Telecommunication Towers, Antennae and Microwave

Document No:  67-08-91
 
Revision:  2C
 
Date amended:  15-May-2015

Image: orange line.RCN-D13^23151823.GIF 

The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments please contact Bita Charehjoo by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4439. 

To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.

 

Revision Register

 

 
 
 
Ed/Version NumberClause NumberDescription of RevisionDate
1 All Guideline Developed 01-Jun-2000 
1A Header Guideline Contact amended. 12-Dec-2007
2 All Guideline Revised and Approved. 02-Apr-2008
2A 3.2 Telephone number of TOC changed. 29-May-2008
2B 3.3 Relink 'Traffic Management for Works on Roads - Code of Practice' to new site. 09-Oct-2008
​2C​Header​Guideline introduction amended.​15-May-2015

Table of Content


Chapter 1 of 4. TELECOMMUNICATION TOWERS, ANTENNAE & MICROWAVE DISHES



1. POLICY

1.1 Commonwealth Legislation

The installation of telecommunications infrastructure is controlled under the Commonwealth Telecommunications Act of 1997. Before High Impact facilities can be approved, the relevant Carrier is required by the Act to follow the established State Planning framework and development approval process.

In Western Australia, information about the relevant approval process can be obtained from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure at Albert Facey House, 469-489 Wellington Street (ph. (08) 9264 7777) or from the local council office.

It should be noted that approval of High Impact installations rests with the relevant council. Main Roads endorsement of a proposal along a freeway, highway or main road is required as input to the planning and development process.

In planning and installing Low Impact Facilities, Carriers are not required to seek specific endorsement of their proposal from Main Roads but must comply with the Telecommunications Code of Practice 1997 and Telecommunications (Low Impact Facilities) Determination 1997, Amendment No 1 of 1999.

Refer to Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) guidelines to determine Low Impact and High Impact telecommunications facilities application.


1.2 MAIN ROADS PROCEDURES

Telecommunications infrastructure is unrelated to road use and may distract or impact on the safety of road users if not appropriately located. Before approval can be given for the installation of any High Impact facility, a standard Lease Agreement must be established with the Carrier for each proposed site.

When an application is received by Main Roads should be forwarded to the relevant asset manager which:

  1. is the Metropolitan Region's Project Manager (Reserves Management Section) in the case of metropolitan sites; and
  2. The relevant Regions' Planning and Asset Manager in the case of regional sites (who can be identified for the benefit of external parties by calling Main Roads Call Centre on 138 138).

The relevant asset manager described above will assess the individual site's characteristics and liaise with relevant staff from within Main Roads on issues that arise. A checklist of items that may need to be considered is contained in Annexure A. For a version of the checklist in Word format - click here

No application fee is required. 

Once an application for an individual site location is approved, the asset manager will advise both the applicant and Main Roads Legal and Commercial Services Branch.  The carrier will need to continue to liaise with the relevant asset manager to finalise design requirements.  Main Roads Legal and Commercial Services Branch will negotiate the commercial terms for the proposed facility's lease and liaise with the carrier on the preparation of the relevant lease agreement.

Where the facility requires a development application, this shall be prepared by the carrier and forwarded to Main Roads Legal and Commercial Services Branch who will arrange for the development application to be signed on Main Roads behalf.

Carriers are encouraged to commence preliminary discussions with Main Roads and relevant authorities prior to submitting formal applications. 

2. REFERENCES

  • Telecommunications Act 1997
  • Telecommunications Code of Practice 1997
  • Telecommunications (Low Impact Facilities) Determination 1997, Amendment No 1 of 1999.


3. GUIDELINES FOR ASSESSING APPLICATIONS FOR HIGH IMPACT FACILITIES WITHIN MAIN ROADS RESPONSIBILITY AREAS

 

3.1 TYPE OF FACILITY

The assessment of a proposed telecommunication installation should consider such aspects as

  • the operating speed of the adjacent road,
  • sight distance requirements for traffic,
  • Clear zone width as it relates to operating speed,
  • potential for distraction (No advertising and public art  is permitted),
  • the access needs to service the proposed facility,
  • possible interference to existing Main Roads equipment,
  • staff or contractors when performing adjacent maintenance or other work,
  • Proximity to other services, and any future road planning that might be impacted by the proposed installation.

The assessment of a proposal to attach communications equipment to an existing road structure or lighting pole requires the consideration of additional factors as outlined below.


3.1.1 Main Roads Camera Poles

It is not permitted to install telecommunication facilities on Main Roads camera poles because of:

  • Any increase to the pole weight and wind surface area may affect camera performance. It is important to limit the effective pole surface area in order to minimise pole movement under wind loading.
  • Camera poles are hinged near mid point to permit lowering for maintenance works. Lowering of the pole would interrupt the communications and compromise security of telecommunications equipment.
  • Additional equipment may obstruct the required 360 degree fields of view required for camera operation.

The potential for electrical interference to camera operation.


