Poor construction techniques in utility cut repairs often lead to settlement of the patches, increasing the roughness of the pavement and decreasing the rideability of the repaired pavement. Identifying the company responsible for faulty pavement repairs is difficult since multiple utilities may have performed repairs in the same section.

The objective of this study was to develop a set of guidelines to assist INDOT in addressing challenges with utility cut repairs. The key research tasks included: (1) a synthesis of utility cut repair guidelines among State Highway Agencies (SHAs), (2) interviews with INDOT engineers and utility contractors to identify the challenges faced in restoring utility cuts, (3) an evaluation of INDOT’s Electronic Permitting System in the context of managing utility cut permit information, and (4) an investigation of automated methods to track/manage utility cut repairs.

INDOT specifications require utility cuts to be repaired using the T-section method, backfilled either, with soil compacted to 95% Standard Proctor density or with flowable fill, and edges treated with a tack coat for flexible pavements and dowel bars for rigid pavements. These specifications were found to be in alignment with a majority of the specifications of other State Highway Agencies. INDOT personnel recommended that flowable fill be made mandatory to circumvent the need for compaction, and suggested incorporating pre-qualification requirements for contractors who perform utility cut repairs.

INDOT’s Electronic Permitting System lacks data fields to store information about contractors performing pavement cut repairs, record details of the work, such as dimensions of the cut, backfill materials, construction methods, etc., and list information about periodic inspections by INDOT. Including data fields to record such information will facilitate a more effective use of EPS for reviewing and managing permits and tracking the work done by permittees. Enhancements to the EPS System could also automated identification of repaired patches by correlating the global positioning system (GPS) location of INDOT’s pavement monitoring vehicle with the location information of utility cut repairs from the EPS.

Report Number



pavement cut, repairs, T-section, electronic permitting system, flowable fill, utility cut

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version