Transportation/Utility Corridor Glossary of Terms


A Berm is an earthwork consisting of a linear mound.

Buffer Component

The Buffer Component are lands designated as a contingency in areas where additional Ring Road right-of-way may be required. They will generally not be utilized for visual or noise attenuation purposes.


Contouring means altering the surface elevation of a land area by cutting and/or filling.

It is also referred to as backsloping, recontouring, grading or regrading. Contouring produces an earthwork.


An Earthwork is constructed by excavating into or placing earth onto the surface of the land. Construction of an earthwork causes a surface disturbance. Typical examples of earthworks within the TUCs are:

  • roadway and interchange embankments and excavations;
  • Stormwater Management Facility excavations needed for ponds, sediment traps, treatment wetlands, storm sewer trenches and drainage ditches;
  • trench excavations for pipelines;
  • excavations required for the construction of power transmission lines and telecommunications towers;
  • sand and gravel quarry excavations; and
  • landscaping including subdivision-related contouring (cutting and/or filling) that overlaps onto a TUC, berms that function as noise attenuation and/or visual screening barriers, and pathways.


An Easement is a right of use acquired by a landowner (A) for the benefit of his land over the land of landowner (B). The easement provides A with a limited right to use B's land, for example the right to cross B's land. A's land receives the benefit and is called the dominant tenement. Landowner B's land is called the servient tenement. The easement agreement is registered on the Certificate of Title of both A and B. A plan of survey showing the lands affected by the easement is registered at a Land Titles office. The registered owner of the dominant tenement (A) can register a caveat on the Certificate of Title of the servient tenement (B). A can cancel the easement, or B can cancel it if he can prove that the interest created by the easement has expired through the passage of time in accordance with an explicitly stated provision in the easement.


Fill is an earthwork consisting of a non-linear mound.


Landscaping within a TUC refers to a subdivision-related contouring (cutting and/or filling) that overlaps onto a TUC, such as:

  • berms that function as noise attenuation,
  • pathways; and
  • any other earthwork that does not fall under the definition of Specified Land in the Conservation and Reclamation Regulation.


A Lease is a legal agreement granting exclusive possession of land to another for a period of time. The party who grants the lease is called the landlord (or lessor) and the party to whom it is granted is called the tenant (or lessee).


A License is a legal instrument granting privilege to enter onto the land of a registered owner (the licensor) for certain purposes, for example to store topsoil for a short period of time. However, this privilege does not confer any interest or estate in such land. The license agreement can be cancelled by the licensor.

Municipal Services Component

The Municipal Services Component is part of the Utilities Component and contains utilities such as low-voltage power lines, telecommunications lines, and municipal water, sanitary and storm sewer lines.

Noise Attenuation Barrier

A Noise Attenuation Barrier is constructed to reduce noise impacts on nearby residents. This structure may be built using either a berm or a major vertical barrier (wall), or a combination of both.


A Pathway is defined as a corridor for pedestrians and/or cyclists. Within TUC lands a pathway is also a Landscape Earthwork.

Regional Water, Sanitary or Storm Trunk Sewers

These major underground utilities may either cross the TUC or parallel the TUC within rights-of-way specifically designated for their use. In some instances, where there are insufficient rights-of-way within the municipal services component, these utilities may be placed within the pipeline component. These utilities are intended to service multiple developments and not individual subdivisions.

Ring Road Component

The Ring Road Component contains a high-speed freeway and related interchanges, and their associated rights-of-way. The Buffer Component allows for future widening or Ring Road realignment.

Stormwater Management Facilities (SWMF)

Stormwater Management Facilities are required to accommodate the storage and discharge of stormwater runoff from the TUC at specified rates. These facilities are a type of Municipal Service that is part of the Utility Component.

In some cases they replace native sloughs/wetlands that are incompatible with Ring Road or utility development. SWMF have one or more components: wet ponds (always contain standing water), dry ponds, sediment traps, and/or treatment wetlands. SWMF outflow is conveyed out of the TUCs by storm sewers or drainage ditches.

Subdivision Boundary Fence

A Subdivision Boundary Fence is situated on non-TUC land adjacent to the surveyed TUC/subdivision property line.

Surface Disturbance

According to definition (d) of the RDA Regulations, Surface Disturbance means:

  1. the disturbance, exposure, covering or erosion of the surface of land in any manner, or
  2. the degradation or deterioration in any manner of the physical surface of land.

Utility Component

The Utility Component includes power transmission lines, pipelines (any type), telecommunications lines, etc. and associated right of ways. These are Primary Uses within the TUC. This component also comprises Municipal Services.

Utility Right of Way

A Utility Right-of-Way is described under Section 69 of the Alberta Land Titles Act.