State highway law




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"STATE HIGHWAY LAW"

Act of Jun. 1, 1945, P.L. 1242, No. 428

Cl. 36

AN ACT

 

Relating to roads, streets, highways and bridges; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws administered by the Secretary of Highways and by the Department of Highways relating thereto.



 

Compiler's Note:  Section 2 of Act 209 of 1990 provided that this act is repealed insofar as it is inconsistent with that act.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS



 

Article I.  Preliminary Provisions.

 

Section 101.  Short Title.



Section 102.  Definitions.

Section 104.  Saving Clause.

Section 105.  Applicability.

 

Article II.  Designation and Location of State Highways.

 

Section 201.  Present State Highways to Continue Until



Changed.

Section 202.  Parts of Highways not Included in Designation

of State Highways.

Section 203.  Maps, etc., of State Highways.

Section 204.  Lettering, Naming or Numbering State Highway

Routes.


Section 205.  Entry on Lands to Make Surveys; Damages; Penalty.

Section 206.  Ultimate Widths and Lines; Establishment;

Recording.

Section 207.  Change of Plans for Ultimate Width.

Section 208.  Limitations on Damaging for Taking.

Section 209.  Relocation without Limitation on Account of

Terminal Paints.

Section 210.  Relocation, etc.; Abandonment as State Highway;

Vacation.

Section 211.  Use of Abandoned Canals and Railroad or

Railway Rights of Way for Relocation of State

Highways.

Section 212.  Acquisition and Disposal of Certain Canals

and Artificial Waterways.

Section 213.  Acceptance of Canal Property Acquired by

Department of Forests and Waters.

Section 214.  Maintenance of Parts of Roads Abandoned as

State Highways; Vacation when not of Full Width.

Section 217.  Connecting Roads between State Highways.

Section 218.  Lengthening or Shortening Intersection Routes

to conform to Relocations.

Section 219.  Designation of Future Locations for Highways.

Section 220.  Parallel Highways; Establishments; Control of

Direction of Traffic.

Section 221.  Parallel Highways; Taking over of Existing

Roads and Streets; Payments to Boroughs.

Section 222.  Abandonment of Routes on State Highway

System.


 

Article III.  Eminent Domain, Ascertainment and Payment of

Damages.

 

Section 301.  County to Be Notified of Certain Improvements,



etc. (Repealed).

Section 302.  Fixing Amount of Damages and Benefits; Payment

by County (Repealed).

Section 303.  Assessment of Damages and Benefits; Payment by

County (Repealed).

Section 304.  Fixing of Assessment of Damages and Benefits;

Payment by Commonwealth (Repealed).

Section 304.1. Definitions (Repealed).

Section 304.2. Relocation Payments (Repealed).

Section 304.3. Replacement Housing (Repealed).

Section 304.4. Expenses Incidental to Transfer of Property

(Repealed).

Section 304.5. Damages (Repealed).

Section 304.6. Administration of Relocation Assistance

Program (Repealed).

Section 304.7. Supervision by Secretary of Highways;

Rules and Regulations (Repealed).

Section 305.  Damage by Change of Lines of Interesting Roads;

Removal of Structures (Repealed).

Section 306.  Agreement by County to Assist in Payment of

Damages (Repealed).

Section 307.  Property Damage  in Elimination, etc., of

Crossings when Construction Paid for by Federal

Government (Repealed).

Section 308. Procedure where Possession of Condemned Property

us Withheld (Repealed).

 

Article IV.  Construction, Improvement, Maintenance and Repair

of State Highways.

 

Section 401.  Duty on Department of Highways.



Section 401.1. Cattle Crossings.

Section 402.  Materials for Construction; Minimum Width.

Section 402.1. Highway Lighting.

Section 403.  By Whom Construction Work to Be Done.

Section 404.  Awarding Contracts; Bonds (Repealed).

Section 404.1. Prequalifications of Bidders.

Section 405.  Advertisement for Proposals (Repealed).

Section 405.1. Proposal Guaranty for Executions of Contract

(Repealed).

Section 406.  Approval and Execution of Contracts.

Section 407.  Maintenance of Highways.

Section 408.  Contracts for Repair, Maintenance and

Engineering Services.

Section 409.  State Highway Markers.

Section 410.  Trees, Grasses, Shrubs and Vines along

Highways; Penalty.

Section 411.  Use of Highways by Public Utilities; Penalty.

Section 412.  Occupancy of Right of Way of Public Service

Companies.

Section 412.1. Adjustment of Municipality, or Municipality

Authority, Owned Public Utility Facilities.

Section 413.  Acquisition of Property for Unobstructed View.

Section 413.1. Roadside and Landscape Development; Highway

Beautification Fund.

Section 414.  Snow Fences; Entry on Private Lands to Place.

Section 415.  Live Snow Breaks; Acquisition of Land.

Section 416.  Sidewalks along State Highways.

Section 417.  Drains and Ditches over Lands and Enclosures;

Damages; Penalty.

Section 418.  Changing or Protecting Stream Channels.

Section 419.  Subsidence from Failure of Vertical or Lateral

Support.


Section 420.  Rules for Use of, and Injury to, Highways;

Penalty.


Section 421.  Discharge of Sewage or Drainage on Highways

Prohibited.

