Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 33.2. Highways and Other Surface Transportation Systems
Chapter 2. Transportation Entities
11/30/2020

Article 3. Commissioner of Highways.

§ 33.2-222. Commissioner of Highways.

The Commissioner of Highways shall be the chief executive officer of the Department of Transportation. The Commissioner of Highways shall be an experienced administrator able to direct and guide the Department in the establishment and achievement of the Department's core mission as provided in subsection B of § 33.2-256 and other transportation objectives determined by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

The Commissioner of Highways shall devote his entire time and attention to his duties as chief executive officer of the Department and shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by law. He shall also be reimbursed for his actual travel expenses while engaged in the discharge of his duties.

In the event of a vacancy due to the death, temporary disability, retirement, resignation, or removal of the Commissioner of Highways, the Governor may appoint and thereafter remove at his pleasure an "Acting Commissioner of Highways" until such time as the vacancy may be filled as provided in § 33.2-200. Such "Acting Commissioner of Highways" shall have all powers and perform all duties of the Commissioner of Highways as provided by law and shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the Governor. In the event of the temporary disability for any reason of the Commissioner of Highways, full effect shall be given to the provisions of § 2.2-605.

Code 1950, § 33-3; 1960, c. 271; 1963, Ex. Sess., c. 3; 1964, c. 265; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-3; 1974, c. 462; 1990, cc. 1, 317; 1995, cc. 195, 223; 2007, c. 896; 2014, c. 805; 2017, cc. 166, 273.

§ 33.2-223. General powers of Commissioner of Highways.

Except such powers as are conferred by law upon the Board and the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment of the Secretary of Transportation, the Commissioner of Highways shall have the power to do all acts necessary or convenient for constructing, improving, maintaining, and preserving the efficient operation of the highways embraced in the systems of state highways and to further the interests of the Commonwealth in the areas of public transportation, railways, seaports, and airports. And as executive head of the Department, the Commissioner of Highways is specifically charged with the duty of executing all orders and decisions of the Board and may, subject to the provisions of this chapter, require that all appointees and employees perform their duties under this chapter.

In addition, the Commissioner of Highways, in order to maximize efficiency, shall take such steps as may be appropriate to outsource or privatize any of the Department's functions that might reasonably be provided by the private sector. Procuring equipment and labor to ensure that adequate resources will be available to address emergency and weather-related events as they may arise, including snow and ice removal services, shall be considered an emergency under subsection F of § 2.2-4303, and the Commissioner of Highways shall have the authority to establish and utilize such procedures as he deems necessary and most efficient to obtain and ensure the availability of such services to protect the safety and security of the traveling public.

Code 1950, § 33-13; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-13; 1974, c. 462; 1978, c. 652; 1986, Sp. Sess., c. 13; 2007, cc. 863, 896, 928; 2014, c. 805; 2016, c. 538; 2018, c. 828.

§ 33.2-224. Employees; delegation of responsibilities.

The Commissioner of Highways shall employ such engineers, clerks, assistants, and other employees as may be needed and shall prescribe and fix their duties, including the delegation of duties and responsibilities conferred or imposed upon the Commissioner of Highways by law. They shall receive all salaries and expenses as may be fixed in accordance with the provisions of law.

Code 1950, § 33-7; 1952, c. 41; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-8; 1974, c. 462; 1982, c. 177; 1983, c. 127; 1995, cc. 195, 223; 2001, cc. 69, 87; 2011, cc. 36, 152; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-225. Liaison duties with other organizations.

Tasks and responsibilities concerning transportation program or project delivery shall be carried out as follows:

1. The Commissioner of Highways shall cooperate with the federal government, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and any other organization in the numbering, signing, and marking of highways; in the taking of measures for the promotion of highway safety; in research activities; in the preparation of standard specifications; in the testing of highway materials; and otherwise with respect to transportation projects.

2. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation may offer technical assistance and coordinate state resources, as available, to work with local governments, upon their request, in developing sound transportation components for their local comprehensive plans.

2013, cc. 585, 646, § 33.1-190.4; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-226. Authority to lease or convey airspace.

