TITLE XX
TRANSPORTATION

Chapter 230
STATE HIGHWAYS

Duty to Construct and Maintain Highways

Section 230:1

    230:1 Class I Trunk Line Highways. – The department of transportation shall assume full control and pay the costs of construction, reconstruction and maintenance of all class I highways, including bridges thereon.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 2:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 231:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(2).

Section 230:2

    230:2 National System of Interstate Highways. – The department of transportation shall assume full control and pay the costs of construction, reconstruction and maintenance of all highways within the state included in the national system of interstate highways.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 2:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 3. RSA 231:2. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(2).

Section 230:3

    230:3 Class II State Aid Highways; Improved Portions. – The department of transportation shall assume full control and pay the costs of reconstruction and maintenance of all class II highways which have been improved to the satisfaction of the commissioner of transportation.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 2:3. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 231:3. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(2), (b)(2).

Section 230:4

    230:4 Unimproved Portions. – All other class II highways shall be maintained by the city or town in which they are located, and may be improved to the satisfaction of the commissioner of transportation with the use of state aid funds.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 2:4. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 231:4. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:5

    230:5 Conveyances to State. – Selectmen, subject to a vote of the town, or the mayor and board of aldermen of cities, may convey to the state all right, title, and interest of the town or city in or to any class I, class II, or class III highway, if such conveyance is desired by the state on account of any highway construction, reconstruction, or maintenance.

Source. 1935, 91:1. RL 109:9. 1945, 188:1, part 21:7. RSA 251:7. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:6

    230:6 Construction and Reconstruction; Limitation. – Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the state shall not perform any new construction or major reconstruction of any class I, II or III highway, except highways laid out under the provisions of RSA 230:44-54 unless the city or town in which the highway is located has adopted a zoning ordinance pursuant to RSA 675:2 or 3 or a master plan pursuant to RSA 675:6. This limitation shall not apply to new construction or major reconstruction of bridges on class I, II or III highways.

Source. RSA 231:10. 1979, 216:2. 1981, 87:1; 363:2. 1985, 103:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

Section 230:7

    230:7 Class V Highways Changed to Class II. –
The following listed class V access roads leading from the below described class I and class II highways to a recreational road in a state park or recreational area, shall henceforth be classified as class II highways:
I. The road running from New Hampshire route 107A for approximately 4 miles in the town of Deerfield and approximately 1 5/10 miles in the town of Allenstown to the Bear Brook state park located in Deerfield and Allenstown.
II. The road running from New Hampshire route 11A for approximately 2 3/10 miles to the Belknap state park in the town of Gilford.
III. The road running from New Hampshire route 114 for approximately 4 5/10 miles to the Clough state park in the town of Weare.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. The road running from New Hampshire route 111 for approximately 1/10 of a mile to Kingston state park in the town of Kingston.
VI. The road running from New Hampshire route 113 for approximately 1 4/10 miles to Madison Boulder state park in the town of Madison.
VII. The road running from United States route 2 for approximately 5/10 of a mile to Moose Brook state park in the town of Gorham.
VIII. The road running from New Hampshire route 9 for approximately 1 1/10 miles to Otter Brook state park in the city of Keene.
IX. The road from New Hampshire route 156 for approximately 2 2/10 miles to the Pawtuckaway state park in the town of Raymond.
X. The road running from New Hampshire route 119 for approximately 2 1/10 miles to the Rhododendron state park in the town of Fitzwilliam.
XI. The road running from New Hampshire route 103 for approximately 1 8/10 miles to the Rollins state park in the town of Warner.
XII, XIII. [Repealed.]

Source. RSA 231:6-c. 1973, 228:1. 1981, 87:1; 286:1. 1983, 90:2. 1991, 124:2. 1993, 15:2, eff. May 25, 1993.

Section 230:7-a

    230:7-a Class IV and V Highway Changed to Class II. – The class IV and V Salmon Falls Road running from the intersection of New Hampshire route 125 in Rochester approximately 6.99 miles to the New Hampshire-Maine state line in Somersworth shall be henceforth classified as a class II highway. Unimproved portions of said highway shall remain eligible for state aid allocated to class IV and V highways.

Source. 1992, 217:4, eff. July 1, 1992.

Layout of State Highways

Section 230:8

    230:8 Class I and II. – All class I and class II highways and all highways within the state included in the national system of interstate highways shall be laid out by a commission appointed by the governor and council.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 3:1. RSA 232:1. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:9

    230:9 Taking Corporate Property. – Any real estate, franchise or easement of a corporation may be taken for a highway in the same manner as the estate of individuals.

