Roadside Hazards

Roadside Hazard Policies

It is the policy of the Carlton County Transportation Department to provide and maintain a transportation system to meet the needs of the local and non-local traveling public. This includes a reasonable effort be made to remove unnecessary hazards from the road right-of-way.

Carlton County bases this policy on safety guidelines that have been tested and established by the Federal Highway Administration and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Driveways

  1. Access Permits are required for all approaches to County Roads or unorganized Township Roads. Permits are available at the Carlton County Transportation Department or online Driveway Access Permit (PDF).
  2. Any driveway or access constructed after the date of this policy will have at minimum 4 to 1 side slopes. Driveway side slope will be required to conform to the roadway design and may be increased based on current design standards. This includes driveways constructed by private individuals or under a county road construction project.
  3. No retaining walls will be allowed in driveway construction

Mailboxes

  • The Mailbox Policy adopted on June 12, 2018 and revised July 17, 2018, states that any mailbox support that is erected or repaired shall conform to a standard or approved cantilever design (PDF). Existing mailbox supports may be left in place except where supports cause a problem or are a hazard for roadway maintenance.
  • During county construction projects which might disturb the in place shoulder and mailbox supports, the owner will be notified in writing of the unsafe or non-standard mailbox support and of the potential liability to themselves if the hazardous support is left in place. If the owner agrees, the removal of the existing support, installation of the new support, and installation of the new mailbox can be included in the construction project at no cost to the owner. Carlton County does not assume ownership of the mailbox or support, and maintenance of the box and support remains the responsibility of the owner.
  • Multiple supports that meet NCHRP 230 AASHTO performance requirements may be used. Single supports can be placed 0.75 times the support height apart to create a multiple box location.
  • Neighborhood or cluster boxes will not be allowed within the safety clear zone.

Signs

  1. Only official identification, directional, or traffic control signs (as defined in Minnesota Laws 1971, Chapter 173, Section 173.02, Subdivision 6 (a), (b), and (d), shall be allowed within the public right-of-way with the following exceptions:
    1. Signs not exceeding four (4) square feet in area and bearing only property numbers, post office box numbers, names of occupants, or other identification of premises, not having commercial connotations
    2. Flags and insignias of any government except when displayed in connection with commercial promotion
    3. Legal notices, identification, information, or directional signs erected or required by governmental bodies (as defined in Minnesota Laws 1971, Chapter 173, Section 173.02, Subdivision 6)
    4. Integral decorative or architectural features of a building, except letters, trademarks, moving parts, or moving lights
    5. Signs directing and guiding traffic and parking on private property, but bearing no advertising matter
    6. A temporary sign indicating real estate for rent or for sale related to the premises only on which it is located (and not exceeding six (6) square feet in area)
  2. In any case, the supporting structure shall not be constructed of: wood posts larger than 4 inches by 4 inches square or 6 inches diameter round; metal posts larger than 2 inches by 2 inches by 1/4 inch wall square tubing or 2 inches diameter by 1/4 inch wall round tubing; metal 'U' channel posts exceeding transportation department specifications.
  3. Any other sign or advertising device shall comply with County Zoning Ordinances, which requires a permit from that office.

Other Hazards

  • Retaining walls will not be permitted within the safety clear zone for the roadway
  • Objects such as fences, posts, gates, decorative logs, etc. will not be allowed within the public right-of-way
  • Objects such as radio antennas, television antennas, satellite dishes and associated mounting and supporting devices will not be allowed within the public right-of-way

Recourse

  1. Placement of hazards within the highway right-of-way constitutes unauthorized work within the right-of-way and is a misdemeanor according to Minnesota Statutes 160.27. Work not conforming or permitted should be reported to the Engineer's office for appropriate action.
  2. If found in violation of this policy, the landowner will be notified in writing and requested to remove or correct the hazardous condition.
  3. If, after a reasonable amount of time, the landowner refuses or has not corrected or removed the hazard, the County will correct or remove the hazard at the landowner's expense.
  4. If there appears to be a significant hazard to the traveling public or highway maintenance equipment, the landowner may be charged with a misdemeanor with immediate removal required.