The Commissioner of Highways may lease or sell and convey the airspace superjacent or subjacent to any highway in the Commonwealth that is within his jurisdiction and in which the Commonwealth owns fee simple title after satisfying itself that use of the airspace will not impair the full use and safety of the highway or otherwise interfere with the free flow of traffic thereon and it cannot be reasonably foreseen as needed in the future for highway and other transit uses and purposes. The Commissioner of Highways may provide in such leases and conveyances of airspace for columns of support, in fee or otherwise, ingress, egress, and utilities.

No lease or conveyance shall be entered into by the Commissioner of Highways unless the locality, by action of its governing body by majority recorded vote, approves the projected use of the airspace in question and has taken such steps as it deems proper to regulate the type and use of the improvements to be erected in such airspace by appropriate zoning or other method of land use control.

All leases and conveyances shall contain those terms deemed necessary by the Commissioner of Highways to protect the interests of the Commonwealth and the public. The Commissioner of Highways may utilize any competitive procurement process authorized by law, including (i) competitive sealed bidding, (ii) competitive negotiation, (iii) best value procurements as defined in § 2.2-4301, and (iv) public-private partnerships pursuant to the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (§ 33.2-1800 et seq.), as determined by the Commissioner of Highways, in his sole discretion, to be appropriate and the method most likely to achieve the identified goals of the proposed lease or sale and conveyance of airspace. The Commissioner of Highways may reject any bid or offer that he believes is not in the best interest of the Commonwealth.

Compensation paid for such leases and conveyances shall be credited to the Priority Transportation Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1527.

1979, c. 431, § 33.1-183.1; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2014, c. 805; 2017, c. 278; 2020, cc. 1230, 1275.

§ 33.2-227. Defense of employees.

If any person employed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the Department of Transportation, or the Department of Rail and Public Transportation is arrested or indicted or otherwise prosecuted on any charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, the Commissioner of Highways or the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation may employ special counsel approved by the Attorney General to defend such employee. The compensation for special counsel employed, pursuant to this section, shall, subject to the approval of the Attorney General, be paid by the agency for which the employee works out of the funds appropriated for the administration of the Department of Transportation or the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

Code 1950, § 33-11.1; 1958, c. 542; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-11; 1974, c. 462; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-228. Agreements between Commissioner of Highways and certain localities.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 33.2-209, 33.2-214, and 33.2-221, the Commissioner of Highways, pursuant to a resolution adopted by the Board and following receipt of a resolution adopted by the governing body of a locality, may enter into an agreement with any such locality pursuant to which the locality assumes responsibility for the design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of highways or portions thereof in such locality, using funds allocated pursuant to § 33.2-371.

2004, c. 623, § 33.1-12.1; 2014, c. 805; 2015, c. 684.

§ 33.2-229. Furnishing information regarding right-of-way transactions.

Upon written request to the central office of the Department, the Commissioner of Highways shall furnish information regarding right-of-way transactions where any public funds are expended. Such information shall not be released prior to 60 days following the transaction to any person not a party directly interested in such transaction.

The information furnished under this section shall consist of (i) the name of the person to whom any sum was paid for land or interest therein, (ii) the amount of land or interest therein acquired from such person, and (iii) the amount paid such person for land and the amount paid for damage resulting to the remaining property of such person.

Code 1950, § 33-15.1; 1958, c. 316; 1960, c. 352; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-16; 1974, c. 462; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-230. Written notice of decision to dispose of real property.

Whenever the Board or the Department decides to sell or otherwise dispose of any surplus real property, the Commissioner of Highways shall provide written notice of such decision to the mayor or chairman of the governing body of the locality in which the property or any portion thereof is located. Any failure to provide or receive such notice shall not create a cloud on the title to the property.

1999, c. 287, § 33.1-223.2:2; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-231. Establish community service landscaping program.

The Commissioner of Highways shall establish a program whereby persons convicted of nonviolent misdemeanors who have received a suspended sentence or probation can fulfill their community service requirements by mowing rights-of-way and performing other landscaping maintenance tasks for roads and highways that the Department has the responsibility to maintain.

2008, c. 688, § 33.1-12.2; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-232. Biennial reports by Commissioner of Highways and the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment.

A. The Secretary of Transportation shall ensure that the reports required under subsections B and C are provided in writing to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board by the dates specified.