Source. RS 49:11. CS 52:11. GS 61:11. GL 67:13. PS 67:14. PL 74:14. RL 90:15. 1945, 188:1, part 3:4. RSA 232:4. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:10

    230:10 Layout Over Highway. – A highway or any alteration thereof may be laid out across or over an existing highway; but no damages shall be awarded when the public have the right-of-way over the same land.

Source. RS 49:9. CS 52:9. GS 61:9. GL 67:9. PS 67:10. PL 74:10. RL 90:11. 1945, 188:1, part 3:5. RSA 232:5. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:11

    230:11 Layout Across Stream. – A highway or any alteration thereof may be laid out across any stream or body of water; but no highway or bridge shall be so laid out if the reasonable and proper construction thereof may prevent the use of such waters for navigation for boats or rafts, or for running timber.

Source. RS 49:10. CS 52:10. GS 61:10. GL 67:10. PS 67:11. PL 74:11. RL 90:12. 1945, 188:1, part 3:6. RSA 232:6. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:12

    230:12 Acquisition of Interests in Land. – When the construction or alteration of any state highway requires the taking of land or rights therein in which a public utility has a property interest by agreement with the public utility owning such interest, the department of transportation may acquire by layout under the layout statute applicable to the highway in question or by purchase and subject to the approval of the governor and council convey to said public utility, in mitigation of such damages as said public utility may be entitled to on account of the taking of its property interest, such land or rights in land as may be necessary to provide a substitute property interest.

Source. RSA 232:7. 1959, 294:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(2).

Section 230:13

    230:13 Occasion for Layout by Governor and Council; Layout. –
I. The governor, with advice of the council, may determine upon hearing whether there is occasion for the laying out or alteration of a class I or class II highway or a highway within the state included in the national system of interstate highways as proposed by the commissioner of transportation, and, if so, the commissioner may purchase land or other property that is reasonably necessary for the construction, reconstruction, or alteration and who shall lay out the remainder of such highway or alteration. Any such land or property which cannot be acquired by agreement with the owner or owners thereof may be acquired in accordance with RSA 498-A and all issues that are appealed relating to necessity, public use, and net public benefit shall be determined in accordance with RSA 230:19. Property rights acquired under the provisions of this section shall be in fee simple or in the form of easements, including property acquired by condemnation proceedings.
II. The commissioner may acquire private or public property and property rights as he or she determines reasonably necessary to:
(a) Lay out and establish, construct, improve, or maintain, provide a change of alignment of, or provide drainage for class I or class II highways.
(b) Construct, improve, and maintain transportation projects as directed by law and provide mitigation for existing or potential effects of transportation projects on environmental and historical resources.
(c) Provide rest areas, parking strips, and roadside and landscape development for the preservation and development of natural scenic beauty.
(d) Provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public using a class I or class II highway.
(e) Secure materials, with necessary ways and access, for the construction, improvement, and maintenance of class I or class II highways.
(f) Erect administrative, storage, and operational buildings.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 3. RSA 233:1. 1981, 87:1. 1983, 297:7. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 1992, 150:3. 1998, 74:1. 2006, 324:22, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2017, 156:120, eff. July 1, 2017. 2018, 155:2, eff. July 29, 2018. 2019, 275:2, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.

Section 230:14

    230:14 Layout by Commission. –
I. The governor, with advice of the council, may appoint a commission of 3 persons who, upon hearing, shall determine whether there is occasion for the laying out or alteration of a class I or class II highway or a highway within the state included in the national system of interstate highways as proposed by the commissioner of transportation. If such a determination is made by the commission, the commissioner may purchase land or other property that is reasonably necessary for the construction, reconstruction, or alteration and shall lay out the remainder of such highway or alteration. Any such land or property which cannot be acquired by agreement with the owner or owners thereof may be acquired in accordance with RSA 498-A and all issues that are appealed relating to necessity, public use, and net public benefit shall be determined in accordance with RSA 230:19. Property rights acquired under the provisions of this section shall be in fee simple or in the form of easements, including property acquired by condemnation proceedings.
II. The commissioner may acquire such property as he or she determines necessary to:
(a) Lay out and establish, construct, improve, or maintain, provide a change of alignment of, or provide drainage for class I or class II highways.
(b) Construct, improve, and maintain transportation projects as directed by law and provide mitigation for existing or potential environmental effects of transportation projects.
(c) Provide rest areas, parking strips, and roadside and landscape development for the preservation and development of natural scenic beauty.
(d) Provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public using a class I or class II highway.
(e) Secure materials, with necessary ways and access, for the construction, improvement, and maintenance of class I or class II highways.
(f) Erect administrative, storage, and operational buildings.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 3. RSA 233:2. 1981, 87:1. 1983, 297:8. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 1992, 150:4. 1998, 74:1. 2006, 324:23, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2018, 155:1, eff. July 29, 2018.

