HANNIBAL - Spring is just around the corner, and with warmer weather, construction and digging projects will soon be underway. Some people may not realize one common project, the installation of a new entrance, is something land and homeowners undertake that requires a permit through MoDOT.
"If you're intending to pave or construct a driveway entering onto a state highway, you must obtain a permit," said Brian Untiedt, MoDOT Traffic Operations Engineer. This permit is free, but is mandated by a state law for any construction done on state highway right-of-way.
If "Green acres is the place for me", and you are considering buying land to build a dream home, there are a few things to consider before making your purchase. One is access to your property. "Make sure you have adequate sight distance to install an entrance if one doesn't already exist, as this may not be an ideal site for an entrance," Untiedt explained. He also recommends obtaining an easement and make sure it is recorded if access to your land is provided by driving across an adjoining parcel. Another good suggestion is to find out who maintains the road, and if there is any cost for upkeep. Remember, before starting any work to contact Missouri One Call. There are many underground utilities that my present a problem if disturbed, and unmarked services may be dangerous if hit.
"We are happy to work with home or business owners intending to start driveway work," Untiedt said. "If contacted about issuing a permit, we will do an on-site inspection to make sure the proposed driveway or entrance will be safe, properly designed, and it will tie into the highway smoothly."
The MoDOT employee conducting the inspection will meet with the landowner to discuss guidelines for construction, to suggest the thickness and width of the new driveway and to address any drainage issues.
Any commercial driveway construction must be reviewed and approved by MoDOT. Commercial driveways require a refundable bond or deposit before construction can begin.
"MoDOT spends millions of dollars each year designing, constructing and maintaining state highways," Untiedt said. "This permitting process helps ensure private construction does not compromise the safety or integrity of Missouri's roadways."
Before starting any work you must obtain an application for a permit. The permit can be downloaded at http://www.modot.mo.gov/northeast/permits/index.htm or can be requested by mail. For more information or to obtain a permit, call MoDOT's Customer Service Center toll free at 1-888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636) during normal business hours.