B. The Commissioner of Highways shall provide to each recipient specified in subsection A, no later than November 1 of each even-numbered year, a report, the content of which shall be specified by the Board and shall contain, at a minimum:

1. The methodology used to determine maintenance needs, including an explanation of the transparent methodology used for the allocation of funds from the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund pursuant to subsection A of § 33.2-352;

2. The methodology approved by the Board for the allocation of funds for state of good repair purposes as defined in § 33.2-369 and, if necessary, an explanation and rationale for any waiver of the cap provided for in subsection B of § 33.2-369;

3. The expenditures from the Highway Maintenance and Operating Program for the past fiscal year by asset class or activity and by construction district as well as the planned expenditure for the current fiscal year;

4. A description of transportation systems management and operations in the Commonwealth and the operating condition of primary and secondary state highways, including location and average duration of incidents;

5. A listing of prioritized pavement and bridge needs based on the priority ranking system developed by the Board pursuant to § 33.2-369 and a description of the priority ranking system;

6. A description of actions taken to improve highway operations within the Commonwealth, including the use of funds in the Innovation and Technology Transportation Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1531;

7. The use of funds in the Special Structure Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1532;

8. The status of the Interstate Operations and Enhancement Program, including, at a minimum, the allocation of revenues for the program, the current and projected performance of each interstate highway corridor, and the anticipated benefits of funded strategies, capital improvements, and services by the interstate highway; and

9. A review of the Department's collaboration with the private sector in delivering services.

C. The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment of the Secretary of Transportation shall provide to each recipient specified in subsection A, no later than November 1 of each odd-numbered year, a report, the content of which shall be specified by the Board and shall contain, at a minimum:

1. A list of transportation projects approved or modified during the prior fiscal year, including whether each such project was evaluated pursuant to § 33.2-214.1 and the program from which each such project received funding;

2. The results of the most recent project evaluations pursuant to § 33.2-214.1, including a comparison of (i) projects selected for funding with projects not selected for funding, (ii) funding allocated by district and by mode of transportation, and (iii) the size of projects selected for funding;

3. The current performance of the Commonwealth's surface transportation system, the targets for future performance, and the progress toward such targets based on the measures developed pursuant to § 2.2-229;

4. The status of the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, including the balance in the Bank, funding commitments made over the prior fiscal year, and performance of the current loan portfolio;

5. The status of the Toll Facilities Revolving Account, including the balance in the account, project commitments from the account, repayment schedules, and the performance of the current loan portfolio; and

6. Progress made toward achieving the performance targets established by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

D. The purpose of the reports required pursuant to this section is to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of transportation funds. Reports required by this section shall be made available to the public on the website of the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

2011, cc. 36, 152, § 33.1-13.03; 2014, cc. 290, 805; 2015, c. 684; 2016, c. 711; 2017, c. 537; 2018, c. 828; 2020, cc. 1230, 1275.

§ 33.2-233. Gathering and reporting of information and statistics.

The Commissioner of Highways and the Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation shall gather and tabulate information and statistics relating to transportation and disseminate the same throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, the Commissioner of Highways shall provide a report to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Board, and the public concerning the current status of all highway construction projects in the Commonwealth. This report shall be posted at least four times each fiscal year but may be updated more often as circumstances allow. The report shall contain, at a minimum, the following information for every project in the Six-Year Improvement Program: (i) project description; (ii) total cost estimate; (iii) funds expended to date; (iv) project timeline and completion date; (v) statement of whether project is ahead of, on, or behind schedule; (vi) the name of the prime contractor; (vii) total expenditures of federal transportation funds in each county and city; (viii) total expenditures of state transportation funds in each county and city; (ix) statewide totals for federal, state, and local funds expended for highways; (x) statewide totals for federal, state, and local funds expended for transit; (xi) total funds expended on intercity passenger and freight rail line and trains; and (xii) total funds expended in each federal and state programmatic category. Use of one or more websites may be used to satisfy this requirement. Project-specific information posted on the Internet shall be updated daily as information is available.

2013, cc. 585, 646, § 33.1-13.05; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-234. Construction by state or local employees.

A. Irrespective of the provisions of § 33.2-235, in cases of emergency or on any project reasonably estimated to cost not more than $600,000, the Commissioner of Highways may build or maintain any of the highways in the systems of state highways by state employees or local employees as he may designate.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the Commissioner of Highways may enter into a written agreement with a locality for the building and maintenance of any of the highways in the systems of state highways by local employees provided that (i) the locality has obtained a cost estimate for the work of not more than $1 million and (ii) the locality has issued an invitation for bid and has received fewer than two bids from private entities to build or maintain such highways.

