45. Entry upon adjacent lands and streams. Lands adjacent to a state highway or adjoining or in the bed or beds of any streams or creeks may be entered upon and occupied by the commissioner of transportation, his representatives and employees, or by a contractor or any of his agents or employees when directed by the commissioner of transportation or his representative:
1. to open, maintain or construct an existing ditch or drain or for making surveys and for digging a new ditch or drain, or a section thereof, for the free passage of water for the drainage of such highways.
2. to perform such work of construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance in order to keep the waters of such streams or creeks within their proper channels and to prevent their encroachment upon state highways or bridges thereon.
3. to remove or change the position of a fence or other obstruction which, in the judgment of the commissioner of transportation, prevents the free flow of water under or through a state highway, bridge or culvert.
4. to remove any fence or other obstruction which, in the judgment of the commissioner of transportation, causes snow to drift in and upon a state highway, and to erect snow fences or other devices upon such lands to prevent the drifting of snow in or upon any such highway.
5. to inspect trees for the purpose of determining whether any are in such a condition as to constitute a danger to users of the adjacent highway and to remove or prune those trees or parts thereof which in the judgment of the commissioner constitute such a danger.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law or of any inconsistent provision of this chapter, claims for any damage caused by such entry and work and not exceeding three hundred and fifty dollars may be adjusted by agreement by the commissioner of transportation without appropriating any property. Upon making any such agreement and adjustment, and upon the approval thereof by the department of audit and control, the commissioner of transportation shall deliver to the comptroller such agreement and a certificate stating the amount due such owner for damage caused by such entry and work and the amount so fixed shall be paid out of the state treasury from moneys appropriated for the maintenance and repair of state highways.
Last modified: February 3, 2019