Section 230:15

    230:15 Owners Defined. – Owners shall include tenants for life or years, remaindermen, reversioners, or holders of undischarged mortgages of record whose mortgages are dated not earlier than 20 years prior to date of filing such petition.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:3. RSA 233:3. 1955, 56:1. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:16

    230:16 Oath of Commissioners. – The persons appointed to the commission shall be sworn to act faithfully and impartially in the performance of their duties and the certificate of their oath shall be returned to the secretary of state.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:4. RSA 233:4. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:17

    230:17 Layout of State Highways; Notice of Hearing. – The governor with the advice of the council, or the commission appointed by the governor with advice of the council, at least 14 days previous to a public hearing as provided in RSA 230:19, shall cause notice in writing of the time and place of hearing appointed by them, together with a description of the proposed location, to be given to each owner of land or other property over which such highway may pass, and to the clerk of any city or town in which such highway or alteration may be laid out. Other meetings shall be noticed in accordance with RSA 91-A.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:5. 1954, 1:2. RSA 233:5. 1955, 56:2. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981. 2017, 156:121, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:18

    230:18 Method of Giving Notice. –
I. When the owner resides or lives within the state, notice shall be given to him in person or left at his abode or sent to him by certified mail.
II. When the owner does not reside or live within the state notice may be given to the person, if any, who has the care or possession of the land, or may be sent by registered mail to the owner's last known address.
III. If the owner is a person under guardianship or conservatorship notice shall be given to his guardian or conservator. If the owner is under any legal disability a guardian or conservator may be appointed.
IV. When the owner, or his residence, is unknown or uncertain, a copy of such notice, when posted in 2 public places in the city or town in which the land is situate, at least 14 days previous to hearing, shall be deemed sufficient notice to such owner.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:6-9. RSA 233:6-9. 1977, 80:1. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:19

    230:19 Hearing. – The governor and council, or the commission, at the time and place appointed for hearing shall make a personal examination of the proposed location, and of any highway for which the proposed highway is designed to be a substitute, shall hear all parties interested who may attend, and may adjourn as they see cause. They may admit or reject any evidence offered and there shall be no appeal from their findings on the matter of occasion for the laying out of the highway or alteration thereof in the absence of fraud or gross mistake.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:10. RSA 233:10. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:20

    230:20 Repealed by 1998, 74:3, eff. July 18, 1998. –

Damages for Taking Property

Section 230:21

    230:21 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, I, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:22

    230:22 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, II, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:23

    230:23 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, III, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:24

    230:24 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, IV, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:25

    230:25 Keeping of Records. – In the making of all awards the commission shall keep a complete record of all evidence considered by it in arriving at its awards and shall submit same to the governor and council with its report to them. The expense of such record shall be a charge against the highway fund.

Source. 1954, 1:1. RSA 233:19. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:26

    230:26 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, V, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:27

    230:27 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, VI, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:28

    230:28 Repealed by 1983, 297:9, VII, eff. Aug. 17, 1983. –

Section 230:29

    230:29 Purchase of Entire Tract; Sale of Portion. – Whenever the commission is of the opinion that savings to the state will thereby be effected, it may purchase an entire tract of land or other property upon agreement with the owner, and, with the consent of the governor and council, may sell therefrom whatever land or other property is not needed for the location or relocation of the highway.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:21. RSA 233:23. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:30

    230:30 Taking Tree Rights. – The commission may include in their assessment of damages to the abutting owners, damages for the maintenance or planting, from time to time, within the limits of such highway, of such shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery as may be necessary in the opinion of the commissioner of transportation, for the preservation, improvement, or landscaping of such highway, and upon tender of such damages there shall be a public easement on such highway for such purposes and to protect, preserve and renew the growth thereon.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:22. RSA 233:24. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:30-a

    230:30-a Vending Machines. –
I. In consultation with the commissioner of the department of transportation, the director of plant and property management shall, when feasible, authorize the installation of vending machines dispensing non-alcoholic beverages and food items in the facilities located in rest areas along the state highway system.
II. The director of plant and property management shall put out bids for the installation and maintenance of the vending machines on a rest area by rest area basis. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 186-B:9-15, any bidder shall be eligible to bid for this service and shall be eligible to service more than one rest area.
III. In implementing this section, the director of plant and property management shall not incur any capital expense to the state of New Hampshire general fund.
III-a. The commissioner of the department of transportation may incur capital expenses for the erection of new facilities to house vending machines.
IV. The state's share of the funds derived from the vending machine revenue shall be apportioned as follows: 75 percent to the general fund, and 25 percent to the department of transportation beginning July 1, 1999.
V. The provisions of RSA 230:52 shall not apply to the installation of vending machines under this section.

Source. 1985, 154:1. 1998, 142:1, eff. June 8, 1998.