Section 422.  Closing Highways to Vehicular Traffic.

Section 423.  Detours.

Section 424.  Penalties and Damages.

Section 425.  Signs, Banners, etc., Across of within Legal

Limits of Highway; Penalty; Abatement.

 

Article V.  Rural State Highway System and State Highways in



Cities, Boroughs and Towns.

 

(a) Rural State Highway System.



 

Section 501.  Structures on Rural State Highways.

Section 502.  Construction, Repairs, Maintenance; Taking

Over by Counties.

 

(b) State Highways in Boroughs and Towns.



 

Section 511.  Changing, etc., Width, grades or Lines of

Highways.

Section 512.  Abandoned Rights of Way of Canals, Railroads,

and Turnpikes.

Section 513.  Improvement, Reconstruction and Maintenance.

Section 514.  Bridges on State Highways in Boroughs and

Incorporated Towns.

Section 515.  Openings in Surface of Highways Maintained by

State in Boroughs and Towns; Penalty (Repealed).

 

(c) Streets in Second A and Third Class Cities.



 

Section 521.  Restrictions and Limitations Upon Powers and

Obligations of State.

Section 522.  Construction, Resurfacing, Repair and Maintenance.

Section 523.  Width, Lines, Grades and Location.

Section 524.  Replacement and Renewals of Public Utility

Structures; Tearing up Surface.

Section 525.  Permits for Opening Surface; Penalty

(Repealed).

Section 526.  Detours.

Section 527.  Cities Authorized to Incur Indebtedness.

Section 528.  Signs Along Streets for Guidance of Public.

 

(d) Streets in First and Second Class Cities.



 

Section 541.  Restrictions and Limitations upon Powers

and Obligations of State.

Section 542.  Construction, Resurfacing, Repair and

Maintenance; Charge of Lines, Widths and Grades.

Section 543.  Type of Improvement.

Section 544.  Lines, Widths and Grades.

Section 545.  Taking, Opening, Relocation, Widening,

Change of Grade; Damages.

Section 546.  Replacement and Renewals of Public Utility

Structure; Tearing up Surface.

Section 547.  Permits for Operating Surface; Penalty

(Repealed).

Section 548.  Detours.

Section 549.  Cities Authorized to Incur Indebtedness.

Section 550.  Limit of Expenditures by Commonwealth

(Repealed).

 

(e) Provisions Applicable to all Municipalities.



 

Section 561. Municipal Work and Reimbursement.

 

Article VI.  Highways in Special Areas.

 

Section 601.  Highways on State Lands.



Section 602.  Roads to State Property Used as Parks or for

Military Purposes.

Section 603.  Gifts, Donations and Transfer of Funds for

Highways and Bridges on State Lands.

Section 604.  Approach Roads to National Cemeteries; National

Military Parks.

Section 605.  Abandonment of State Highways in State

Parks, Parks Supervised, Operated and Maintained

by Political Subdivisions and Federal Resettlement

Projects.

 

Article VII.  Bridges.

 

(a) Bridges on State Highways.



 

Section 701.  Commonwealth to Be Responsible for Certain

Bridges on State Highways.

Section 702.  Structure of Utility in Companies.

Section 703.  Bridge Abandoned on Relocation of Highway.

 

(b) Bridges on Highways Essential to National Defense.



 

Section 711.  Taking Over by State.

Section 712.  Bridges in 3rd Class Cities When Federal and

Other Funds are Available.

Section 713.  Payment of Cost of Construction.

Section 714.  Property Damage.

Section 715.  Contracts, Surveys.

Section 716.  Agreement with Federal, City, Town and Country

Authorities; Contributions.

Section 717.  Approval of Public Utility Commission.

 

(c) Privately Owned Bridges Other Than Toll Bridges.



 

Section 721.  Acquisition Division of Responsibility.

 

(d) Acquisition of Toll Bridge Generally.



 

Section 731.  Acquisition of Privately Owned Toll Bridges

Jointly with Counties.

Section 732.  Appointment of Viewers; Notice of Meeting

(Repealed).

Section 733.  Powers and Duties of Viewers (Repealed).

Section 734.  Report of Viewers (Repealed).

Section 735.  Exceptions to Report; Jury Trial; Appeal

(Repealed).

Section 736.  Costs; Compensation of Viewers (Repealed).

Section 737.  Possession of Bridge; Freeing of Tolls; Use

by Railroads and Railways (Repealed).

Section 738.  Interest on Purchase Price or Award

(Repealed).

Section 739.  Control; Maintenance; Repair; Rebuilding

(Repealed).

 

(e) Approaches to Interstate Bridges in Cities of the



First Class.

 

Section 761.  Contracts for Widening and Relocations at



Joint Expense with City, etc.

Section 762.  Change of Location; Abandonment as State Highway.

 

(f) Rebuilding County Bridges.



 

Section 771.  County Bridge Defined.

Section 772.  Duty of Department to Rebuild; New Evaluation

or Site.


Section 773.  Agreements for Sharing Costs.

Section 774.  Appointment of Viewers; Notice to Attorney

General.

Section 775.  View and Report Thereon.

Section 776.  Exceptions to Report; Appeals.

Section 777.  Order to Rebuild; Plans and Specifications, etc.

