52. Permits for work within the state highway right of way. Except in connection with the construction, reconstruction, maintenance or improvement of a state highway, no person, firm, corporation, municipality, or state department or agency shall construct or improve, within the state highway right of way an entrance or connection to such highway, or construct within the state highway right of way any works, structure or obstruction, or any overhead or underground crossing thereof, or lay or maintain therein underground wires or conduits or drainage, sewer or water pipes, except in accordance with the terms and conditions of a work permit issued by the commissioner of transportation or his duly designated agent, notwithstanding any consent or franchise granted by any town or county superintendent, or by any other municipal authority. Any municipal corporation may enter upon any state highway for the purpose of widening the pavement or for any other purpose authorized by this section, but only after securing a permit as provided herein. Notwithstanding the limitations in any general or special law, every municipal corporation shall have and is hereby given authority to deposit with the department of transportation, such a sum of money or a security bond as may be required by the commissioner of transportation as a condition precedent to the granting of the permit provided in this section.
The commissioner of transportation shall establish regulations governing the issuance of highway work permits, including the fees to be charged therefor, a system of deposits of money or bonds guaranteeing the performance of the work and requirements of insurance to protect the interests of the state during performance of the work pursuant to a highway work permit. With respect to driveway entrance permits, the regulations shall take into consideration the prospective character of the development, the traffic which will be generated by the facility within the reasonably foreseeable future, the design and frequency of access to the facility, the effect of the facility upon drainage as related to existing drainage systems, the extent to which such facility may impair the safety and traffic carrying capacity of the existing state highway and any proposed improvement thereto within the reasonably foreseeable future, and any standards governing access, non-access or limited access which have been established by the department of transportation.
Upon completion of the work within the state highway right of way, authorized by the work permit, the person, firm, corporation, municipality, or state department or agency, and his or its successors in interest, shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of such work or portion of such work as set forth within the terms and conditions of the work permit.
An advertising sign, display or device, or any part thereof, erected or maintained in violation of this section shall be removed from the state highway right of way by the owner or the party responsible for its erection and maintenance. The commissioner of transportation shall make a demand by mail, to the last known address of the owner, apparent owner or party responsible for the erection and maintenance of such advertising sign, display or device, for its removal and, if it is not removed within thirty days from the date of the mailing of such demand, the commissioner of transportation may remove any such advertising sign, display or device, or any part thereof, from the state highway right of way. Any such legally permitted, erected and maintained sign, display or device may be maintained by its owner in accordance with the provisions of this section upon the approval of the permit issuing office on the same terms and conditions as may exist for the granting of such approvals generally. Where such approvals are for permits to control vegetation, the permit issuing office shall approve no more than two hundred fifty permits per annum. The commissioner of transportation may also order the approval of additional permits to control vegetation on an individual basis upon demonstration of acute need.
The term "state highway right of way" shall, for the purposes of this section, mean the entire width between the boundary line of all property which has been purchased or appropriated by the state for state highway purposes, all property over which the commissioner of transportation or his predecessors has assumed jurisdiction for state highway purposes, all property over which the commissioner of transportation has assumed jurisdiction during the period of construction, reconstruction or improvement and all property which has become part of the state highway system through dedication or use.
Any person, firm or corporation violating this section shall be liable to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each day of violation to be recovered by the commissioner of transportation. All fees, fines or penalties collected or recovered by the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be deposited by the comptroller into the special obligation reserve and payment account of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund established pursuant to section eighty-nine-b of the state finance law, excepting monies deposited with the state on account of betterments performed pursuant to subdivision twenty-seven or subdivision thirty-five of section ten of this chapter.
Last modified: February 3, 2019