Dig Once - Broadband Utilities

‘Dig once’ is a collaborative approach for broadband utility providers to install conduit and fiber concurrently with highway construction projects.

Process for participating in a ‘Dig Once’ project

Find a ‘dig once’ opportunity

  1. Sign up for email alerts through the GovDelivery subscription service for Dig Once - Broadband Utilities
  2. Search for ‘dig once’ opportunities by using our Dig Once – Broadband Utilities Map
  3. Inquire directly about a specific WSDOT project by contacting us at broadband.utilities@wsdot.wa.gov

Coordinating with WSDOT

  1. The Broadband Utility Coordinator will assist with connecting you to the project design team to confirm the project is suitable for ‘dig once’ and further coordination.
  2. The WSDOT project team will confirm if ‘dig once’ is feasible.
  3. A signed Utility Accommodation Application (Form 224-696) is required to continue coordination with WSDOT (see Utility Accommodation Permits and Franchises for more information).

Broadband design and construction

  1. Design your broadband infrastructure to be installed concurrently with the WSDOT project in coordination with the WSDOT project team.
  2. Broadband utility providers will be responsible for all costs related, but not limited to, permitting, labor, equipment, materials, and maintenance of the installation.

Why ‘Dig Once’?

WSDOT has developed ‘dig once’ policies in response to federal and state legislation that emphasizes the importance for broadband access. The benefits of practicing this approach may include:

  • Maximizing efficiencies of the highway right of way
  • Reducing costs to install conduit and fiber
  • Minimizing disruptions to the travelling public
  • Reducing the number of excavations within the highway right of way   

For more information see  23 CFR 645.307 and RCW 47.44.160 

Which WSDOT projects have ‘Dig Once’ opportunities?

Not all WSDOT projects are conducive to this type of collaboration. Coordination will be needed directly with the WSDOT regional project and utility staff to determine feasibility.

The projects portrayed on the Dig Once – Broadband Utilities Map are part of the WSDOT Project Delivery Plan and include projects that are most likely to be available for ‘dig once’ collaboration, including:

  1. Improvement (e.g. highway widening)
  2. Preservation (e.g. repaving a section of highway)
  3. Traffic Operations (e.g. changeable message sign or traffic cameras)

Slow down – lives are on the line. 

In 2023, speeding continued to be a top reason for work zone crashes.

Even one life lost is too many.

Fatal work zone crashes doubled in 2023 - Washington had 10 fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

It's in EVERYONE’S best interest.

95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians, not just our road crews.