Section 778.  Advertising for Bids; Contracts for Rebuilding;

Liability of Commonwealth Limited.

Section 779.  Collusive Bidding; Penalty.

Section 780.  Inspection of Bridge; Action on Contract.

Section 781.  Payments on Contracts.

Section 782.  Payments When Deductions are Made.

Section 783.  County Bridges on State Highways.

Section 784.  Fees and Expenses.

Section 785.  Maintenance and Repair of Rebuilt Bridges.

 

Article VIII.  Intrastate Bridges and Tunnels (Repealed).

 

Article VIII.  Connecting Bridges and Approaches.

 

Section 801.  Authority to Construct.



Section 802.  Plans.

Section 803.  Damages.

Section 804.  Approaches and Connecting Roads.

Section 805.  Sharing of Costs.

Section 806.  Agreements with Authorities or Agencies.

Section 807.  Appropriations.

 

Article IX.  Special Provisions Affecting Local Authorities.

 

Section 901.  Assistance and Information to Local Officials;



County Highway Maps.

Section 902.  Certifications of Reports of Viewers; Ordinances,

Petitions, Agreements and Resolutions Laying Out

or Vacating Public Roads.

Section 903.  Surveys, Plans, Bids, Where County Pays Expense of

Highway.


Section 904.  Material, Equipment and Supplies from Political

Subdivisions.

Section 905.  Expenditures and Indebtedness by Counties for

Property Damage, Improvement, etc., of State and

other Highways.

Section 906.  Division of Responsibility between Commonwealth

and Local Authorities.

Section 907.  Advertising and Bids for Construction in

Conjunction with Work by the Department of

Highways.

Section 908.  Department of Highways to Receive Bids, etc.

Section 909.  Termination of Agreements for Maintenance.

Section 910.  Assessments against Abutting Property.

Section 911.  Additional Width of State Highways by Counties,

Townships and Boroughs.

 

Article X.  Commonwealth Receipts and Expenditures; Federal



Aid.

 

Section 1001.  Moneys Received Paid into Motor License Fund.



Section 1002.  Expenditures from Motor License Fund.

Section 1003.  Highway Appropriations.

Section 1004.  Aid under Federal Highway Acts.

Section 1005.  Federal Grants for Highway Construction and

Related Programs.

Section 1006.  Expenditure of Federal Funds for an Urban

Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity

and Safety.

Section 1007.  Expenditure of Federal Funds for Fringe Parking

Facilities.

 

Article XI.  Repeals.

 

Section 1101.  Specific Repeals.



Section 1102.  General Repeals.

 

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:



 

ARTICLE I.

PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

 

Section 101.  Short Title.--This act shall be known and may be cited as the "State Highway Law."



Section 102.  Definitions.--When used in this act, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

(1)  "State highway" shall mean and include all roads and highways taken over by the Commonwealth as State highways under the provisions of any act of Assembly. Unless clearly so intended, the term shall not include any street in any city, borough or incorporated town, even though the same may have been taken over as a State highway.

(2)  "Rural State highway system" shall mean and include all roads and highways taken over by the Commonwealth as State highways under the provisions of the act, approved the twenty-second day of June, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one (Pamphlet Laws, five hundred ninety-four), act number two hundred three, entitled "An act establishing certain township roads as State highways; authorizing their construction, maintenance, and improvement under certain conditions and restrictions; limiting the obligation of the Commonwealth in the construction of certain structures located on such highways; conferring certain powers upon the Department of Highways and local authorities, persons, associations and corporations for sharing the cost of the maintenance and construction of such highways; and making an appropriation to carry out the provisions of said act," and its supplements and amendments, and all other roads and highways specifically designated as rural State highways.

(3)  "Department" shall mean the Department of Highways of the Commonwealth.

(4)  "Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of Highways of the Commonwealth.

Section 103.  Excluded Provisions.--This act does not include any provisions of, and shall not be construed to repeal:

(1)  "The Administrative Code of one thousand nine hundred twenty-nine," approved the ninth day of April, one thousand nine hundred twenty-nine (Pamphlet Laws, one hundred seventy-seven);

(2)  "The Vehicle Code," approved the first day of May, one thousand nine hundred twenty-nine (Pamphlet Laws, nine hundred five);

(3)  "The Tractor Code," approved the first day of May, one thousand nine hundred twenty-nine (Pamphlet Laws, one thousand five);

(4)  Any law administered by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission;

(5)  The act, approved the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred thirty-three (Pamphlet Laws, one thousand four hundred nine), entitled, as last amended, "An act authorizing the Secretary of Highways to enter into agreements relating to support for State highway right of ways underlaid by coal, and for the ascertainment and assessment of damages sustained by reason of the obligation to furnish such support whether the damages are payable by the Commonwealth or a county";

