December 14, 2018 -Otter Tail County, MN- Do you have stuff close to the highway right-of-way? Otter Tail County Highway Department reminds you to move property, signs, and items for sale back from the roadway. Public safety for all drivers including snow plow drivers is critical. We do not want your property damaged. Please keep the right-of-way clear.
A highway right-of-way is designed as a ‘clear zone’ to lessen the possibility of harm to motorists in an accident. Otter Tail County owns the roadway and the adjacent right-of-way. Would you place your for-sale sign on your neighbor’s property? Of course not. So, we ask you not place property, signs or for sale items on the county owned right-of-way. How do you know if the land is a right-of-way? Look for the black and white or orange triangular markers in ditches and near roadways.
Otter Tail County Highway Department has noticed several docks and lifts and other property stored too close to the highway. It is understandable that sometimes space is limited, and these areas are often convenient for storing property or selling items. However, Otter Tail County asks for voluntary compliance with State Statute 160.27 that makes it illegal for “the unauthorized use of public highway right of way.” Public safety is the priority for the Highway Department.
Cristi Field, Otter Tail County Assistant Highway Maintenance Supervisor says, “Anything on the right-of-way has to be crash tested and approved. The highway signs have been crash-tested and have break away points. For public safety, we ask people to remove their property from the county owned right-of-way.”
It is recommended to move property in the fall before it freezes to the ground. Property that is too close to the roadway interferes in plowing snow from county roads and is a potential hazard if a vehicle leaves the roadway. County snow plow drivers do their best to avoid snow damage to property such as mail boxes. The priority is to clear the roads so they are safe for those driving on the highways.
When removing snow from driveways please do not push snow into the road or pile it along the right-of-way. This action is against the law (MN Statute 169.42). Instead, work from the road and plow the snow toward your property. Together, we can keep winter roads clear and personal property safe. For questions please visit: https://ottertailcountymn.us/department/highway/