3.1.2 Sign Gantries

There are 3 main types of large sign gantries:

(i) Main Roads Variable Message Signs (VMS)??? microwave dishes and antennae are not to be installed on these gantries because of:

  • Potential interference to computerised variable message signs.
  • Impedance to Main Roads and Contractor staff who are frequently required to access these gantries.
  • Visual clutter.

(ii) Main Roads Static Illuminated Direction Signs - microwave dishes and antennae may be permitted following resolution of the following:

  • No impedance to Main Roads and Contract staff who are required to access these gantries at approximately 12 monthly intervals to service the lighting equipment, and on an ad hoc basis to repair sign and lighting faults or damage. Access is typically required at night for lighting work.
  • Power to the microwave dishes and antennae is promptly turned off by the Carrier prior to any sign maintenance works by Main Roads and Contract staff.
  • Presentation of electrical and structural drawings (prepared by suitably qualified designers) that confirm telecommunications equipment will not interfere with any existing electrical equipment or affect the structural integrity of the gantry. A copy of structural design calculation for the sign gantry shall be submitted to Main Roads when requesting permission.
  • The power supply shall not be derived from any Main Roads source of supply and is to be separately obtained from Western Power. Telecommunications equipment has a separate power supply.
  • Telecommunications equipment does not unduly diminish the visual aesthetics of the gantry.

(iii) Main Roads Non Illuminated Direction Signs - may be permitted following resolution of the following:

  • No impedance to Main Roads and Contract staff who are required to access the signs for repairs/replacement on an as required basis.
  • Power to the microwave dishes and antennae is promptly turned off by the Carrier prior to any sign maintenance works by Main Roads and contract staff.
  • Presentation of electrical and structural drawings (prepared by suitably qualified designers) that confirm telecommunications equipment will not interfere with any existing electrical equipment or affect the structural integrity of the gantry. A copy of structural design calculation for the sign gantry shall be submitted to Main Roads when requesting permission.
  • The power supply shall not be derived from any Main Roads source of supply and is to be separately obtained from Western Power.
  • Telecommunications equipment does not unduly diminish the visual aesthetics of the gantry.

3.1.3 Main Roads Road Lighting Poles

Applications for the attachment of antennae and microwave dishes to existing road lighting poles will generally require the replacement of standard road lighting poles with taller, larger diameter poles that are non-frangible and will require installation of road safety barriers which in themselves would create a road hazard that otherwise would not be needed.

Main Roads is responsible for road lighting poles on its roads except for highways and main roads that do not have declared control of access and are located in a built-up area.

 

3.1.3.1.Poles along Freeways and Controlled Access Highways

(i) Slip Base Lighting Poles

Poles owned by Main Roads generally have a slip base facility to provide a road safety feature if hit by an errant vehicle. Proposed installations of telecommunications facilities that seek to replace slip base poles with non-frangible poles (even those proposed to be protected by guard fence) shall not be approved. The introduction of sections of barriers associated with telecommunications facilities would impose additional hazards that are not acceptable.

Proposed installations of telecommunications facilities that replace road lighting poles along freeways and controlled access highways may be approved where:

  • The pole to be replaced is already protected by an existing barrier or structure, or only requires a small (
  • Main Roads lighting standards and equipment specifications are maintained (eg. luminaire, outreach arm, cable pits, location of control equipment and cabling, pole asset number). This will require approval by Main Roads of an electrical design drawing for each type of installation. Refer to a typical installation as shown on the attached sketch - click here
  • The power supply shall not be derived from any Main Roads source of supply and is to be separately obtained from Western Power.
  • Power to the microwave dishes and antennae is promptly turned off by the Carrier prior to any and during sign maintenance works by Main Roads and contract staff.
  • The proposed poles or equipment cabinets do not restrict the required line of sight for drivers at intersections.
  • Access to a site located behind an existing barrier along a free running section of a high speed roadway, shall only be via an approved lockable gate adjacent to a side street. Construction of access hard stand areas, adjacent to carriageways, will only be considered in the slower speed zone sections of freeway ramps in the vicinity of intersections.                  
  • There is no impedance to Main Roads and Contract staff who access these towers or poles for maintenance works.
                     
  • Both Main Roads and the carrier shall have clear understanding of asset ownership, maintenance and accident responsibility.
  • A copy of structural design providing calculation, applied standards and referenced standards shall be provided.

 

(ii) High Mast Lighting Poles

It is not permitted to install telecommunications facilities on high mast lighting poles for the following reasons:

  • Maintenance of lighting is carried out by lowering the lighting cradle ring which slides down around the pole. The pole has an internal winch system.
  • Poor visual aesthetics. (Note that the existing high masts at the Canning Hwy/Causeway East and Kwinana Fwy/Mill Point Rd Interchanges have previously been questioned by the community regarding visual aesthetics).
3.1.3.2.Electricity Network Provider Poles

The Electricity Network Provider and Local government Agencies generally own road lighting and equipment along highways and main roads that have not been declared as control of access and are located in a built up area; and the lighting poles and equipment are supplied by the Electricity Network Provider for the area.   Main Roads assessment of applications that seek to replace standard poles with the larger, taller poles is therefore limited to aspects of traffic and roadside safety.

Access should be provided via the minor (slow speed) road network wherever possible.