(6)  The act, approved the sixteenth day of July, one thousand nine hundred forty-one (Pamphlet Laws, three hundred eighty-six), entitled "An act providing for the establishment, construction, operation and maintenance of a mountain ridge road or parkway in the Pocono Mountains through, bordering or accessible to the counties of Monroe, Northampton, Carbon, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wayne and Pike, to be known as the "Rim Parkway"; providing for the creation of the Pennsylvania Parkway Commission, and conferring powers, and imposing duties on said commission; authorizing the issuance of parkway revenue bonds of the Commonwealth, payable solely from tolls, to pay the cost of such parkway; providing that no debt of the Commonwealth shall be incurred in the exercise of any of the powers granted by this act; providing for the collection of tolls for the payment of such bonds and for the cost of maintenance, operation and repair of the parkway; making such bonds exempt from taxation; constituting such bonds legal investments in certain instances; prescribing conditions upon which such parkway shall become free; providing for condemnation; granting certain powers and authority to municipal subdivisions and other agencies of the Commonwealth to cooperate with the commission; conferring powers and imposing duties on the Department of Highways; authorizing the issuance of parkway revenue refunding bonds, and making an appropriation";

(7)  Any law or part of a law adopting any road, highway or street as a State highway;

(8)  Any law relating to interstate bridges;

(9)  Any law relating to flood control;

(10)  Any amendment or supplement of any of the laws referred to in this section.



Compiler's Note:  The Pennsylvania Parkway Commission, referred to in this section, terminated December 31, 1987, under the act of December 22, 1981, P.L.508, No.142, known as the Sunset Act.

Section 104.  Saving Clause.--The provisions of this act so far as they are the same as those of existing laws are intended as a continuation of such laws and not as new enactments. The repeal by this act of any act of Assembly, or part thereof, shall not revive any act, or part thereof, heretofore repealed or superseded. The provisions of this act shall not affect any act done, liability incurred, or right accrued or vested, or affect any suit or prosecution, pending or to be instituted, to enforce any right or penalty or punish any offense under the authority of such repealed laws. All regulations and rules, made pursuant to any act of Assembly repealed by this act, shall continue with the same force and effect as if such act had not been repealed.

Section 105.  Applicability.--This act shall apply to all properties acquired or used for State highway purposes, whether acquired directly by the Department of Highways or by any municipality, public agency or authority, regardless of the original purpose of the acquisition.

(105 added Oct. 30, 1969, P.L.293, No.123)

ARTICLE II.

DESIGNATION AND LOCATION OF STATE HIGHWAYS

 

Section 201.  Present State Highways to Continue Until Changed.--All roads, streets and highways adopted and taken over as State highways, and remaining as such on the effective date of this act, shall continue to be State highways as now constituted, until changed pursuant to the provisions of this act or by subsequent act of Assembly.



Section 202.  Parts of Highways not Included in Designation of State Highways.--Where the boundary line of any city, borough, or incorporated town traverses longitudinally the legal limits of a highway, and a portion only of such highway, situate either outside of or within the municipality, has been or may hereafter be established as a State highway, the portion of the highway which the act fails to include because of the presence of the boundary line, whether such portion may be outside of or within the corporate limits of the city, borough, or incorporated town, is hereby established as, or shall hereafter automatically become, a State highway, and shall be constructed and maintained by the department in accordance with the provisions of this act governing State highways in cities or boroughs or in townships, as the case may be.

Section 203.  Maps, etc., of State Highways.--The department shall have authority to prepare and keep among its records such maps, plans, data and information as shall be deemed necessary by the secretary. Copies thereof may be furnished to the public in such manner and for such cost, not exceeding the cost of preparation, as may be determined by the secretary.

Section 204.  Lettering, Naming or Numbering State Highway Routes.--The secretary is hereby authorized to designate by letter, or to name, or number, State highways, or any part or parts thereof, or any combinations of such highways or parts thereof, in such manner as in his discretion will best accommodate and inform the traveling public using the highways of the Commonwealth, and facilitate the keeping of maps and records of the department, and the secretary may change the number, or continue a State highway without it being designated by the route number originally assigned by the General Assembly or assigned by any executive order adopting a connecting road or spur in the manner provided by law prior to the adoption of section 218 of this act.

Whenever the secretary designates any route by common letter, name, or number, for the convenience of the traveling public, he may, in his discretion, include therein any public road, or part thereof, except city, borough, or town streets. Nothing herein contained shall authorize the secretary to construct, maintain, or repair any such road, or part thereof, as a part of the State highway system, nor authorize the secretary to delete from the State highway system any route or portion thereof previously adopted by the General Assembly or by executive order.

(204 amended July 17, 1970, P.L.489, No.168)

Section 205.  Entry on Lands to Make Surveys; Damages; Penalty.--The department shall have the power to enter upon any lands or enclosures for the purpose of making surveys to assist the department in determining whether any State highway should be relocated, widened or improved, and all surveys in connection with the actual relocation, widening or improvement of any State highway. Any entry made by any duly authorized employes of the department, for any such purpose, shall not be deemed a trespass under existing law.

Any damages sustained by the owner or owners of land entered upon by the department for the purpose herein provided shall be determined and paid in the manner provided by law for the payment of damages to property heretofore or hereafter caused or occasioned in connection with the work of the department in the construction, improvement, maintenance, and repair, or in the preparation of materials for such purpose, of roads, highways or bridges under the jurisdiction of the department, and for which the Commonwealth is responsible for maintenance, and attributed to negligence or carelessness on the part of the employes of the department.