Code 1950, § 33-104; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-190; 1977, c. 678; 1982, c. 647; 1985, c. 130; 1986, Sp. Sess., c. 9; 2006, cc. 434, 480; 2008, c. 472; 2010, cc. 22, 50; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-235. Procurement.

All projects reasonably estimated to cost $300,000 or more that the Board or the Commissioner of Highways may undertake for construction shall be let in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.). When such projects are reasonably estimated to cost below $300,000, the Commissioner of Highways may let them to contract, and if such projects are let to contract, they shall be let only in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act.

As used in this section, "project" means construction and does not include routine maintenance work or the installation of traffic control devices, unless such work is to be performed under contract.

Code 1950, § 33-99; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-185; 1973, c. 229; 1977, c. 678; 1978, c. 144; 1982, c. 647; 1992, c. 108; 2010, cc. 22, 50; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-236. Maps or plats prepared at request and expense of local governing bodies and other groups; Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to seek other existing sources.

The Commissioner of Highways may prepare photogrammetric maps or plats of specific sites or areas at the request of the governing bodies of localities of the Commonwealth, local nonprofit industrial development agencies, planning district commissions, soil and water conservation districts, metropolitan planning organizations, public service authorities, and local chambers of commerce. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy shall first review the request to determine whether suitable or alternate maps or plats are currently available, and the local governing body, agency, or chamber shall agree to reimburse the Department of Transportation for the cost of producing the maps or plats.

Code 1950, § 33-136.2; 1962, c. 96; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-222; 1982, c. 184; 1984, c. 590; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-237. Directional signs for certain educational institutions.

For the purpose of this section, "Virginia educational institution" means a for-profit educational institution with its main campus located in the Commonwealth that (i) has, for at least five consecutive years prior to making a request under this section, awarded academic degrees approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; (ii) offers programs in workforce training or job readiness that contribute to Virginia's economic growth and development; and (iii) has a combined annual enrollment of at least 1,000 students at its main campus and any branch location situated within a radius of 25 miles from the main campus.

Upon request from a Virginia educational institution, the Commissioner of Highways shall erect and maintain signs at appropriate and conspicuous locations along interstate, primary, or secondary highways providing motorists directions to the main or branch location of any such institution. All costs associated with production and erection of signs under this section shall be borne by the affected institution, but all costs associated with maintenance of those signs shall be borne by the Department.

Signs erected by the Department under this section shall be placed in accordance with all applicable Department regulations.

1999, c. 310, § 33.1-223.2:3; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-238. Closing highways for safety of public or proper completion of construction; injury to barriers, signs, etc.

If it appears to the Commissioner of Highways necessary for the safety of the traveling public or for proper completion of work that is being performed to close any highway under his jurisdiction to all traffic or any class of traffic, the Commissioner of Highways may close, or cause to be closed, the whole or any portion of such highway deemed necessary to be excluded from public travel and may exclude all or any class of traffic from such closed portion. While any such highway or portion thereof is so closed, or while any such highway or portion thereof is in process of construction or maintenance, the Commissioner of Highways, or contractor under authority from the Commissioner of Highways, may erect, or cause to be erected, suitable barriers or obstructions thereon, may post, or cause to be posted, conspicuous notices to the effect that the highway or portion thereof is closed and may place warning signs, lights, and lanterns on such highway or portion thereof. When such highway is closed for the safety of the traveling public or in process of construction or maintenance as provided in this section, any person who willfully breaks down, drives into new construction work, removes, injures, or destroys any such barrier or barriers or obstructions, tears down, removes, or destroys any such notices, or extinguishes, removes, injures, or destroys any such warning lights or lanterns so erected, posted, or placed is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 33-109; 1958, c. 547; 1968, c. 162; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-193; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-239. Providing highway detours.

Whenever necessary, the Commissioner of Highways shall select, lay out, maintain, and keep in as good repair as possible suitable detours, by the most practical route, while the highways are being improved or constructed, and he shall place or cause to be placed explicit directions to the traveling public during repair of any such highway under process of construction.

Code 1950, § 33-110; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-194; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-240. Connections over shoulders of highways for intersecting private roads.

The Commissioner of Highways shall permit suitable connections from where private roads leading to and from private homes intersect improved highways and over and across the shoulders and unimproved parts of such highways to the paved or otherwise improved parts thereof to provide the users of such private roads safe and convenient means of ingress and egress with motor vehicles to and from the paved or otherwise improved parts of such highways.

