Right-of-way: The unseen work on the side of the road
We always pay attention to the work being done on the road. But have you ever thought of what happens on the side of the road?
When we think about road work, we often think of pothole patching or chip sealing – not about the upkeep of the space on the side of the road. But one of the most important tasks for road agencies is maintaining the right-of-way (ROW).
The right-of-way is the entire width of a local or primary road that is maintained by a county road agency – typically 66 feet wide (33 feet from the centerline in each direction) – and includes the roadbed, shoulders, ditches and adjacent land.
The right-of-way provides water drainage and a safety zone for vehicles to exit the roadway.
To maintain ROW, road agencies pick up debris, mow, grade, clear ditches, remove vegetation and replace guardrails and signs.
No matter who owns the land along a county or local road, the county road agency has permanent authority of the 66-foot ROW.
County road agencies oversee at least 31 billion sq.-ft. of ROW!
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