Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 33.2. Highways and Other Surface Transportation Systems
12/16/2019

Chapter 4. Limited Access Highways, Scenic Highways and Virginia Byways, and Highways over Dams.

§ 33.2-400. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Limited access highway" means a highway especially designed for through traffic, over which abutters have no easement or right of light, air, or access by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited access highway.

"Scenic highway" means a highway, designated as such by the Board, within a protected scenic corridor located, designed, and constructed so as to preserve and enhance the natural beauty and cultural value of the countryside.

"Virginia byway" means a highway, designated as such by the Board, having relatively high aesthetic or cultural value, leading to or within areas of historical, natural, or recreational significance.

Code 1950, §§ 33-37, 33-43.3; 1966, c. 11; 1970, c. 322, §§ 33.1-57, 33.1-64; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-401. Power and authority of Commonwealth Transportation Board relating to limited access highways.

The Board may plan, designate, acquire, open, construct, reconstruct, improve, maintain, discontinue, abandon, and regulate the use of limited access highways in the same manner in which it is now or may be authorized to plan, designate, acquire, open, construct, reconstruct, improve, maintain, discontinue, abandon, and regulate the use of other highways within the Commonwealth. The Board shall also have any and all other additional authority and power relative to other highways, which shall include the right to acquire by purchase, eminent domain, grant, or dedication title to such lands or rights-of-way for such limited access highways.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Code, any highway, street, or portion thereof to which access rights of abutters have been acquired by the Board and which is subsequently incorporated into the street system of a city or town by any method shall remain limited access until and unless the governing body of the city or town, after securing the approval of the Board, acts to discontinue such limited access feature.

Code 1950, § 33-38; 1950, p. 476; 1962, c. 348; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-58; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-402. Designating existing highway as limited access highway; extinguishing easements of access.

The Board may designate all or any part of an existing highway as a limited access highway. When an existing highway is so designated, the Board shall where necessary extinguish all existing easements of access, light, or air.

Code 1950, § 33-39; 1950, p. 476; 1958, c. 571; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-59; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-403. Business enterprises restricted on limited access highway right-of-way.

No commercial establishment or business enterprise shall be constructed or located upon any right-of-way of any limited access highway.

Code 1950, § 33-40.1; 1958, c. 490; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-60; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-404. Service roads parallel to limited access highways; standards for access, service, etc.

The Department may construct service roads parallel to a limited access highway in order to provide access at designated points for property owners abutting on the limited access highway and after the construction of such service roads shall maintain and regulate traffic over them.

The construction or alteration of any access, feeder, or service road that is to serve properties isolated by construction of a limited access highway shall meet all minimum state standards or the standards of the cities or towns with a population of more than 3,500, or of counties that maintain their own road networks, as provided for by ordinance, whichever is more strict.

Code 1950, § 33-41; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-61; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-405. Designation of scenic highways and Virginia byways.

The Board is authorized to designate any highway as a scenic highway or as a Virginia byway. This designation shall be made in cooperation with the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Prior to designation, the local governing body and local planning commission, if any, in each county or city wherein the proposed scenic highway or Virginia byway is located shall be given notice and, upon request by any of the local governing bodies, the Board shall hold a hearing in one of the counties or cities wherein the proposed scenic highway or Virginia byway is located.

Code 1950, § 33-43.1; 1966, c. 11; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-62; 1974, c. 319; 1984, c. 739; 1989, c. 656; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-406. Selecting Virginia byways.

In selecting a Virginia byway, the Board and the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation shall give preference to corridors controlled by zoning or otherwise, so as to reasonably protect the aesthetic or cultural value of the highway.

Code 1950, § 33-43.2; 1966, c. 11; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-63; 1984, c. 739; 1989, c. 656; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-407. Signage of scenic highways and Virginia byways.

When the Board designates a highway as a scenic highway or as a Virginia byway, it shall be appropriately signed as such.

Code 1950, § 33-43.4; 1966, c. 11; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-65; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-408. Acquisition of adjacent land.

When the Board has designated a highway as a Virginia byway or as a scenic highway, the Commissioner of Highways may acquire by gift or purchase such land, or interests therein, of primary importance for the preservation of natural beauty adjacent to Virginia byways or scenic highways.

Code 1950, § 33-43.5; 1966, c. 11; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-66; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-409. Duty of owner or occupier of dam over which state highway passes; penalty.

Every owner or occupier of a dam over which a state highway passes shall keep such dam in good order, at least 12 feet wide at the top, and also keep in good order the substructure of a bridge of like width over the pier heads, floodgates, or any wastecut through or around the dam, provided that when these requirements have been met, the superstructure of any such bridge shall be maintained by the Commissioner of Highways. The Commissioner of Highways shall inspect all such bridges and report any needed repairs to the owner in writing. If such owner fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter, he is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $2 for every such failure of 24 hours. However, if a milldam is carried away or destroyed by flood or any other extraordinary natural cause, the owner or occupier thereof shall not be subject to such fine until one month after any mill operated in whole or in part by water impounded by such dam has been put into operation by such waterpower.

Code 1950, § 33-90; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-176; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-410. Duties of Commissioner of Highways related to dams over which a state highway passes.

The Commissioner of Highways may, at his own cost and expense, widen or strengthen any dam or bridge over which a state highway passes to a sufficient width to provide properly for traffic that uses that section of highway of which such dam or bridge forms a part. The Commissioner of Highways shall maintain the highway surface on such sections of highway.

Code 1950, § 33-91; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-177; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-411. Raising or lowering floodgates.

The owner or occupier of a dam shall raise or lower the floodgates on such dam when there is an impending flood in order to reduce the level of the water in the pond, and when it comes to the attention of the Commissioner of Highways that this has not been done, or that the owner is unable to reach the spillway in order to do so, the Commissioner of Highways may perform this duty.

Code 1950, § 33-92; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-178; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-412. Reconstruction if dam is washed out.

If a dam is washed out and the owner refuses to replace the dam, the Commissioner of Highways, with or without the consent of such owner or occupier, may construct a highway across the dam, but in case the owner desires to replace the dam and use the pond, he shall be permitted to do so by paying to the Commissioner of Highways one-half of the cost and expenses of replacing the dam, up to a width of 12 feet at the top, and the difference between the cost, if any, of replacing the bridge normally required to carry the water of the stream and the cost of a bridge that includes floodgates and adequate spillway.

Code 1950, § 33-93; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-179; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-413. When larger spillway required.

In case the earthen portion of a dam has been washed away and it is determined by the Commissioner of Highways that the washout was caused by a spillway of insufficient opening to carry floodwater, the dam shall not be restored for the purpose of impounding water unless the owner or occupier agrees with the Commissioner of Highways to the construction of a spillway with adequate opening, conforming to plans and specifications of the Department. In the event that such construction is required, the Commissioner of Highways shall be responsible for such part of the cost as would be necessary to provide a bridge with sufficient opening to carry the floodwater of the stream, and the owner or occupier of the dam shall be required to pay the difference in cost, if any, of providing adequate floodgates and spillways in addition to the bridge.

Code 1950, § 33-94; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-180; 2014, c. 805.

§ 33.2-414. Application to county roads.

Sections 33.2-409 through 33.2-413 shall also apply to dams, over which pass public roads that are not in the primary or secondary state highway system, and to the owners and occupiers thereof. As to any such dam and the owner or occupier thereof, the powers conferred and imposed upon the Commissioner of Highways in §§ 33.2-409 through 33.2-413 shall be vested in and imposed upon the governing body of the county in which such dam is located.

Code 1950, § 33-95; 1970, c. 322, § 33.1-181; 2014, c. 805.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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