CHAPTER 238
HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE

Table of Contents

Sec. 13a-123. Restriction of outdoor advertising on interstate, federal-aid and other limited access highways. Information centers at safety rest areas.
Sec. 13a-126. Readjustment, relocation or removal of public service facilities for highway construction.
Sec. 13a-126c. Longitudinal use of highway right-of-way by public service utility.
Sec. 13a-142e. Route 11 Greenway Authority Commission. Transfer of real property to Commissioner of Transportation.
Sec. 13a-144. Damages for injuries sustained on state highways or sidewalks.
Sec. 13a-153. State liability for bridle paths, pedestrian walks and bicycle paths and injuries thereon.

PART VII
TRAFFIC CONTROL

      Sec. 13a-123. Restriction of outdoor advertising on interstate, federal-aid and other limited access highways. Information centers at safety rest areas. (a) The erection of outdoor advertising structures, signs, displays or devices within six hundred sixty feet of the edge of the right-of-way, the advertising message of which is visible from the main traveled way of any portion of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, hereinafter referred to as interstate highways, the primary system of federal-aid highways or other limited access state highways, is prohibited except as otherwise provided in or pursuant to this section, and except that those outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices which are more than six hundred sixty feet off the nearest edge of the right-of-way, located outside of urban areas, visible from the main traveled way of the system and erected with the purpose of their message being read from such main traveled way are prohibited.

      (b) The Commissioner of Transportation may enter into agreements with the Secretary of Commerce on behalf of the state or any of its agencies to comply with Title I of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and do such things as are necessary to enable the state to be eligible for the bonus payments as set forth in an agreement between the state and the Secretary of Commerce dated June 23, 1961.

      (c) The commissioner may promulgate regulations for the control of outdoor advertising structures, signs, displays and devices along interstate highways, the primary system of federal-aid highways and other limited access state highways. Such regulations shall be as, but not more, restrictive than the controls required by Title I of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and any amendments thereto with respect to the interstate and primary systems of federal-aid highways or the national standards of the Secretary of Commerce in respect to the interstate highways, in effect November 13, 1958, and any amendments thereto.

      (d) The regulations promulgated by the commissioner shall, in the case of such other limited access state highways, exclude any area along either side of such highways which is zoned for industrial or commercial use under local ordinance or zoning regulation and which, upon application, is determined by the commissioner to be in actual use as an industrial or commercial area at the time of application, provided such exclusion shall remain operative only so long as such area remains so zoned.

      (e) The following types of signs, displays and devices may, with the approval of and subject to regulations promulgated by the commissioner, be permitted within the six-hundred-sixty-foot area of interstate, primary and other limited access state highways, except as prohibited by state statute, local ordinance or zoning regulation: (1) Directional and other official signs or notices, which signs and notices shall include, but not be limited to, signs and notices pertaining to natural wonders and scenic and historical attractions which are required or authorized by law; (2) signs, displays and devices advertising the sale or lease of the property upon which they are located; (3) signs, displays and devices advertising activities conducted on the property on which they are located. Subject to regulations promulgated by the commissioner and except as prohibited by state statute, local ordinance or zoning regulation signs, displays and devices may be erected and maintained within six hundred and sixty feet of primary and other limited access state highways in areas which are zoned for industrial or commercial use under authority of law or located in unzoned commercial or industrial areas which areas shall be determined from actual land uses and defined by regulations of the commissioner. The regulations of the commissioner in regard to size, spacing and lighting shall apply to any segments of the interstate system which traverse commercial or industrial zones wherein the use of real property adjacent to the interstate system is subject to municipal regulation or control, or which traverse other areas where the land use, as of September 21, 1959, was clearly established under state law as industrial or commercial.

      (f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (e) of this section, signage that may be changed at intervals by electronic or mechanical process or by remote control shall be permitted within six hundred sixty feet of the edge of the right-of-way of any interstate, federal-aid primary or other limited access state highway, except as prohibited by state statute, local ordinance or zoning regulation, provided such signage (1) has a static display lasting no less than six seconds, (2) achieves a message change with all moving parts or illumination moving or changing simultaneously over a period of three seconds or less, and (3) does not display any illumination that moves, appears to move or changes in intensity during the static display period.