Section 230:31

    230:31 Payment of Expense. – The state shall pay for all land and other property taken or acquired by the commission, and, with the approval of the governor, with advice of the council, for the services and expenses of the commissioners and costs of litigation incurred by the commission in the taking of such land and property, and all such sums shall be a charge upon the state highway department funds.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 4:23. RSA 233:25. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:32

    230:32 Required Filing. – Whenever proceedings have been completed under the provisions of this chapter for the taking of land or other property for class I or class II highways the commissioner of transportation shall cause to be recorded in the office of the register of deeds for the respective county where said land or other property is situated a plan of the final taking together with all deeds, if any, received by the state in such taking, which deeds shall make specific reference to said plan, and, if eminent domain proceedings have been had hereunder, a copy of the return of the commissioners showing the highway or any alteration by them laid out as provided in RSA 230:20 shall be recorded in said registry of deeds.

Source. 1953, 175:1. RSA 233:26. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Relocation Assistance

Section 230:33

    230:33 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, V, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:34

    230:34 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, VI, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:35

    230:35 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, VII, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:36

    230:36 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, VIII, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:37

    230:37 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, IX, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:38

    230:38 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, X, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:39

    230:39 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, XI, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:40

    230:40 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, XII, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:41

    230:41 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, XIII, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:42

    230:42 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, XIV, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Section 230:43

    230:43 Repealed by 1989, 147:2, XV, eff. May 17, 1989. –

Limited Access Highways

Section 230:44

    230:44 Definition. – For the purposes of this subdivision, a limited access facility is defined as a highway especially designed for through traffic, and over, from, or to which owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons have no right or easement or only a limited right or easement of access, light, air, or view by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited access facility or for any other reason. Such highways may be parkways from which trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles shall be excluded; or they may be freeways open to use by all customary forms of highway traffic.

Source. 1943, 79:1, par. 1. 1945, 188:1, part 7:1. RSA 236:1. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:44-a

    230:44-a Jurisdiction of Class III-a Highways. – For the purpose of this subdivision, the executive director of the fish and game department shall have authority over all class III-a highways.

Source. 1992, 265:11, eff. July 1, 1992.

Section 230:45

    230:45 Occasion for Layout; Layout. – The governor, with the advice of the council, on the governor's own motion or a special committee of 3 persons appointed by the governor and council for the purpose, may determine, upon hearing, whether there is occasion for the laying out or alteration of a limited access facility including service roads as proposed by the commissioner of transportation; and, if so, the commissioner may purchase land or other property as proposed and shall lay out the remainder of such facility, service roads, or alteration thereof. The commissioner may acquire private or public property and property rights for such facility and service roads, including rights of access, air, view, and light, by gift, devise, purchase, or condemnation in the same manner as provided for acquiring property for class I highways. Property rights acquired under the provisions of this section may be in fee simple or in the form of easements, including property acquired by condemnation proceedings. The commissioner, in his or her discretion, may acquire an entire lot, block, or tract of land if, by so doing, the interests of the public will be best served even though the entire lot, block, or tract is not immediately needed for the right-of-way proper. The commissioner of transportation, with the approval of the governor and council, may sell, convey, transfer, or lease any surplus property, real or personal, at public or private sale.

Source. 1943, 79:1, par. 2. 1945, 188:1, part 7:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:2. 1955, 292:1. 1981, 87:1. 1983, 297:10. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 1992, 150:5. 1996, 28:1. 1998, 74:2, eff. July 18, 1998. 2017, 156:122, eff. July 1, 2017. 2018, 155:3, eff. July 29, 2018.

Section 230:46

    230:46 Design. – The commissioner of transportation is authorized to so design any limited access facility and to so regulate, restrict, or prohibit access as to best serve the traffic for which such facility is intended. He is authorized to divide and separate any limited access facility into separate roadways by the construction of raised curbings, central dividing sections, or other physical separations, or by designating such separate roadways by signs, markers, stripes and the proper lane for such traffic by appropriate signs, markers, stripes and other devices. No person shall have any right of ingress or egress to, from, or across limited access facilities to or from abutting lands, except at such designated points at which access may be permitted, upon such terms and conditions as may be specified by the commissioner of transportation from time to time.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 7:3. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:3. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:47

    230:47 New and Existing Facilities. – The commissioner of transportation may designate and establish limited access highways as new and additional facilities or may designate and establish any existing road, street or highway within the state as included within a limited access facility. He shall have authority to provide for the elimination of intersections at grade of limited access facilities with any existing road, street or highway, by grade separation or service road or by closing off such road, street, or highway at the right-of-way boundary line of such limited access facility; and after the establishment of any limited access facility, no road, street or highway which is not part of said facility shall intersect the same except at such locations and upon such conditions as the commissioner of transportation shall approve.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 7:4. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:4. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:48

    230:48 Local Service Roads. – The commissioner of transportation is authorized to plan, designate, establish, use, regulate, alter, improve, maintain or discontinue any road, street or highway or portion thereof, or to designate as local service roads and streets any existing road, street or highway, and to exercise jurisdiction over service roads in the same manner as is authorized over limited access facilities if in his opinion such local service roads are necessary or desirable.

