State one call centers are part of a nationwide system that has been established to minimize the chance of excavators damaging underground utilities during construction projects. These systems are funded through fees assessed to the operators of underground utilities and are free to users (How 811 Works). Laws dictating which utility operators must participate in one call systems vary among states. Some utility operators are exempted from taking part in one call systems. Recently, these exemptions have introduced problems by limiting access to grant opportunities available for state one call centers. As such, exemptions have come under greater scrutiny, with some questioning whether exemptions are warranted for any institution or agency. Despite operating underground utilities as part of their transportation networks (e.g. traffic signal cables, roadway lighting, drainage systems), State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) are one group of institutions who have frequently been granted exemptions (both as a facility operator and excavator) from one call requirements. This has especially been the case when facilities are located within agency-managed right-of-way. This research focuses on costs, benefits, and risks DOTs experience due to the exemptions they may have as facility operators.
Status: Completed. The contractor’s report final report conducted for the AASHTO Subcommittee on Right of Way, Utilities, and Outdoor Advertising Control with funding provided through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-07 may be found here: Implications of State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) Participation in the One Call Process as an Underground Facility Operator .