Any person interfering with or obstructing the exercise of the authority herein conferred, shall, on summary conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a penalty, for every such offense, of not less than five dollars nor more than twenty dollars. All penalties imposed under this section shall be transmitted to the State Treasury of the Commonwealth, and shall be credited to the Motor License Fund. The penalty herein provided shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any penalties imposed by existing law.

Section 206.  Ultimate Widths and Lines; Establishment; Recording.--The secretary shall have power, with the approval of the Governor, to establish the ultimate width and lines of any State highway for future construction before or after the construction, reconstruction, or improvement of the same, not, however, exceeding the maximum width fixed by law for public roads. The establishment of such ultimate width and lines for future construction shall be by a plan, showing the center line of said highway and the established ultimate width thereof for future construction, bearing the acknowledgment of the secretary. Such plan and acknowledgment shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of the proper county, in a separate book kept for such purpose, which shall be furnished to the recorder of deeds by the county commissioners at the expense of the county. All costs of the recording shall be paid by the county.

Section 207.  Change of Plans for Ultimate Width.--The secretary shall have power, with the approval of the Governor, to change any plan establishing the ultimate width and lines of any State highway by reducing the width of such State highway or section thereof, established as hereinbefore provided, by causing a new plan thereof to be made, showing the center line of said highway and the new established width thereof, and shall attach thereto his acknowledgment. When any such change has been made, such plan, and acknowledgment shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of the proper county, as hereinbefore provided, and a notation shall be made on the prior plan that the same has been replaced by a later plan.

Section 208.  Limitations on Damages for Taking.--No person shall be entitled to recover any damages for any buildings or improvements of any kind which shall or may be placed or constructed upon or within the ultimate widths and lines of any State highway after the same shall have been established for future construction and recorded as aforesaid.

No person shall be entitled to damages by reason of such establishment of the ultimate width and lines of a State highway for future construction; and, where the Commonwealth, by its proper authorities, has improved or constructed or shall hereafter improve or construct such State highway and, in so doing, has taken or shall take a part only of the lands lying within the lines shown by such plan, damages shall be allowed for and to the extent of such actual taking only. Such taking shall be deemed to occur only when right of way plans or construction drawings, prepared by the department, showing thereon the right of way required for highway purposes and for slopes, shall have been approved by the secretary and the Governor and filed as a public record in the office of the department.

Section 209.  Relocation without Limitation on Account of Terminal Points.--When the terminal point of one or more State highway routes is described as being at the boundary line of a county, township, municipality or adjoining state and the highway continues beyond such point, the secretary shall have authority to relocate such State highway route or routes, without limitation on account of such terminal point, except that the new point of crossing of such line shall be properly referenced and shown on the plan by which the relocation is made. When the terminal point of a State highway route is described as being on another highway, the secretary shall have authority to relocate such highway route, without limitation on account of such terminal point, except that the new terminal point shall be on such other highway. When two separate State highway routes with one common terminal point form a continuous highway, the secretary shall have authority to relocate such State highway routes, without limitation on account of such terminal point, except that both the old and the new terminal points shall be shown on the plan by which the relocation is made.

Section 210.  Relocation, etc.; Abandonment as State Highway; Vacation.--The secretary is hereby empowered to change, alter, or establish the width, lines, location, or grades of any State highway or any intersecting road in any township, borough, or incorporated town, in such manner as, in his discretion, may seem best, in order to correct danger or inconvenience to the traveling public, or lessen the cost to the Commonwealth in the construction, reconstruction, or maintenance thereof. After the relocation has been opened to traffic, the secretary, by notice to the local authorities, shall abandon as a State highway route or vacate the section of highway between the termini of the relocation. Where the new route, in the judgment of the secretary, supplies and takes the place of any part of the old highway, and such part is of a length of not more than two miles, the secretary, being of the opinion that such part is unnecessary for public use and travel, or burdensome or dangerous, and, having due regard for the convenience of access to the new highway by the owners of property abutting on such part, may, at any time, by written order, declare such part to be vacated. Thereafter the part so vacated shall be closed to public use and travel, and shall no longer be a public road. Before any change or order of vacation is made, the secretary shall first submit a plan of the proposed change or any proposed order of vacation duly acknowledged to the Governor; and the same shall be approved by him, and filed as a public record in the office of the department and a copy thereof shall be recorded in the office for the recording of deeds in the proper county at the expense of the department in a plan book or books provided by the county for that purpose. The approval of such plan or plans by the Governor shall be considered to be the condemnation of an easement for highway purposes from all property within the lines marked as required for right of way and the condemnation of an easement of support or protection from all property within the lines marked as required for slopes. All plans or orders so approved, filed and recorded, shall indicate the names of the owners or reputed owners of the land affected by taking or vacation and of lands abutting the same. It shall be the duty of the recorder of deeds of each county to provide a plan book or books for the recording of such plans and orders, and to maintain an adequate locality index for the same.