      (g) (1) Whenever the commissioner deems it in the best interest of the state, the commissioner may acquire by purchase, gift or condemnation, in accordance with part IV of this chapter, the right to advertise or regulate advertising in an area adjacent to the right-of-way of a project on the interstate or primary system or any limited access state highway. (2) The commissioner may also acquire by purchase, gift or condemnation, and shall pay just compensation upon the removal of the following outdoor advertising structures, signs, displays and devices adjacent to interstate and federal-aid primary highways which (A) were lawfully in existence on October 22, 1965, (B) were lawfully on a highway made part of the interstate or primary system on or after October 22, 1965, and before January 1, 1968, and (C) were lawfully erected on or after January 1, 1968. Just compensation for the removal of structures, signs, displays and devices along the interstate and primary systems shall be paid only for the following: (i) The taking from the owner of such sign, display or device of all right, title, leasehold and interest in such structure, sign, display or device; and (ii) the taking, from the owner of the real property on which the structure, sign, display or device is located, of the right to erect and maintain such structures, signs, displays and devices thereon.

      (h) Licenses or permits for outdoor structures, signs, displays or devices adjacent to interstate, primary federal-aid or other limited access state highways issued by the Commissioner of Public Safety in accordance with chapter 411 shall be consistent with regulations and standards adopted under this section.

      (i) In order to provide information in the specific interest of the traveling public the Commissioner of Transportation may maintain maps and may permit informational directories and advertising pamphlets to be made available at safety areas, and, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, may establish information centers at safety rest areas for the purpose of informing the public of places of interest within the state and providing such other information as the commissioner may consider desirable. In addition to being subject to the provisions of this section, all outdoor advertising structures, signs, displays or devices shall continue to be subject to the provisions of any municipal ordinance or regulation.

      (j) The commissioner may order the removal of any advertising structure, sign, display or device along any interstate, federal-aid primary, or other limited access state highway erected in violation of this section. Any advertising structure, sign, display or device in existence on September 1, 1965, within six hundred and sixty feet of the right-of-way of any interstate, federal-aid primary, or other limited access state highway may continue to be maintained until July 1, 1970, but may not be replaced or relocated on such highway except (1) in areas where otherwise allowed by statute or regulations adopted thereunder, or (2) if such sign is removed from a building to which it is attached for purposes of repair or reconstruction of the building, the identical sign may be returned to its original position. Any advertising structure, sign, display or device lawfully erected since September 1, 1965, within six hundred sixty feet of the right-of-way of any interstate, federal-aid primary, or other limited access state highway and before June 21, 1967, may continue to be maintained until the end of the fifth year after it becomes nonconforming, but may not be replaced or relocated on such highway except in areas where otherwise allowed by statute or regulations adopted thereunder. If the person, firm or corporation in control of or owning a structure, sign, display or device or whose name appears thereon does not remove it within fourteen days after an order of removal has been sent to such person, firm or corporation by registered or certified mail, said commissioner may cause such structure, sign, display or device to be removed and the expense of such removal may be collected from the person, firm or corporation owning or controlling the same in an action based on the provisions of this section, or from the sureties on the bond filed by a nonresident person, firm or corporation pursuant to section 21-54.

      (k) Any person violating any provision of this section or of any regulation, license, permit or order adopted or issued pursuant to this section shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars for each day on which the violation occurs. Prior to imposing a penalty under this section, the commissioner shall send such person a written notice of the violation by certified mail, return receipt requested. If such person terminates or corrects the violation by the fifteenth day following such person's receipt of such notice, the commissioner shall not impose such penalty on such person for such violation. Any such violation that continues for more than sixty consecutive days shall be cause for revocation of the permit granted pursuant to this chapter with which the violation is associated.

      (1959, P.A. 526, S. 1-7, 9-11; 1963, P.A. 226, S. 123; 1967, P.A. 632, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 92; P.A. 76-146; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 610; P.A. 94-188, S. 25, 30; P.A. 03-115, S. 32; P.A. 05-210, S. 36.)

      History: 1963 act replaced previous provisions: See title history; 1967 act included primary system federal-aid highways in applicability provision and specified applicability to other limited access state highways in Subsec. (a), revised applicable federal law references in Subsec. (b), amended Subsec. (c) for clarity and stated that regulations shall be neither more restrictive nor less restrictive than controls required by Highway Beautification Act, removed interstate highways from regulation under Subsec. (d), revised provisions of Subsec. (e) to specifically include signs pertaining to natural wonders and scenic and historical attractions, replacing previous provision re "information in the specific interest of the traveling public" and to add provision re signs in areas zoned for industrial or commercial use, added Subdiv. (2) in Subsec. (f) re removal of signs etc., added provision re information centers in Subsec. (h) and clarified time limits for nonconforming signs, etc. in Subsec. (i); 1969 act substituted commissioner of transportation for highway commissioner; P.A. 76-146 amended Subsec. (a) to prohibit overly large signs erected beyond six-hundred-sixty-foot limit outside of urban areas; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of public safety for state police commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 94-188 amended Subsec. (i) to add provision re return of identical sign to building which was repaired or reconstructed and inserted Subdiv. indicators, effective June 2, 1994; P.A. 03-115 added new Subsec. (f) allowing electronic message signs within six hundred sixty feet of the edge of the right-of-way of any interstate, federal-aid primary or other limited access state highway and specifying requirements for such signage, redesignated existing Subsecs. (f) to (j) as Subsecs. (g) to (k) and made a technical change for the purpose of gender neutrality in Subsec. (g); P.A. 05-210 amended Subsec. (k) by deleting "shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars for each such violation" and providing that commissioner shall impose civil penalty of one hundred dollars for each day on which violation occurs and, before imposing penalty, shall send notice of violation and further providing that if person corrects or terminates violation within fifteen days, commissioner shall not impose penalty, and if violation continues for more than sixty days permit may be revoked, effective July 1, 2005.