Source. 1943, 79:1, par. 3. 1945, 188:1, part 7:5. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:5. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:49

    230:49 Motorist Service Signing Program Established; Signs. –
I. The location of essential motorist services, including food, fuel, lodging, camping, and attractions, on connecting service roads within 3 miles of the intersection with the limited access highway, within 5 miles for a campground, within 20 miles for an attraction, or within one mile of the intersection in urban compact areas, may be indicated to users of the limited access facility by appropriate signs, the specifications of which shall be determined by the commissioner of transportation. The distance specified shall be measured by computing the travel length from the terminal of an exit ramp to the nearest point along the public highway where the nearest existing driveway entrance to the service is reached. Additional motorist service signs may be placed in advance of intersections on limited access highways.
II. Signs permitted under paragraph I may be rented for a fee established by rules adopted by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to RSA 541-A. Alternatively, the commissioner may contract with a private entity to administer the program; fees shall be in accordance with the contract and forwarded to the commissioner by the administering entity. The sum of the fees collected shall be sufficient to ensure the motorist service sign program is self-supporting.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 7:6. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:6. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I, b, 2. 1994, 296:1, eff. June 6, 1994. 2009, 111:1, eff. Aug. 14, 2009. 2014, 320:1, eff. Aug. 1, 2014. 2016, 106:1, eff. May 19, 2016. 2021, 68:1, eff. Aug. 9, 2021.

Section 230:49-a

    230:49-a Replacement or New Signs. – Whenever the commissioner of transportation authorizes the replacement of an existing highway sign or the installation of a new highway sign which designates that a city or town lies ahead, that sign shall also state the distance in miles from the sign to the city or town limits that the motorist will first approach.

Source. 1985, 415:3, eff. July 3, 1985.

Section 230:50

    230:50 Construction and Maintenance. – Any limited access facility, service road, or alteration thereof shall be constructed with state or federal funds or both; and any limited access facility shall be maintained with state or federal funds or both.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 7:7. RSA 236:7. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Section 230:51

    230:51 Auxiliary Roads. – Any service roads constructed by the state in conjunction with but not a part of a limited access facility shall be classified by the commissioner of transportation as a class IV, V or VI highway. After any such classification the provisions of RSA 230:52 and 53 shall not apply and thereafter the towns or cities shall maintain any road classified as class IV or V and the highway user shall maintain any road classified as class VI.

Source. RSA 236:7-a. 1961, 6:1. 1971, 29:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:52

    230:52 Exclusion of Commercial Enterprises. –
I. No commercial enterprise or activities shall be authorized or conducted by the commissioner of transportation or any other agency of the state within or on the property acquired for or designated as a limited access facility.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 230:52, I, advertising space and other traveler information services may be rented for a fee established by the commissioner of transportation, with the advice and cooperation of the division of travel and tourism development, by rules adopted under RSA 541-A. The amount of the fee shall not exceed a fair portion of the cost of maintaining the service. Fees collected under this paragraph shall be deposited as provided in RSA 236:86, III.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 7:8. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:8. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 1987, 209:1. 1999, 317:11, eff. July 1, 1999.

Section 230:53

    230:53 Regulations; Posting. – The commissioner of transportation may regulate, restrict, or prohibit the use of such limited access facilities by trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles, may regulate or prohibit the use of such facilities by all other types of vehicles, and may regulate or prohibit other use of such facilities. Such regulations shall be posted on every such highway and a return thereof shall be filed with the department of transportation to be kept in a special book which shall be open to public inspection.

Source. 1943, 79:1, par. 6. 1945, 188:1, part 7:9. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 236:9. 1961, 2:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(2), (b)(2).

Section 230:54

    230:54 Penalty and Liability. – Any person violating the provisions of the regulations posted under RSA 230:53 shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person, or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person. Any person shall be liable for all damage occasioned thereby.

Source. 1943, 79:1, par. 8. 1945, 188:1, part 7:10. RSA 236:10. 1973, 530:23. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981.

