• Alberta's Electricity System
  • Right-of-way Management

Right-of-way Management

AltaLink operates approximately 12,000 kilometres of transmission lines and 280 substations – a network that transports electricity across the province in the blink of an eye. Our transmission lines are located on rights-of-way (ROWs), which refer to the physical space a transmission line encompasses including areas on either side of the line. ROWs are required for the construction and safe operation of a transmission line.

To help ensure the safety of the public and the reliability of the electrical system, AltaLink works with landowners, developers and municipalities to ensure that our transmission line rights-of way (ROWs) are properly managed.

For your safety, it is important to contact us not only for uses or alterations within the ROW, but also those within 100 metres (328 feet) of the ROW.

You can contact us at 3rdpartyrequests@altalink.ca.

AltaLink will look into whether your proposed ROW use or alteration is compatible with our safety, reliability and access requirements. Some uses within the ROW may not be permitted or subject to removal or relocation upon reasonable notice from AltaLink.

If during discussions with us, your alteration or use is considered to have a potential impact we will require an ROW Use or Proximity Application, which will include a detailed plan for approval. This plan will require coordination with other governing jurisdictions and agencies, including building permits, environmental, safety and fire regulations. Please allow up to two months for review and response to an application.

Steps for submitting a ROW Use or Proximity Application:

  1. Complete the Applicant Detail Sheet (PDF).
  2. Complete the Type of Work Form (PDF).
  3. Complete the appropriate crossing/data sheet or drawing for the type of work. Sample documents can be found here (PDF). Blank survey data sheets can be found here (PDF).
  4. Submit all documents to 3rdpartyrequests@altalink.ca

After the application is reviewed and if it is compatible with our requirements we will create an ROW Agreement. The ROW Agreement must be in place prior to commencement of proposed activities.

We look forward to working with you to help plan appropriately and determine any safety precautions.

Additional information

Compatible right-of-way guidelines for:

Roads

Roads that lie immediately adjacent to or within the boundaries of the ROW will be considered on a site-specific basis. Generally, roads, including driveways, are compatible within the ROW provided that:

  • the finished grade maintains the minimum electrical clearance requirements to overhead wires , as specified by AltaLink and industry standards
  • the road crosses the ROW at or near 90 degree angles
  • adequate physical barriers are in place where the road location poses a risk of collisions between vehicles and AltaLink facilities (AltaLink will provide written approval)

Landscaping and trees within the ROW

Transmission line wires can sag in increased hot or cold weather and may swing in strong winds. Trees or plants growing in or along the edge of a transmission line ROW can become a potential hazard when there is a risk of the tree falling or branches dropping onto the transmission line. Trees that become a fire risk or a safety hazard will be identified for removal. Before any work commences, we contact property owners to discuss the work required.

Landscaping and agricultural uses are generally compatible within ROW provided that:

  • the height and species of trees, are approved by AltaLink, and if required are trimmed to maintain safe clearance from transmission line wires
  • landscaping does not limit AltaLink's crews and equipment in accessing the transmission facilities

Operation of construction vehicles and machinery within the ROW

Use of construction vehicles and machinery within the ROW may be compatible provided that:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations are followed
  • vehicles and machinery should not approach within a minimum of six metres (20 feet) horizontal distance of AltaLink's facilities without specific review
  • all equipment remains seven metres from any transmission line wire at all times unless another distance is specifically provided by AltaLink in writing
  • soil stability and drainage are maintained so as not to impact AltaLink's facilities
  • any excavation or increase in ground elevations are pre-approved by AltaLink in writing
  • there is no storage of fuels, refuelling or maintenance of vehicles within the ROW
  • site safety plans (including restricted access and designated work areas) may need to be submitted as part of AltaLink's conditions

Operation of agricultural vehicles and machinery within the ROW

Use of agricultural vehicles and machinery within the ROW are typically compatible, provided that:

  • vehicles and machinery should not approach within a minimum one metres (three feet) horizontal distance of AltaLink's facilities
  • soil stability and drainage are maintained so as not to impact AltaLink's facilities
  • there is no storage of fuels, refuelling or maintenance of vehicles within the ROW

AltaLink is aware that agriculture equipment has been getting wider and taller; please contact AltaLink to ensure you can operate your equipment safely around our facilities.

Parking

Parking on the ROW may be compatible, provided that:

  • all parked vehicles meet the minimum vertical and horizontal electrical clearance, as specified by AltaLink's electrical (distance) requirements
  • a minimum six metre (20 feet) zone for access is maintained around AltaLink's facilities (towers, poles and anchor wires)
  • protective barriers are installed, at your expense, for AltaLink's facilities, if required
  • safety and security of all are not compromised by changes in elevation caused by paving and the finished grade maintains the minimum electrical clearance requirements to overhead wires , as specified by AltaLink and industry standards

Preloading

Preloading in soft soil areas can cause significant ground movement, affecting the stability of AltaLink's poles, towers and underground facilities. This can occur even if the preloading takes place outside of the ROW.

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