Code 1950, § 33-116; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-197; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-241. Connections over shoulders of highways for intersecting commercial establishment entrances; penalty.

The Commissioner of Highways shall permit suitable connections from where commercial establishment entrances are desired to intersect improved highways and over and across the shoulders and unimproved parts of such highways to the paved or otherwise improved parts thereof that comply with the access management standards of the Commissioner of Highways for the location, spacing, and design of entrances, taking into account the operating characteristics and federal functional classification of the highway, to provide the users of such entrances safe and convenient means of ingress and egress with motor vehicles to and from the paved or otherwise improved parts of such highways while minimizing the impact of such ingress and egress on the operation of such highways, provided that any person desiring such an entrance shall:

1. Be required first to obtain a permit therefor from the Commissioner of Highways;

2. Provide the entrance at his expense;

3. If required by the Commissioner of Highways, provide for the joint use of the desired entrance with adjacent property owners or provide evidence of such efforts; and

4. Construct the entrance or have the entrance constructed, including such safety structures as are required by the Commissioner of Highways, pursuant to the Department of Transportation's design standards and applicable Department regulations concerning access management and applicable Board regulations concerning land use permits.

All commercial entrances whether or not constructed under this section shall be maintained by the owner of the premises at all times in a manner satisfactory to the Commissioner of Highways.

Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $100 for each offense. Following a conviction and 15 days for correction, each day during which the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense and be punishable as such. Such person shall be civilly liable to the Commonwealth for actual damage sustained by the Commonwealth by reason of his wrongful act.

The Commissioner of Highways shall document and maintain a list of anyone who has requested an onsite meeting with the resident engineer or his staff. Such list shall also include recommendations made pursuant to the Department of Transportation's design standards and applicable Department regulations concerning access management and applicable Board regulations concerning land use permits and any associated cost estimates. Such list shall be provided to a locality upon the request of such locality.

Code 1950, § 33-116.1; 1956, c. 91; 1966, c. 378; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-198; 2005, c. 645; 2007, cc. 863, 928; 2014, c. 805; 2017, c. 542.

§ 33.2-242. Replacing entrances destroyed in the repair or construction of highways.

The Commissioner of Highways shall review the existing access to any parcel of land having an entrance destroyed in the repair or construction of the systems of state highways and shall provide access to the systems of state highways in a manner that will serve the parcel of land and ensure efficient and safe highway operation.

Code 1950, § 33-117; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-199; 2007, cc. 863, 928; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-243. Paying for damages sustained to personal property by reason of work projects, etc.

The Commissioner of Highways may pay and settle claims and demands against the Commonwealth arising as a result of damages sustained to personal property by reason of work projects or the operation of state-owned or operated equipment when engaged in the construction, reconstruction, or maintenance of the primary state highway system, unless said claims or demands arise as a result of negligence of the person asserting such claims or demands. Nothing in this section shall be construed as imposing any legal liability upon the Commonwealth to pay such claims or demands, nor as giving the consent of the Commonwealth to be sued in any action or suit to recover on such claims or demands in the event the Commissioner of Highways refuses payment of said claims or demands.

Code 1950, § 33-117.1; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-200; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-244. Removal of snow and ice from public highways by private entities.

Upon request by a person, the Commissioner of Highways may authorize such person to hire private persons, firms, contractors, or entities to remove snow and ice from any public highway in Planning District 8, provided that there will be no costs to the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions for work pursuant to this section. No private person, firm, contractor, or entity employed to remove snow and ice from any public highway shall be afforded sovereign immunity or immunity in any form whatsoever. Private persons, firms, contractors, or entities so employed shall be liable for civil damages, including damages for death, injury, or property damage resulting from any act or omission relating to the removal of snow and ice from public highways. Nothing contained in this section shall limit the authority of the Commissioner of Highways granted under other provisions of law to authorize or contract for the removal of snow and ice from public highways.

1996, c. 714, § 33.1-200.2; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-245. Comprehensive highway access management standards.

A. For purposes of this section, "comprehensive highway access management standards" means a coordinated set of state standards and guidelines that allow the Commonwealth and its localities to manage access to the systems of state highways according to their federal functional classification or operational characteristics through the control of and improvements to the location, number, spacing, and design of entrances, median openings, turn lanes, street intersections, traffic signals, and interchanges.