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PART VIII
PUBLIC SERVICE FACILITIES

      Sec. 13a-126. Readjustment, relocation or removal of public service facilities for highway construction. As used in this section, "public service facility" includes all privately, publicly or cooperatively owned lines, facilities and systems for producing, transmitting or distributing communications, cable television, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, water, steam, waste, storm water not connected with highway drainage and any other similar commodities, including fire and police signal systems and street lighting systems which directly or indirectly serve the public. Whenever the commissioner determines that any public service facility located within, on, along, over or under any land comprising the right-of-way of a state highway or any other public highway when necessitated by the construction or reconstruction of a state highway shall be readjusted or relocated in or removed from such right-of-way, the commissioner shall issue an appropriate order to the company, corporation or municipality owning or operating such facility, and such company, corporation or municipality shall readjust, relocate or remove the same promptly in accordance with such order; provided an equitable share of the cost of such readjustment, relocation or removal, including the cost of installing and constructing a facility of equal capacity in a new location, shall be borne by the state, except that the state shall not bear any share of the cost of a project to readjust, relocate or remove any facility, as defined in subsection (a) of section 16-50i used for transmitting electricity or as an electric trunkline. The Department of Transportation shall evaluate the total costs of such a project, including department costs for construction or reconstruction and electric distribution company costs for readjusting, relocating or removing such facility, so as to minimize the overall costs incurred by the state and the electric distribution company. The electric distribution company may provide the department with proposed alternatives to the relocation, readjustment or removal proposed by the department and shall be responsible for any changes to project costs attributable to adoption of the company's proposed alternative designs for such project, including changes to the area of the relocation, readjustment or removal and any incremental costs incurred by the department to evaluate such alternatives. If such electric distribution company and the department cannot agree on a plan for such project, the Commissioner of Transportation and the chairperson of the Department of Public Utility Control shall, on request of the company, jointly determine the alternative for the project. Such equitable share, in the case of or in connection with the construction or reconstruction of any limited access highway, shall be the entire cost, less the deductions provided in this section, and, in the case of or in connection with the construction or reconstruction of any other state highway, shall be such portion or all of the entire cost, less the deductions provided in this section, as may be fair and just under all the circumstances, but shall not be less than fifty per cent of such cost after the deductions provided in this section. In establishing the equitable share of the cost to be borne by the state, there shall be deducted from the cost of the readjusted, relocated or removed facilities a sum based on a consideration of the value of materials salvaged from existing installations, the cost of the original installation, the life expectancy of the original facility and the unexpired term of such life use. When any facility is removed from the right-of-way of a public highway to a private right-of-way, the state shall not pay for such private right-of-way, provided, when a municipally-owned facility is thus removed from a municipally-owned highway, the state shall pay for the private right-of-way needed by the municipality for such relocation. If the commissioner and the company, corporation or municipality owning or operating such facility cannot agree upon the share of the cost to be borne by the state, either may apply to the superior court for the judicial district within which such highway is situated, or, if said court is not in session, to any judge thereof, for a determination of the cost to be borne by the state, and said court or such judge, after causing notice of the pendency of such application to be given to the other party, shall appoint a state referee to make such determination. Such referee, having given at least ten days' notice to the parties interested of the time and place of the hearing, shall hear both parties, shall view such highway, shall take such testimony as such referee deems material and shall thereupon determine the amount of the cost to be borne by the state and immediately report to the court. If the report is accepted by the court, such determination shall, subject to right of appeal as in civil actions, be conclusive upon both parties.