(210 amended May 14, 1949, P.L.1391, No.411 and superseded insofar as inconsistent Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 211.  Use of Abandoned Canals and Railroad or Railway Rights of Way for Relocation of State Highways.--Whenever any abandoned canal or part thereof is no longer used for the purpose for which it was intended and is not used or occupied by a railroad or railway in actual operation, or whenever any right of way of a railroad or railway has been abandoned or has not been used, occupied or built upon for a period of two years or more, and such canal or right of way extends in the same general direction in which a State highway is projected, the secretary may take over any such canal or part thereof or any such railroad or railway right of way for the purpose of relocating such State highway, and, if a price therefor, to be approved by the Governor, can be agreed upon, acquire the same, or as much thereof as is needed, in the name of the Commonwealth, from the owners thereof. If no such price can be agreed upon, the canal or right of way, or as much thereof as is needed, shall be acquired by eminent domain under the procedure prescribed in Article III of this act.

Section 212.  Acquisition and Disposal of Certain Canals and Artificial Waterways.--The department may acquire, by gift, all or any part of the lands occupied by any canal or other artificial waterway constructed by the Commonwealth as a part of its public works and heretofore acquired, directly or indirectly, by any canal corporation, organized and existing under the laws of this Commonwealth. The department may thereafter sell or otherwise dispose of any portion of such lands not actually necessary for highway purposes upon such terms and conditions as the Governor may approve, and deposit the proceeds in the Motor License Fund.

Section 213.  Acceptance of Canal Property Acquired by Department of Forests and Waters.--The secretary may in his discretion accept, for the purposes of location, relocation, construction or reconstruction, and maintenance and repair of highways, and purposes incidental thereto, any canal property acquired by the Secretary of Forests and Waters and by him transferred to the department. Upon such transfer, the Department of Forests and Waters shall be relieved of all control over or responsibility for such property.

Section 214.  Maintenance of Parts of Roads Abandoned as State Highways; Vacation when not of Full Width.--Where any section of a State highway route shall be, or has been relocated, the portion of the public road or highway, thus abandoned as a State highway route, shall be maintained by, and at the expense of, the township, borough, incorporated town or city wherein it is located, but the department shall in each case, before abandoning such portion of public road or highway, improve and repair the same so that it shall be in first class condition when it is taken over by the township, borough, incorporated town or city.

Where the width, lines or location of a State highway shall be or have been changed, altered or established, according to law, in a manner which does not create an entirely new highway, the section or sections, or portions of the right of way of the highway, as previously established, which are not included within the changed, altered or established widths shall be considered vacated, if such portions or sections are not of the full width of the highway, as previously established.

Section 215.  Power of Courts to Vacate Parts of Certain State Highways.--The courts of quarter sessions shall have power to inquire of and vacate any part or parts of any former State road or turnpike road which has been adopted as a State highway, where such part, or parts thereof, due to the change or relocation of the State highway, no longer form a part of such State highway. Such vacation shall be in the same manner as in the case of the vacation of roads under the general road law.

Section 216.  Spurs and Branch Roads.--In constructing, reconstructing, repairing, or maintaining any public highway taken over by the State as a State highway, it shall be lawful to construct, reconstruct, repair, and maintain a spur or branch road to such State highway, in order to reach points named in the route of such State highway, as taken over.

Section 217.  Connecting Roads between State Highways.--The secretary is hereby authorized to join two or more State highway routes in cities of the second class, second class A and third class, boroughs, incorporated towns, or townships, or in any two or more of such political subdivisions, by taking over or building a connecting road, not more than one mile in length, whenever such connecting road would lessen the distance between two points on separate routes, or provide a better alignment or grade. Such road, when constructed or taken over, shall become a State highway and subject to the laws relating to such highways.

Any damage occasioned by the taking of land for the construction of any such connecting road shall be determined and paid as provided by Article III of this act.

Section 218.  Lengthening or Shortening Intersecting Routes to Conform to Relocations.--Where any section of any State highway route which contains the terminus of an intersecting State highway route has been or shall be relocated in such a manner that the terminus of the intersecting State highway route does not fall within the limits of the relocated route, the secretary may lengthen or shorten such intersecting route so that its terminus falls within the limits of the relocated State highway route. If the intersecting route is shortened, and the portion thereof abandoned as a State highway by reason thereof is, in the opinion of the secretary, unnecessary for public use and travel, the secretary may vacate said abandoned section. When any State highway route is lengthened under the provisions of this section and property is taken thereby, the damages shall be ascertained and paid as provided by Article III of this act.

Section 219.  Designation of Future Locations for Highways.--The secretary, with the approval of the Governor, may designate the future location and width of any proposed highway, and continue to maintain the present highway until such time as the amount of traffic warrants the construction of the new highway designated and until such new highway has been completed and opened to traffic.

Whenever the secretary shall establish the width and lines of any such highway he shall cause a plan thereof to be made, showing the center line of said highway and the established width thereof, and shall attach thereto his acknowledgment. Thereupon such plan, and acknowledgment shall be recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of the proper county in a separate book kept for such purpose, which shall be furnished to the recorder of deeds by the county commissioners at the expense of the county.

No owner or occupier of lands, buildings, or improvements shall erect any building or make any improvements within the limits of any State highway the width and lines of which have been established and recorded as provided in this section, and if any such erection or improvement shall be made no allowance shall be had therefor by the assessment of damages.

Any damages sustained by the taking of private property under the provisions of this section for the construction of such highway shall be ascertained and paid as provided by Article III of this act.