Discontinuance of Relocated Portions of Class I and Class II Highways

Section 230:55

    230:55 Notice of Finding. – Whenever the commissioner of transportation shall alter or relocate any portion of any class I or class II highway, and finds that there is no further occasion to use such portion for class I or class II highway purposes for property acquired by the state in 1945 or earlier, the commissioner shall post notice of such finding in 2 public places in the town in which land is situate and give notice in writing to the selectmen of such town. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner may discontinue and declare property acquired after 1945 as surplus and dispose of it in accordance with RSA 4:39.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 237:1. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 2017, 156:124, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:56

    230:56 Determination by Selectmen. – The selectmen of such town within 60 days after receiving such notice regarding property acquired by the state in 1945 or earlier, shall determine, after notice to the owners of land or abutting owners given in the same manner as provided for in the laying out of highways by selectmen, and hearing, whether there is occasion for the use of such portion for town highway purposes and shall notify the commissioner of transportation, in writing, of their determination.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 237:2. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 2017, 156:124, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:57

    230:57 Reversion to Town. – Upon the filing of notice with the commissioner of transportation that such occasion exists, or, in the event that the selectmen fail to take any action or notify the commissioner of transportation in writing of their determination within 60 days after the receipt of notice from the commissioner regarding property acquired by the state in 1945 or earlier, the right-of-way over such portion of land and title to any interest held by the state in such portion shall thereupon revert to or vest in such town, and the commissioner of transportation shall so certify in writing under oath to the selectmen, and the highway shall thereupon become a class V or class VI highway.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:3. 1949, 12:1. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 237:3. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 2017, 156:124, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:58

    230:58 Notice of Discontinuance. – Regarding property acquired by the state in 1945 or earlier, upon the filing of notice with the commissioner of transportation that such occasion does not exist, the commissioner shall post notice in 2 public places in such town that such portion of highway is thereupon discontinued.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:4. 1949, 12:2. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 237:4. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 2017, 156:124, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:58-a

    230:58-a Encumbrances. – Whenever a highway is discontinued pursuant to this subdivision, any existing sewer, drain, water pipe or other utility easements or any permits or licenses previously established pursuant to RSA 231:159-182 shall be presumed to be reserved and shall remain in effect as an encumbrance upon the underlying land for so long as they remain in active use, unless such easements, permits or licenses are expressly included in the notice of discontinuance, or are subsequently discontinued by the commissioner of transportation.

Source. 1992, 59:1, eff. June 12, 1992.

Section 230:59

    230:59 Certification to Landowners. – Upon such discontinuance, the commissioner of transportation shall certify in writing under oath to the owners of the land over which such discontinued portion of highway passed that such land is no longer subject to use for highway purposes.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:5. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 237:5. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:60

    230:60 Recording of Certification. – The certification by the commissioner of transportation shall be recorded by the town or owner of land to whom certification is made with the register of deeds for the county in which such land is situate.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:6. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1, par. 2. RSA 237:6. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:61

    230:61 Assessment of Damages. – Any person who sustains damages because of such discontinuance of property acquired by the state in 1945 or earlier may petition for the assessment of damages to the superior court in the county in which such discontinued portion of highway is located within 60 days from the posting of notice of discontinuance, and not thereafter, and the court shall assess such damages, if any, by jury.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:7. RSA 237:7. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981. 2017, 156:125, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:62

    230:62 Payment of Judgment and Costs. – The commissioner of transportation shall pay from funds of his department the amount of final judgment and costs.

Source. 1945, 188:1, part 8:8. 1950, 5:1, part 9:1. RSA 237:8. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Layout of Highways to Public Waters

Section 230:63 to 230:71

    230:63 to 230:71 Repealed by 1992, 265:20, eff. July 1, 1992. –

Rights-of-Way to Recreational Waters

Section 230:72, 230:73

    230:72, 230:73 Repealed by 1996, 25:1, eff. June 14, 1996. –

Planning and Laying Out Bicycle Routes

Section 230:74

    230:74 Definitions. –
As used in this subdivision:
I. "Bicycle" means every vehicle propelled solely by human power upon which any person may ride, having 2 tandem wheels, except scooters and similar devices.
II. "Bicycle route" means any lane, way, path or trail designated by appropriate signs, that explicitly provides for bicycle travel.
III. "Bicycle lane" means a portion of a roadway which has been designated for the preferential or exclusive use of bicycles. It is distinguished from the portion of the roadway for motor vehicular traffic by a paint stripe or similar device. Improved road edges are considered a bicycle lane where so designated.
IV. "Bicycle path or trail" means a separate trail or path which is for the exclusive use of bicycles where a trail or path forms a part of a highway, which is separated from the roadway for motor vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier.

Source. RSA 250:26. 1979, 486:2. 1981, 87:1, eff. April 20, 1981; 337:1, 2, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.