      (1953, 1955, S. 1201d; 1957, P.A. 576, S. 1; 1958 Rev., S. 13-124; 1963, P.A. 226, S. 126; 1967, P.A. 671; P.A. 76-133; P.A. 78-280, S. 2, 127; P.A. 82-472, S. 36, 183; P.A. 94-188, S. 7; P.A. 03-115, S. 33; P.A. 05-210, S. 28.)

      History: 1963 act replaced previous provisions: See title history; 1967 act clarified provisions by adding references to construction or reconstruction of highways and added proviso re payment of relocation right-of-way costs for municipally-owned facilities removed from municipally-owned highway; P.A. 76-133 included community antenna television companies in definition of "public service facility"; P.A. 78-280 substituted "judicial district" for "county"; P.A. 82-472 corrected reference to superior court; P.A. 94-188 redefined "public service facility"; P.A. 03-115 made technical changes; P.A. 05-210 added exception providing that the state shall not bear any share of cost of project to readjust, relocate or remove facility used for transmitting electricity and that electric distribution company may provide alternatives, and if department does not agree, then department and chairperson of the Department of Public Utility Control shall jointly determine alternative for project, effective July 6, 2005.

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      Sec. 13a-126c. Longitudinal use of highway right-of-way by public service utility. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the Commissioner of Transportation may enter into an agreement with the owner or operator of a public service facility, as such facility is defined in section 13a-126, desiring the longitudinal use of the right-of-way of a state highway to accommodate trunkline or transmission type utility facilities and to fix the terms, conditions and rates and charges for use of such right-of-way; provided, no such agreement shall exempt a public service facility from the provisions of chapter 277a. In the case of public service companies, as defined in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 16-1, such charges or rates shall not exceed the actual administrative, construction, operation and maintenance costs of the department incurred as a result of the public service company's use of a nonlimited access state highway. The department may estimate such charges or rates and require prepayment of such charges or rates provided any amount in excess of the actual amount is refunded to the public service company.

      (P.A. 78-86; P.A. 04-143, S. 33; P.A. 05-210, S. 29.)

      History: P.A. 04-143 changed subject of agreement from use of right-of-way of limited access highway to use of right-of-way of state highway and made a technical change, effective May 21, 2004; P.A. 05-210 added provision specifying that in the case of public service companies, charges or rates shall not exceed actual administrative, construction, operation and maintenance costs of department as result of use by public service company of state highway and that department may estimate charges or rates and require prepayment provided any amount in excess of actual amount is refunded to public service company, effective July 6, 2005.

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PART IX
ABUTTING PROPERTY

      Sec. 13a-142e. Route 11 Greenway Authority Commission. Transfer of real property to Commissioner of Transportation. (a) The towns of East Lyme, Montville, Salem and Waterford may, by ordinance consistent with the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, establish a Route 11 Greenway Authority Commission which shall be deemed established at such time as the last of the four towns has adopted such ordinance.

      (b) Such ordinance shall specify the membership of the commission, which shall consist of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or said commissioner's designee, the Commissioner of Transportation, or said commissioner's designee, a member and alternate member from each of the towns of East Lyme, Montville, Salem and Waterford, appointed by the first selectman of each of said towns, and a member and alternate member of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments appointed by said agency. Each member and alternate member shall serve for a term of two years and until such member's successor is appointed and has qualified. Such appointments may be made at a meeting of the town's legislative body, to take effect when the last of the four towns has adopted such ordinance. An alternate member shall be empowered to vote on said commission in the absence of the member for whom such person is an alternate. The initial terms of members shall commence when the last of the four towns adopting such ordinance has appointed a member and an alternate member. Any vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the balance of the unexpired term. No appointed member shall receive any compensation for service on said commission. Said commission shall elect from its members a chairperson and such other officers as it deems necessary and shall establish its own rules of procedure. The commission shall be an autonomous body within the Department of Transportation for administrative purposes only. The commission may employ experts and such other assistants as it judges necessary and may accept funds from any source. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, any funds appropriated to the commission, or received by the commission from any other source, shall be held in the custody of the commission and expended by the commission for the purposes set forth in this section.

      (c) Such ordinance shall also require the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Transportation, not later than sixty days after May 26, 2000, to call a meeting of said commission which shall, within ninety days thereafter:

      (1) Hold public hearings for the purpose of developing standards for (A) defining the initial boundaries of the Route 11 Greenway, (B) planning the design, construction, maintenance and management of the Route 11 Greenway trail system and intermodal transportation access system, (C) identifying and prioritizing lands that should be added to the Route 11 Greenway, (D) recommending land use within the Route 11 Greenway, and (E) acquiring land and securing conservation easements for the Route 11 Greenway, except that nothing in public act 00-148* shall be construed to prohibit the acquisition of land within the Route 11 Greenway by a municipality; and

      (2) Establish by-laws by which the commission shall (A) conduct its meetings, including a provision specifying that no action by the commission shall be effective except by the concurring vote of at least four members, (B) protect and preserve the lands under its custody, (C) supervise staff, (D) maintain its records, and (E) report to the General Assembly, as required under subsection (d) of this section.