B. The General Assembly declares it to be in the public interest that comprehensive highway access management standards be developed and implemented to enhance the operation and safety of the systems of state highways in order to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare while ensuring that private property is entitled to reasonable access to the systems of state highways. The goals of the comprehensive highway access management standards are:

1. To reduce traffic congestion and impacts to the level of service of highways, leading to reduced fuel consumption and air pollution;

2. To enhance public safety by decreasing traffic crash rates;

3. To support economic development in the Commonwealth by promoting the efficient movement of people and goods;

4. To reduce the need for new highways and road widening by improving the performance of the existing systems of state highways; and

5. To preserve public investment in new highways by maximizing their performance.

C. The Commissioner of Highways shall develop and implement comprehensive highway access management standards for managing access to and preserving and improving the efficient operation of the systems of state highways. The comprehensive highway access management standards shall include standards and guidelines for the location, number, spacing, and design of entrances, median openings, turn lanes, street intersections, traffic signals, and interchanges.

Nothing in such standards shall preempt the authority of a local government to regulate the type or density of land uses abutting the systems of state highways.

The Commissioner of Highways shall require that any official who approves any highway access project shall certify that he has applied due diligence in approving such project and that such approval is, in his professional opinion, consistent with the minimum standards developed pursuant to this section. An appeal of the denial, revocation, or conditions of a permit shall be in accordance with the provisions of 24VAC30-73-50.

2007, cc. 863, 928, § 33.1-198.1; 2014, c. 805; 2019, c. 157.

§ 33.2-246. Recreational waysides; regulations; penalties.

A. To promote the safety, convenience, and enjoyment of travel on, and protection of the public investment in, highways of the Commonwealth and for the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of scenic beauty within and adjoining such highways, it is hereby declared to be in the public interest to acquire and establish recreational waysides and areas of scenic beauty adjoining the highways of the Commonwealth.

B. The Commissioner of Highways may, whenever in his opinion it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth, accept from the United States, or any authorized agency thereof, a grant or grants of any recreational waysides established and constructed by the United States, or any such agency thereof, or a grant or grants of funds for landscaping and scenic enhancement of highways, and the Commissioner of Highways may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, enter into a contract or contracts with the United States, or any such agency thereof, to maintain and operate any such recreational waysides that may be so granted to the Commonwealth and may do all things necessary to receive and expend federal funds for landscaping and scenic enhancement.

C. The Commissioner of Highways may, whenever it is in the best interest of the operation of the Interstate System or the primary or secondary state highway system, establish, construct, maintain, and operate appropriate recreational waysides and areas of scenic beauty adjoining such highways.

D. The Commissioner of Highways may acquire by purchase, gift, or the power of eminent domain such land or interest in land as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, provided that in exercising the power of eminent domain for areas of scenic beauty, such areas adjoin and lie within 100 feet of the right-of-way of the highway, and the procedure shall be, mutatis mutandis, as provided for the acquisition of land by the Commissioner of Highways in Article 1 (§ 33.2-1000 et seq.) of Chapter 10.

E. The Board may establish regulations for the use of recreational waysides, including regulations relating to (i) the time, place, and manner of parking of vehicles; (ii) activities that may be conducted within such waysides; (iii) solicitation and selling within the waysides; and (iv) such other matters as may be necessary or expedient in the interest of the motoring public.

The regulations when adopted by the Board shall be posted in a conspicuous place at each wayside, along with such other signs as the Commissioner of Highways deems necessary to advise the public.

Any person violating any regulation adopted under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $100 for each offense.

F. Recreational waysides and areas of scenic beauty when acquired, established, maintained, and operated in accordance with this section shall be deemed to be a part of the Interstate System or primary or secondary state highway system but land acquired for areas of scenic beauty shall not be deemed a part of the right-of-way for the purpose of future acquisition of areas of scenic beauty under the provisions of subsections A through D.

Code 1950, §§ 33-133, 33-133.1, 33-134; 1966, c. 470; 1968, c. 566; 1970, c. 322, §§ 33.1-217, 33.1-218, 33.1-219; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-247. Wetlands mitigation banking.