Section 220.  Parallel Highways; Establishment; Control of Direction of Traffic.--When any State highway route or combination of State highway routes, or portions thereof, in the opinion of the secretary, is inadequate for present or anticipated traffic, and the cost of securing the right of way necessary for a highway of adequate design on the existing location would be unwarranted in the judgment of the secretary, or the topography adjacent to the existing location is such that widening is impractical, and the establishment and construction of a parallel highway, together with the retention of the existing highway, will provide ample width of highway for public use, the secretary may establish, construct and maintain a parallel or approximately parallel highway as a State highway in any township, borough, incorporated town or city, or combination of such political subdivisions, and retain the present highway as a part of the system of State highways. A plan for the establishment and construction of such parallel or approximately parallel highway shall be prepared by the department, signed by the secretary, and approved by the Governor and filed as a public record in the department.

The secretary may control the direction of the flow of traffic over parallel or approximately parallel highways established under the provisions of this section by the erection of approved one-way traffic signs at the beginning and ending of each parallel or approximately parallel highway, and at the entrance of all roads, highways, alleys or streets connecting therewith.

Damages occasioned by the taking of private property for the construction of parallel or approximately parallel State highways established under the provisions of this section, shall be ascertained and paid as provided by Article III of this act.

Section 221.  Parallel Highways; Taking over of Existing Roads and Streets; Payments to Boroughs.--The secretary, with the approval of the Governor, is authorized to take over existing public roads and streets in cities, boroughs and townships, approximately parallel to State highways, between any or all of the points named in the line or route of such State highway. Any such road may intersect with or cross over the highway to which it is approximately parallel. Any such road, when taken over, shall become a State highway and be subject to the laws relating to State highways, except that, in the case of parallel highways in cities and boroughs, approval of the councils thereof shall be required for the relocation or change of the lines or widths thereof, or for constructing and improving such parallel route wholly or in part on a new alignment.

Whenever the secretary shall adopt any existing street parallel to any State highway in any borough as a State highway, and such parallel street has been improved and constructed by the borough according to the standards of the department for the construction of streets forming parts of State highways and under plans prepared by the department, the department shall reimburse the borough for the amount expended by such borough for the improvement and construction of such street, to be determined by the councils of such borough and the department.

Any damages sustained by any property owner in connection with the construction, change of width, or relocation of such road shall be ascertained and paid as provided by Article III of this act.

Section 222.  Abandonment of Routes on State Highway System.--The secretary may abandon any highway route on the State highway system, or part thereof, if the municipality wherein it is located by ordinance or resolution approves the action and agrees to assume expense of maintenance and improvement of the same. The procedure authorized by this section shall not be used by the department as a means or method for the mass turn back of State highway routes to municipalities.

(222 added July 10, 1981, P.L.249, No.81)

 

ARTICLE III.



EMINENT DOMAIN; ASCERTAINMENT

AND PAYMENT OF DAMAGES

(III repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

 

Section 301.  County to Be Notified of Certain Improvements, etc.--(301 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)



Section 302.  Fixing Amount of Damage; Payment by County--(302 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 303.  Assessment of Damages and Benefits; Payment by County.--(303 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 304.  Fixing or Assessment of Damages and Benefits; Payment by Commonwealth.--(304 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 304.1.  Definitions.--(304.1 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 304.2.  Relocation Payments.--(304.2 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 304.3.  Replacement Housing.--(304.3 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 304.4.  Expenses Incidental to Transfer of Property.--(304.4 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 304.5.  Damages.--(304.5 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 304.6.  Administration of Relocation Assistance Program.--(304.6 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 304.7.  Supervision by Secretary of Highways; Rules and Regulations.--(304.7 repealed Dec. 29, 1971, P.L.635, No.169)

Section 305.  Damage by Change of Lines of Intersecting Roads; Removal of Structures.--(305 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 306.  Agreement by County to Assist in Payment of Damages.--(306 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 307.  Property Damage in Elimination, etc., of Crossings where Construction Paid for by Federal Government.--(307 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

Section 308.  Procedure where Possession of Condemned Property is Withheld.--(308 repealed Dec. 7, 1979, P.L.  , No.100)

ARTICLE IV.

CONSTRUCTION, IMPROVEMENT, MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR

OF STATE HIGHWAYS

 

Section 401.  Duty on Department of Highways.--The department shall construct or improve, and thereafter maintain and repair, at the cost and expense of the Commonwealth, the highways forming the plan or system of the State highways, in the several counties and townships. Such improvement and maintenance shall be made according to specifications to be prepared by the department, as regards the character, construction, and material to be used. The work of construction and maintenance of said State highways shall be done under the direction and supervision of the secretary. The secretary, in addition to the powers conferred upon him in this act, shall enjoy and possess, in the construction and maintenance of State highways, all the rights and powers conferred by existing laws on supervisors or commissioners in townships in the construction or maintenance of township roads.



Section 401.1.  Cattle Crossings.--Whenever it appears to be necessary and suitable in the interest of public safety as a traffic precaution, or to keep substantial portions of a farm readily accessible to cattle and other livestock, the department is authorized to construct and maintain cattle crossings or passes under State highways or rural State highways hereafter constructed or relocated.

