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Highway right of way encroachments occurring frequently

Property owners urged to contact ODOT prior to any type of work along state highways

LIMA (Tuesday, December 02, 2014) Putting up a mailbox, installing a drainage pipe beneath a driveway, or cleaning out a ditch are all normal activities property owners routinely undertake. But if done improperly and without the permission of the Ohio Department of Transportation, serious legal ramifications could result.

“We are urging property owners to contact us before they do any type of work along a state highway. It’s much better to work with us ahead of a project rather than create a problem in the end which requires reversal,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.

The following are the most common kinds of activities which can sometimes conflict with state requirements:

·       Mailboxes – mailboxes can be a roadside hazard if guidelines for mailbox placement and type are not adhered to. Visit the United States Postal Service for guidance at:

·       Ditch cleaning – Before performing any work in or along a ditch, check with the local ODOT garage to ensure the waterway is not located within highway right of way. Strict environmental regulations must be followed when working within a state-controlled waterway. A permit is required prior to this type of work taking place.

·       Snow removal – Snow removed from a private driveway and placed onto a highway is in violation of Ohio Revised Code. Placing anything on the highway could be dangerous to motorists in that they may hit these obstructions and lose control of their vehicle. The offense is considered a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

·       Farming – Property owners should know where highway right of way begins in relation to a farm field. It’s easy to unknowingly creep over the line when working fields, which can lead to maintenance issues for highway personnel. Consult the local ODOT garage to establish boundaries.


·       Drainage – ODOT personnel can provide guidance on the proper placement and size of pipe along farm fields, lawns and under driveways. A permit is required before this type of work can take place.

·       Signage – It is illegal to place anything within highway right of way without permission of ODOT. Signs placed within highway right of way that obstruct the view of motorists will be removed. As a general rule, anything placed behind utility poles is outside of highway right of way; however, permission from private property owners should be received prior to placing any sign.

“We are a resource for property owners at any time. If work is being performed along a state highway or there’s any question as to what is permissible, contact ODOT before to be sure the project is not in violation of state requirements,” said Slusher.

Contact information for the local ODOT District 1 garages is as follows. District 1 includes the counties of Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot:


For information regarding permits contact:

Duane Hackworth, ODOT District 1, at 419-999-6843;​

ODOT District 1 County Garages

Allen County
123 E. Chapman Road, Lima, Ohio 45801
Jason Hoschak, County Manager

Defiance County
2340 Baltimore Road, Defiance, Ohio 43512
Patrick Dille, County Manager

Hancock County
1645 Lima Avenue, Findlay, Ohio 45840
Mark Drerup, County Manager

Hardin County
13052 U.S. 68, Kenton, Ohio 43326
Sandy Knott, County Manager

Paulding County
833 Wayne Street, Paulding, Ohio 45879
Ross Laukhuf, County Manager

Putnam County
State Route 65, Ottawa, Ohio 45875
Tim Maag, County Manager

Van Wert County
10238 Van Wert-Decatur Rd., Van Wert, Ohio 45891
Don Taylor, County Manager

Wyandot County
U.S. 30 N and CR121, Upper Sandusky, Ohio 43351
Kevin Kliesch, County Manager

Or visit the District 1 permits website at:


Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.




For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email