      (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or the general statutes, the commission may: (1) Acquire or convey by purchase, gift, lease, devise, exchange or otherwise, any land or interest therein including, but not limited to, conservation easements, located wholly or partly in the conservation zone, provided such acquisition does not utilize funds furnished by the state; (2) transfer, with the approval of the commissioner, any land or interest therein to the state with or without consideration, provided any funds received therefor shall not be deemed funds furnished by the state for the purposes of this section; (3) contribute or transfer funds to, and enter into agreements with, land trusts or other conservation organizations, to carry out the purposes of public act 00-148*; and (4) request the Commissioner of Transportation to acquire an interest in real property for use as part of the Route 11 Greenway trail system and, if acquired by said commissioner, accept the transfer of custody and control of such interest from said commissioner. Said commissioner may acquire any interest in real property for use as part of the Route 11 Greenway trail system in the same manner and with like powers as authorized and exercised by said commissioner in acquiring real property for highway purposes and may, upon request of the commission and pursuant to an act of the General Assembly, transfer custody and control of such interest in real property to the commission. The commission shall report to the General Assembly, on or before February fifteenth, annually, on its activities of the preceding year and on its finances. The existence of the commission shall terminate at such time as all of its member towns have withdrawn or it is abolished by the General Assembly.

      (P.A. 00-148, S. 40, 41; P.A. 05-131, S. 2.)

      *Public act 00-148 is entitled "An Act Revising Certain Transportation Laws". (See Reference Table captioned "Public Acts of 2000" following the Index which lists the sections amended, created or repealed by the act.)

      History: P.A. 00-148 effective May 26, 2000; P.A. 05-131 amended Subsec. (d) by adding Subdiv. (4) empowering commission to request Commissioner of Transportation to acquire interest in real property to be used for Route 11 Greenway trail system.

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PART X
LIABILITY

      Sec. 13a-144. Damages for injuries sustained on state highways or sidewalks.

      78 CA 796 reversed; with respect to degree of precision required of claimant in describing the place of injury, reasonable definiteness is all that can be expected or required. The notice must provide sufficient information as to the injury, its cause and the time and place of its occurrence to permit commissioner to gather information about the case intelligently. 273 C. 1. Rocks and debris falling on state highway from ledge above but not in roadway or so close to it to actually obstruct or impede travel not highway defect or cognizable design defect for purposes of statute. 274 C. 262.

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      Sec. 13a-153. State liability for bridle paths, pedestrian walks and bicycle paths and injuries thereon. (a) No person, firm or corporation performing or engaged in performing work under the provisions of section 13a-141 or contributing any labor, services, supplies or materials in connection therewith shall have any claim against the state either (1) for compensation or payment for such labor, services, supplies or materials, except to the extent that funds for the payment thereof have been deposited with the commissioner as provided in said section, or (2) for any injuries or damages to person or property suffered or incurred while performing such work or in connection therewith.

      (b) Each person, firm or corporation using the pedestrian walks, bicycle paths, bridle paths, entrances or exits provided for in section 13a-141, 13a-141a or 13a-142e, or using any lane or other part or facility of any highway, road, bridge or parking facility provided by the state for bicycle traffic or using the walk or path connections provided for in section 13a-142, shall do so at his, her or its own risk, and no liability shall accrue to the state or any agency, including the Route 11 Greenway Authority Commission created under section 13a-142e, or employee of the state for any injuries or damages to any person or property which may result, either directly or indirectly, from the use of such walks, paths, entrances, exits or connections.

      (1949 Rev., S. 2244, 2245; 1958 Rev., S. 13-130, 13-131; 1963, P.A. 226, S. 153; 1969, P.A. 643, S. 2; P.A. 75-305, S. 1, 2; P.A. 05-131, S. 1.)

      History: 1963 act replaced previous provisions: See title history; 1969 act included pedestrian and bicycle walks and paths; P.A. 75-305 added reference to Sec. 13a-141a and to lanes or parts of highways, roads, bridges or parking facilities for bicycle traffic in Subsec. (b); P.A. 05-131 amended Subsec. (b) by adding reference to Sec. 13a-142e and adding "including the Route 11 Greenway Authority Commission created under section 13a-142e".

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