5517.03 Closing highways or bridges.

The director of transportation shall, at the time the director indorses the director's approval upon the surveys, plans, profiles, and specifications covering any proposed project, determine whether the making of the improvement will require the closing to traffic of the highway, bridge, or culvert involved and, if the director finds it necessary to close the same to traffic, the extent to which the same shall be closed. Such finding shall be indorsed on the plans. Plans and specifications for the construction of any project, whenever practicable, shall be prepared so as to avoid closing to traffic at any time the entire width of the highway, bridge, or culvert being improved. Upon receipt of written notice from the director ordering the highway, bridge, or culvert, or any part thereof, to be opened for travel, the contractor shall remove all barriers and obstructions and put the highway, bridge, or culvert or such portions thereof as the director orders, in such condition for travel as the director orders.

No contractor or other persons shall close a highway or bridge being improved by the state, unless that action has first been determined to be necessary by the director. If the director determines that the making of the improvement will require the closing to traffic of the highway, bridge, or culvert, the director shall further determine whether it is practicable to construct within the limits of the highway or to provide a new location for and construct a temporary highway, bridge, or culvert to be used by travelers in lieu of the closed highway, bridge, or culvert. The director's determination in respect to all matters set forth in this section shall be indorsed in writing upon the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications. If the director determines that it is impracticable to construct a temporary highway or bridge the director shall cause to be included as a part of the plans for improvement, plans, specifications, and estimates for all necessary and proper barriers and uniform detour signs. Signs must be so placed and maintained as to conspicuously indicate the points at which it is necessary for traffic to leave the closed highway, and plainly mark the most direct and practicable route to be followed, indicating the road to be followed by the detoured traffic at all road crossings and forks. The costs and expenses of constructing temporary highways or bridges or placing barriers and detour signs shall be included in and regarded as a part of the costs and expenses of the improvement, and shall be paid accordingly. No contractor or employee of the department of transportation, when the state is proceeding by force account, shall close any highway, bridge, or culvert until such temporary highway or bridge has been constructed or such barriers and detour signs have been placed. Immediately upon the reopening of the highway, bridge, or culvert, the contractor or employee of the department in charge of the work, in case the state is proceeding by force account, shall immediately remove all barriers and detour signs. Only that portion of any highway shall be closed at any one time as is considered reasonably necessary by the director. The right-of-way for temporary highways and bridges shall, where a private right-of-way is necessary, be provided by the director, and all temporary highways, bridges, and culverts and detour signs shall be maintained by the contractor until the permanent highway, bridge, or culvert is completed and reopened for traffic. For the purpose of locating, constructing, and erecting temporary highways or bridges the director, or any persons acting under the director's authority, may enter upon lands adjoining or near to a highway to be closed and agree with the owners of the lands as to damages caused thereby. If the director is unable to agree with the owners as to the amount of damages sustained, the amount thereof shall be ascertained, determined, and paid as set out in the case of the condemnation of highway right-of-way.

If the director determines that it is impracticable to construct, either within the limits of the highway or upon a new location over private lands, a temporary highway, bridge, or culvert to be used by travelers, in lieu of the closed highway, bridge, or culvert, the director shall, before closing to traffic the highway, bridge, or culvert to be constructed, improved, or repaired, select the most practicable direct detour route over existing highways and cause detour signs to be placed and maintained along that route. The director shall, before the closing to traffic of the highway, bridge, or culvert to be constructed, improved, or repaired, place in passable condition for traffic the detour route so selected and marked by the director and maintain it in a passable condition for traffic during the entire time that the highway, bridge, or culvert under construction is closed to traffic. The director shall, at the time of the opening to traffic of the highway, bridge, or culvert so constructed, restore the detour route to as good condition as it was at the time of its selection by the director as a detour route. In instances where traffic from the closed highway, bridge, or culvert causes damage by using a route other than the selected detour, the director shall maintain such other route in a passable condition and restore it in the same manner as if it were the selected detour route. The director is not required to maintain and restore more than one such additional detour route, except that upon petition from the appropriate local legislative authority the director shall maintain and restore more than one additional detour route if the director finds that traffic from the closed highway, bridge, or culvert caused damage to the additional detour routes that are the subject of the petition.

Cite as R.C. § 5517.03

History. Effective Date: 06-30-1991; 2007 HB67 07-03-2007