(401.1 added July 10, 1957, P.L.630, No.338)

Section 402.  Materials for Construction; Minimum Width.--All highways improved and constructed, or rebuilt, under the provisions of this act, shall be constructed of such materials, or combination of materials, in such manner that the same, of whatever material constructed, will, with reasonable repairs thereto, at all seasons of the year, be firm, smooth and convenient for travel. The kind of materials to be used on any particular highway, or part thereof, to be built, shall be decided or selected by the secretary before the contract is let. All State highways shall be constructed and improved to width of not less than nine (9) feet.

Section 402.1.  Highway Lighting.--The department may construct, improve and thereafter maintain and repair equipment for the lighting of existing or new highways, or any part thereof, and may contract for the lighting of such equipment at the expense of the Commonwealth.

(402.1 added May 31, 1957, P.L.234, No.112)

Section 403.  By Whom Construction Work to Be Done.--All work of construction, building or rebuilding of highways, excepting that of repairing and maintenance, done under the provisions of this act, may be either (1) by the agents, including cities when so designated by the department, servants and employes of the department, or (2) by contract, and shall be according to plans and specifications to be prepared or approved in every case by the department.

(403 amended Dec. 1, 1965, P.L.1009, No.375)

Section 404.  Awarding Contracts; Bonds.--(404 repealed May 15, 1998, P.L.358, No.57)

Section 404.1.  Prequalifications of Bidders.--The department, after consultation with and receiving the advices of the secretaries of Pennsylvania associations representing highway constructors and other parties in interest who have notified the Secretary of Highways, in writing, of such interest, shall, by regulations, establish and may, from time to time, modify or supplement a system for the qualification of competent and responsible bidders on highway projects and furnish to such secretaries and others in interest copies of such regulations. In determining the qualifications of bidders, the department shall consider the following factors relating to the contractors: (1) equipment, (2) past record, (3) experience, (4) personnel of organization, (5) financial condition. In determining the qualifications of newly organized bidders, the department shall consider the following factors relating to newly organized contractors: (1) equipment, (2) personnel of organization, and (3) financial condition.

The department shall not consider bids from any bidder who is not qualified.

(404.1 added Sept. 20, 1961, P.L.1529, No.649)

Section 405.  Advertisement for Proposals.--(405 repealed May 15, 1998, P.L.358, No.57)

Section 405.1.  Proposal Guaranty for Execution of Contract.--(405.1 repealed May 15, 1998, P.L.358, No.57)

Section 406.  Approval and Execution of Contracts.--Every contract authorized to be made by the secretary, under the provisions of this act, for the reconstruction or improvement of State highways shall be made in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and shall be signed by the secretary, and shall be approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice.

Section 407.  Maintenance of Highways.--For the purpose of uniform, efficient, and economic maintenance and repair of the State highways, the department shall purchase all necessary material, and shall appoint and employ all necessary labor or repairmen, who shall at all times in the year keep the State highways free from holes, ruts, sticks, loose stones, or other impediments of any kind, which tend to interfere with free and easy travel, or which if permitted to exist might tend to the deterioration, injury, or destruction of the highway.

Section 408.  Contracts for Repair, Maintenance and Engineering Services.--The secretary may, upon compliance with the foregoing sections of this article, enter into a contract with any person, firm, or corporation, or the authorities of any city, borough or incorporated town, or the commissioners of any county, or the supervisors or commissioners of any township, to repair and maintain any State highway, or any portion thereof, including the construction or reconstruction of bridges thereon. The secretary may also contract with any person, firm or corporation for engineering services to lay out, design, and estimate the cost of constructing, altering or repairing highways and bridges.

(408 amended Dec. 1, 1965, P.L.1009, No.375)

Section 409.  State Highway Markers.--All State highways shall be marked as determined by the secretary, with suitable signs having the words "State Highway" thereon; and signs or distance board, giving directions to towns or villages, shall be erected at cross or intersecting roads, the same to be paid for as part of the cost of maintaining the highway.

Section 410.  Trees, Grasses, Shrubs and Vines along Highways; Penalty.--The department may cause trees, grasses, shrubs and vines to be planted and maintained, and shall cause receptacles for trash and litter to be maintained, along State highways, within the legal right of way thereof, the same to be paid for as a part of the costs of construction or maintenance of the road. The department may enter into agreements with the Department of Environmental Resources regarding the planting and maintenance of such trees, grasses, shrubs and vines. The Department of Transportation shall have the absolute right to trim, cut and remove any trees, grasses, shrubs and vines growing within the legal right of way of any State highway, and to trim and cut away any trees, grasses, shrubs and vines growing on adjacent property in so far as they overhang or encroach upon the legal right of way of any State highway.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cut, trim, remove or otherwise damage any trees, grasses, shrubs or vines growing within the legal right of way of a State highway, which have been planted by any person or agency other than the abutting property owner, without first having obtained the consent of the secretary in writing. Any person who shall cut, trim, remove or otherwise damage such trees, grasses, shrubs or vines without first having obtained such written consent, shall on summary conviction thereof be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), or more than three hundred dollars ($300.00), for each act of cutting, trimming, removal or damaging. This section shall not be construed to permit the department to interfere with the right of any abutting property owner to establish entrances to his property from State highways at any point or points at which such owner may desire to establish such entrances.

(410 amended July 7, 1972, P.L.738, No.173)

 

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