Section 230:75

    230:75 Commissioner of Transportation; Powers and Duties. –
In addition to the powers and duties of the commissioner of transportation under this title, the commissioner:
I. May expend the amounts necessary for the establishment, operation and maintenance of bicycle routes and lanes and may expend amounts necessary for bicycle paths or trails.
II. May acquire by purchase, gift or condemnation in accordance with the procedures established pursuant to this title and RSA 498-A, any real property or interest therein that shall be necessary or appropriate for the development of bicycle routes.
III. May enter into written cooperative agreements with landowners, federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, private organizations and individuals in order to provide for the development, maintenance, operation, location and relocation of a bicycle route.
IV. May publish and exhibit rules concerning the use of a bicycle route in accordance with the provisions of RSA 541-A.
V. May provide a uniform system of designating bicycle routes consistent with the purposes of this subdivision and submit bicycle route plans for inclusion in any highway plan, whether or not the highway plan is for new construction or reconstruction of an existing highway.
VI. May recommend construction standards for bicycle routes and determine priority of routes to receive state funding using the guidelines established by the bicycle study.
VII. May provide technical assistance, in conjunction with other public agencies, in planning and developing bicycle routes.
VIII. May assist and cooperate with regional planning commissions, municipal governments, other state agencies and citizens' groups in the development and construction of local and regional bicycle projects and in the application for any funds available for such projects.
IX. Shall evaluate the standards established for bicycle route construction or along the edges of rural highways in light of the economic, aesthetic, and environmental concerns. As part of his study the commissioner shall consider:
(a) The minimum improvement to the shoulder or road edge necessary to provide a travel lane of adequate width for safe maneuvering for bicycles.
(b) The minimum warrants that must exist to provide the construction of a separate bike path or trail.
X. Shall construct any bicycle route, lane, path or trail with suitable materials to provide a hard surface.

Source. RSA 250:27. 1979, 486:2. 1981, 87:1; 337:3-5. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2).

Section 230:76

    230:76 Cooperation Among Agencies. – For the purposes of this subdivision the department of natural and cultural resources shall assist the commissioner of transportation in matters relating to recreational use and the availability of government funds which may be used for purposes of this subdivision. The department of safety shall assist the commission in matters relating to bicycle safety.

Source. RSA 250:28. 1979, 486:2. 1981, 87:1. 1985, 402:6, I(b)(2). 2017, 156:14, I, eff. July 1, 2017.

Section 230:77

    230:77 Bicycle Highways. – The department of transportation shall design, locate and erect suitable signs to mark the bicycle paths or trails established pursuant to the provisions of RSA 12-B:4 along class I, II, III and IV highways so designated as bicycle paths and trails.

Source. RSA 231:9. 1973, 569:2. 1981, 87:1; 337:6. 1985, 402:6, I(a)(2).

Liability of the Department of Transportation

Section 230:78

    230:78 Duty of the Department of Transportation After Notice of Insufficiency. –
I. Whenever any class I or class II highway or highway bridge in the state shall be insufficient, any person may give notice of such insufficiency to the department of transportation. The notice shall set forth in general terms the location of such highway or highway bridge, and the nature of such insufficiency.
II. For purposes of this subdivision, a highway or bridge thereon shall be considered "insufficient" only if:
(a) It is not passable in any safe manner by those persons or vehicles permitted on such highway or bridge thereon; or
(b) There exists a safety hazard which is not reasonably discoverable or reasonably avoidable by a person who is traveling upon such highway or highway bridge at posted speeds in obedience to all posted regulations, and in a manner which is reasonable and prudent as determined by the condition and state of repair of the highway or highway bridge, including any warning signs, and prevailing visibility and weather conditions.
III. A highway or highway bridge shall not, in the absence of impassability or hidden hazard as set forth in paragraph II, be considered "insufficient" merely by reason of the department of transportation's failure to construct, maintain or repair it to the same standard as some other highway or highway bridges or to a level of service commensurate with its current level of public use.

Source. 1992, 188:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.

Section 230:79

    230:79 Department of Transportation to Act; Liability. –
I. Upon receipt of such notice of insufficiency, and unless the commissioner determines in good faith that no such insufficiency exists, the department of transportation shall immediately cause proper danger signals to be placed to warn persons by day or night of such insufficiency, and shall, within 96 hours thereafter, develop a plan for repairing such highway or highway bridge, and shall implement such plan in good faith and with reasonable dispatch until the highway or highway bridge is no longer insufficient, as defined by RSA 230:78.
II. If the department of transportation fails to act as set forth in paragraph I, it shall be liable in damages for all personal injury or property damage proximately caused by the insufficiency identified in the notice, subject to the liability limits under RSA 541-B:14.

Source. 1992, 188:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.

