Do you have personal property 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.

The 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 the law that makes it illegal for “the unauthorized use of public highway right of way.”  Public safety is the priority.

Cristi Field, Otter Tail County 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 breakaway points. For public safety, we ask people to remove their property from 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.

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.

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. Items in the right-of-way are in violation and at risk of being damaged by snow. The priority is to clear the roads, so they are safe for those driving on the highways.

Also, this winter, 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: ottertailcountymn.us/department/highway/.

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