When authorization is required by federal or state law for any project affecting wetlands and such authorization is conditioned upon compensatory mitigation for adverse impacts to wetlands, the Commissioner of Highways is authorized to expend funds for the purchase of, or is authorized to use, credits from any wetlands mitigation bank, including any owned by the Department of Transportation, that has been approved and is operating in accordance with applicable federal and state guidance, laws, or regulations for the establishment, use, and operation of mitigation banks as long as (i) the bank is in the same fourth order subbasin, as defined by the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset or by the hydrologic unit system or dataset utilized and depicted or described in the bank's approved mitigation banking instrument, as the impacted site, or in an adjacent subbasin within the same river watershed as the impacted site, or it meets all the conditions found in clauses (a) through (d) and either clause (e) or (f); (ii) the bank is ecologically preferable to practicable on-site and off-site individual mitigation options, as defined by federal wetland regulations; and (iii) the banking instrument, if approved after July 1, 1996, has been approved by a process that included public review and comment. When the bank is not located in the same subbasin or adjacent subbasin within the same river watershed as the impacted site, the purchase or use of credits shall not be allowed unless the Commissioner of Highways demonstrates to the satisfaction of the agency requiring compensatory mitigation that (a) the impacts will occur as a result of a Department of Transportation linear project; (b) there is no practical same river watershed mitigation alternative; (c) the impacts are less than one acre in a single and complete project within a subbasin; (d) there is no significant harm to water quality or fish and wildlife resources within the river watershed of the impacted site; and either (e) impacts within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are mitigated within the Chesapeake Bay watershed as close as possible to the impacted site or (f) impacts within subbasins 02080108, 02080208, and 03010205, as defined by the National Watershed Boundary Dataset, are mitigated in-kind within those subbasins, as close as possible to the impacted site. After July 1, 2002, the provisions of clause (f) shall apply only to impacts within subdivisions of the listed subbasins where overlapping watersheds exist, as determined by the Department of Environmental Quality, provided the Department of Environmental Quality has made such a determination by that date. For the purposes of this subsection, the hydrologic unit boundaries of the National Watershed Boundary Dataset or other hydrologic unit system may be adjusted by the Department of Environmental Quality to reflect site-specific geographic or hydrologic information provided by the bank sponsor.

For the purposes of this section, "river watershed" means the Potomac River Basin, Shenandoah River Basin, James River Basin, Rappahannock River Basin, Roanoke and Yadkin Rivers Basin, Chowan River Basin (including the Dismal Swamp and Albemarle Sound), Tennessee River Basin, Big Sandy River Basin, Chesapeake Bay and its Small Coastal Basins, Atlantic Ocean, York River Basin, and New River Basin.

1996, c. 736, § 33.1-223.2:1; 1999, c. 8; 2011, c. 253; 2014, cc. 332, 805.

§ 33.2-248. Expenditure of funds for interstate bridges and approaches.

The Commissioner of Highways may expend from funds available for construction or maintenance of roads or highways, either alone or in cooperation with public road authorities of other states, such funds as he may deem necessary for the construction, maintenance, operation, and repair of interstate highway bridges, tunnels, and approaches forming connecting links between highways in the systems of state highways and public roads of other states.

Code 1950, § 33-172; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-248; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-249. Maintenance and operation of bridges or tunnels on the city and state line.

The governing bodies of cities and towns having populations greater than 3,500 and the Commissioner of Highways may enter into agreements, upon such terms and conditions as may be necessary, for the maintenance of public highway bridges or tunnels lying partly within and partly outside the incorporated limits of such cities and towns.

The Commissioner of Highways may enter into agreements with other states and the District of Columbia, upon such terms and conditions as may be necessary, for the maintenance and operation, including the issuance of permits, of public highway bridges or tunnels lying partly within and partly outside the territorial limits of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 33-172.1; 1956, c. 28; 1964, c. 374; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-249; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-250. Improving certain private roads and certain town streets and roads.

A. The Commissioner of Highways may, upon the request of the governing body of any county and at the expense of the owner of the land, improve private roads giving direct access from the home or other central buildings on the property along the shortest practical route to the nearest public highway, provided that:

1. The Commissioner of Highways shall in no case undertake any such work until certification is made by the governing body of the county that the property owner cannot secure the services of a private contractor to perform the work nor then until the owner has deposited with him a certified check in the amount estimated by the Commissioner of Highways as the cost of the work;

2. Not more than $1,000 shall be expended on any one such private project in any one year; and

3. No work of ordinary maintenance shall be done on any such private road under the provisions of this section.

B. In addition, the Commissioner of Highways may, upon the request of the council of any town having a population of less than 1,500 and at the expense of such town, improve and maintain any streets or roads in such town and not in the primary state highway system. As to streets and roads in such town, no certification by the board of supervisors or deposit shall be necessary.

