HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY ENCROACHMENTS
urged to contact ODOT prior to any type of work along state highways
LIMA, Ohio (Monday,
March 5, 2018) - Putting up a mailbox, installing 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 that requires reversal,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio
Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.
The following are
the most common kinds of activities that can sometimes conflict with state
requirements. Please contact your local ODOT District 1 garage at the
numbers provided regarding any work within highway right of way. District 1
includes the counties of Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding,
Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot.
- Driveways – A permit must be
obtained from ODOT prior to a driveway being installed along a state
highway. Proper spacing from existing driveways and intersections,
width requirements and the size of drainage pipe needed beneath the
drive must be determined prior to installation. Contact your local
ODOT garage for guidance and to initiate the permit process.
- 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: https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm.
- 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, along 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,”
District 1 county garages
10238 Van Wert-Decatur Road, Van Wert, OH 45891
Ron Leffel, county manager
10976 County Road 121, Upper Sandusky, OH 43351
Kevin Kliesch, county manager
Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state's largest man-made
asset -the transportation system. ODOT's mission is to provide the safe and
easy movement of people and goods from place to place. As a $2.8 billion
per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of its resources in system
preservation through maintenance, construction and snow and ice operations.