Existing Electricity Network Provider poles and Main Roads non-slip poles located along roadways have some degree of frangibility. The larger poles proposed by the Carriers of telecommunications facilities generally do not. Therefore, applications should only be considered in 60 km/h speed zone areas (or less) where the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The pole shall be suitably protected in accordance with roadside barrier design standards.
  • A 1.5m minimum clear width of adjacent footpath shall be retained.
  • The new larger diameter poles or equipment cabinets shall not restrict the line of sight triangles for drivers at intersections.
  • Electricity Network Provider is not impeded in relation to routine maintenance of the existing road lighting.
                     
  • Power to the microwave dishes and antennae is turned off by the Carrier during sign maintenance works by Main Roads and Contract staff.

 

3.1.4 Main Roads Pedestrian Bridges

Telecommunications facilities shall not be installed on pedestrian bridges.

 

3.1.5 Main Roads Road Bridges

Telecommunications equipment shall not be installed on road bridges or poles located on the bridges for the following reasons:

  • Poor visual aesthetics.
                     
  • Facilities located on bridges are restricted to essential road items in order to minimise lane closures and limit interference to traffic lanes or pathways.
3.1.6 Main Roads Traffic Signal Posts and Mast Arms

Main Roads Traffic Signal Posts and Mast Arms
Where the carrier requests installation of antenna on traffic signal posts or mast arms, the carrier shall seek Main Roads approval for nominated intersections.
Proposed installations of telecommunications facilities that replace Traffic Signal posts and mast arms at intersections may be approved where:

  • Main Roads Traffic Signal standards and equipment specifications are maintained (eg. lanterns posts, cable pits, location of traffic signal controller and cabling, Traffic Signal controller asset number). This will require approval by Main Roads of an electrical design drawing for each type of installation.
                     
  • The power supply shall not be derived from any Main Roads source of supply and is to be separately obtained from Western Power.
  • Power to Telecommunications facilities is promptly turned off by the Carrier prior to any during sign maintenance works by Main Roads and contract staff.
  • The proposed traffic signals posts or equipment cabinets do not restrict the required line of sight for drivers at intersections.
  • There is no impedance to Main Roads and Contract staff who access these towers or poles for maintenance works.
                     
  • Both Main Roads and the carrier shall have clear understanding of asset ownership, maintenance and accident responsibility.
  • The power supply shall not be derived from any Main Roads source of supply and is to be separately obtained from Western Power.

 

3.2 Access Control and Restricted Working Hours
  • Weekdays (Daylight hours) - Work requiring a reduction in road speed limit, road capacity or vehicle access to the road, where practical, should not be undertaken on urban  routes on workdays (Monday to Friday excluding public holidays) and should not be undertaken  other than emergency works during the peak hours of 6.00am to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 7.00pm.
  • Emergency Works - shall be restricted to those works where the Carrier has previously demonstrated that loss of telecommunication services will directly affect the operations of recognised state emergency services such as police, fire brigade, ambulance, hospitals and airports. The Carrier should advise and seek specific approval from the Main Roads Traffic Operations Centre ph. (08) 9323 4848 prior to undertaking any emergency works.
  • Public Holiday and School Holiday weekends - the Carrier must not undertake any works other than emergency works from 3.00pm on the day preceding the holiday weekend to 5.00am on the day following the holiday weekend.
  • Weekend Work - the Carrier shall program the work to minimise the impact on the Public's reasonable social activities and to avoid conflict with any community events.
  • Night Work - for any proposed night work the Carrier must advise directly adjacent residents by letter drop, and program works so that night work at any location involves no more than two consecutive nights.
  • Major Events (Major sporting events such as AFL football, cricket test matches, charity fun runs, parades, protest marches, etc.) - the Carrier must not undertake any works, other than emergency works, during such periods preceding and following the event as agreed with the event organiser where the works may impact on the event, or access routes to the event.
  • Notice required by Main Roads - prior to commencement of approved works, the Carrier shall provide 24 hours notice to the Main Roads Operations Centre.

 

3.3 Approval of Traffic Control Plans and Procedures
Before any physical work is undertaken on site, the Carrier is required to submit traffic control plans if traffic is affected by the performed work and procedures for installation for approval by Main Roads, including those plans associated with routine maintenance and emergency maintenance works.

The Main Roads "Traffic Management for works on roads - Code of Practice" outlines acceptable procedures for traffic management through and adjacent to a worksite.

 

3.4 Line of Sight at Intersections
Installation of telecommunications equipment, especially with regard to relatively large diameter poles and equipment cabinets, shall not reduce the Entering Sight Distance and Safe Intersection Sight Distance for drivers at intersections. Details are contained in the Austroads "Guide To Traffic Engineering Practice Part 5 - Intersections at Grade", Sections 5.2.3 and 5.2.4.

 

3.5 Location of Communication facilities at existing and new sites
It is preferable that a telecommunication facility be installed on its own. However, if a joint facility installation is approved by Main Roads, the asset should be situated such that it is at the edge of Main Roads reserve. This would prevent delays in delivering Main Roads future projects such as road widening and may require relocation of the facility.