The public right-of-way is a portion of property legally dedicated to the city for public infrastructure, such as roadways, storm sewers, sidewalks and streetlights. The state also allows utility providers to use the public right of way for their infrastructure.
Utility easements are areas of a property dedicated for utility companies to deliver services like electricity, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, internet and cable. The land belongs to the homeowner, but utilities can access easements to perform routine maintenance, construct improvement projects and repair utility lines during emergencies.
Utility companies try to limit damage to encroaching items during construction, but they are not required to replace, pay damages, or reinstall items that impede construction. Encroachment into an easement or right of way, even if approved, is at the property owner’s sole risk.