C. Any work done by the Commissioner of Highways pursuant to the provisions of this section shall only be done with the equipment and employees of the Department.

Code 1950, § 33-118; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-201; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-251. Installation and maintenance of "children at play" signs in counties and towns.

The governing body of any county or town may enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Highways allowing the county or town to install and maintain, at locations specified in such agreement, signs alerting motorists that children may be at play nearby. The cost of the signs and their installation shall be paid by the county or town.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any county that has withdrawn its roads from the secondary state highway system under the provisions of § 11 of Chapter 415 of the Acts of Assembly of 1932 and has not elected to return.

1997, c. 167, § 33.1-210.2; 2006, c. 548; 2012, c. 179; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-252. Tramways and railways along or across public highways; appeals.

A. Whenever any person, firm, or chartered company engaged in mining, manufacturing, or lumber getting has acquired the right-of-way for a tramway or railway, except across or upon a public highway, and desires to cross such highway or some part thereof and if such person, firm, or chartered company cannot agree with the Commissioner of Highways, or governing body of a county if the road is a county road in a county where the roads are not within the secondary state highway system, as to the terms and conditions of such crossing, the circuit court of the county in which such highway may be may prescribe such regulations for the crossing of such highway as will protect the public, and when such regulations have been prescribed, such tramway or railway may be constructed and maintained or if already constructed may be maintained in accordance with such regulations as may be made on the application of the owner of such tramway or railway or on the motion of the attorney for the Commonwealth after notice to such owner.

B. The Commissioner of Highways or governing body or the applicant or owner of the tramway or railway may appeal from the order of the circuit court in the manner prescribed for appeals in controversies concerning roads.

C. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as giving the right to condemn private property for such tramway or railway, nor shall the rights of any tramway or railway lawfully acquired be affected.

Code 1950, §§ 33-126, 33-127, 33-128; 1970, c. 322, §§ 33.1-211, 33.1-212, 33.1-213; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-253. Highway safety corridor program.

The Commissioner of Highways shall establish a highway safety corridor program under which a portion of highways in the primary state highway system and Interstate System may be designated by the Commissioner of Highways as highway safety corridors to address highway safety problems through law enforcement, education, and safety enhancements. In consultation with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Superintendent of State Police, the Commissioner of Highways shall establish criteria for the designation and evaluation of highway safety corridors, including a review of crash data, accident reports, type and volume of vehicle traffic, and engineering and traffic studies. The Commissioner of Highways shall hold a public hearing prior to the adoption of the criteria to be used for designating a highway safety corridor. The Commissioner of Highways shall hold a minimum of one public hearing before designating any specific highway corridor as a highway safety corridor. The public hearing or hearings for a specific corridor shall be held at least 30 days prior to the designation at a location as close to the proposed corridor as practical.

The Department of Transportation shall erect signs that designate highway safety corridors and the penalties for violations committed within the designated corridors.

2003, c. 877, § 33.1-223.2:8; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-254. Erection and maintenance of newspaper route boxes.

The publishers of all newspapers having a circulation in rural sections of the Commonwealth may erect and maintain suitable newspaper route boxes along and on the rights-of-way of the public highways throughout such rural sections, in which to deposit newspapers for their subscribers. The short name of the newspaper to be deposited in each such box, but nothing more, may be plainly printed thereon. All such boxes shall be located so they do not interfere with or endanger public travel on highways. All such locations shall meet with the approval of the Commissioner of Highways.

Code 1950, § 33-122; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-206; 1979, c. 427; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-255. Sale or lease of properties acquired for highway construction.

To the extent not otherwise prohibited by law, the Commissioner of Highways may sell or otherwise dispose of any improvements on lands acquired for highway construction projects or lease such land and improvements until such time as the land is needed for immediate highway construction purposes. Any residue parcels of lands so acquired that are found to be unnecessary for highway purposes may be sold or otherwise disposed of by the Commissioner of Highways.

Code 1950, § 33-75.8; 1964, c. 263; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-140; 2014, c. 805.