Section 230:80

    230:80 Liability of the Department of Transportation; Standard of Care. –
I. The department of transportation shall not be held liable for damages in an action to recover for personal injury or property damage arising out of its construction, maintenance, or repair of public highways and highway bridges unless such injury or damage was caused by an insufficiency, as defined by RSA 230:78, and:
(a) The department of transportation received a notice of such insufficiency as set forth in RSA 230:78, but failed to act as provided by RSA 230:79; or
(b) The commissioner of the department of transportation who is responsible for maintenance and repair of highways or highway bridges, had actual notice or knowledge of such insufficiency, by means other than notice pursuant to RSA 230:78 and was grossly negligent or exercised bad faith in responding or failing to respond to such actual knowledge; or
(c) The condition constituting the insufficiency was created by an intentional act of an employee acting in the scope of his official duty while in the course of his employment, acting with gross negligence, or with reckless disregard of the hazard.
(d) The department of transportation shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, relative to procedures for written and oral notice, and for the transfer of personal knowledge regarding insufficiencies to responsible supervisory persons, to insure that information relative to such insufficiencies in the highway system is quickly communicated to those empowered to make decisions about repairs and posting.
II. Any action to recover damages for bodily injury, personal injury or property damage arising out of construction, repair or maintenance of its public highways or highway bridges shall be dismissed unless the complaint describes with particularity the means by which the department of transportation received actual notice of the alleged insufficiency, or the intentional act which created the alleged insufficiency.
III. The acceptance or layout of a public highway shall not be construed to confer upon the department of transportation any notice of, or liability for, insufficiencies or defects which arose or were created prior to such layout or acceptance.
IV. The setting of construction, repair, or maintenance standards of levels of service of highways and highway bridges by the commissioner, whether accomplished formally or informally, shall be deemed a discretionary, policy function for which the department of transportation shall not be held liable in the absence of malice or bad faith. However, the department shall develop and implement standards for the design and placement of rumble strips, drain grates, and road surface treatments that eliminate foreseen hazards for bicyclists by following federal guidelines.

Source. 1992, 188:2. 2008, 209:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Section 230:81

    230:81 Snow, Ice and Other Weather Hazards. – Notwithstanding RSA 230:78-80, the department of transportation shall not be held liable for damages arising from insufficiencies or hazards on public highways or highway bridges thereon, even if it has actual notice or knowledge of them, when such hazards are caused by snow, ice, or other inclement weather, and the department of transportation's failure or delay in removing or mitigating such hazards is the result of its implementation, absent gross negligence or reckless disregard of the hazard, of a winter or inclement weather maintenance policy or set of priorities adopted in good faith by the officials responsible for such policy; and all department of transportation employees and officials shall be presumed to be acting pursuant to such a policy or set of priorities, in the absence of proof to the contrary.

Source. 1992, 188:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.

Section 230:82

    230:82 When the Department of Transportation Is Not Liable. – The department of transportation shall not be deemed to have any duty of care whatsoever with respect to the construction, maintenance or repair of class IV or V highways or highway bridges thereon, or municipally maintained portions of class II highways or highway bridges thereon. Upon any highway or other way with respect to which the department of transportation is found to have a duty of care of any kind, its liability shall be limited as set forth in this subdivision.

Source. 1992, 188:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.

Sponsor-a-Highway Program

Section 230:83

    230:83 Commissioner of Transportation to Establish Program; Rulemaking. –
In addition to the powers and duties of the commissioner of transportation under this title, the commissioner:
I. Shall establish a sponsor-a-highway program by directly involving citizens, groups, associations, and the business community in the beautification of the state's highways.
II. May recognize a citizen, group, association, or business that sponsors and/or provides aesthetic maintenance on a section of highway by erecting a suitable recognition sign meeting the following criteria:
(a) The sign may consist of one or more panels, and shall be set in a location determined by the department to constitute no unreasonable safety risk to the public.
(b) The size, materials, method of installation, text, font, and color of the sign shall meet minimum standards of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices approved by the Federal Highway Administrator as the National Standard in accordance with Title 23 U.S. Code, Sections 109(d), 114(a), 227, 315, and 402(a), and 23 CFR 655, 49 CFR 1.48(b)(8), 1.48(b)(33), and 1.48(c)(2), as the same may be amended from time to time, provided that no sign may exceed 20 square feet in size.
(c) The citizen, group, association, or business shall be identified in a single section or panel constituting no more than 1/2 of the total area of the recognition sign.
III. Shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A to implement the provisions of this subdivision, which rules shall permit:
(a) Any section of a recognition sign not in compliance with this section to remain in place only until existing written agreements with the sponsor have expired; and
(b) Any section of a recognition sign that describes the former adopt-a-highway program to remain until the sign has served its useful life.

Source. 1993, 177:2. 2002, 234:4, eff. July 16, 2002. 2016, 251:1, eff. Aug. 9, 2016.