by the utility company to accommodate a design-build transportation project, and the department shall condemn the replacement easement when necessary. If no replacement easement is provided, the department shall fund the initial relocation of the easement owner’s facilities and shall also fund all future relocations of those utility companies whose facilities occupy the easement at the time of the design-build transportation project at the department’s sole expense in lieu of compensating the utility companies for the loss of the easement. The utility company shall quitclaim to the department that portion of the easement that is replaced or extinguished.
(6)Nothing in this section or in section 43-1-1412 shall change the authority, rights, responsibilities, or obligations of the department or of any owner of real or personal property in an eminent domain proceeding or any existing statutory or case law applicable to eminent domain proceedings.
Section 43-1-1411 — Project specific utility relocation agreements,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-43.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).