Right-of-way Policy and Types of Maintenance


The following communication steps will be taken to inform residents to the best of our ability when the City Utility Department is performing ROW maintenance activities. 

  1. A door hanger will be attached to the residence's front door with information stating what type of maintenance activity can be expected, when maintenance will occur and the city contact information, if the property owner would like to know more about the maintenance activity. A postcard will also be mailed to the residence containing the same information. 
  2. The door hanger and postcard will also include a link to this website, where descriptions of the various types of ROW maintenance activities can be found. 
  3. Residents will have ten days to request additional information concerning the ROW maintenance. Work will begin as planned if our staff does not receive any communication in those ten days.

Types of Maintenance 

The road Right-of-way (ROW) is the strip of land between the center line of the road and the private property line. This area can be anywhere from 30 to 60 feet, depending on the road classification. The narrower distance between residential streets and the larger size is for collector streets, county roads and state highways. Almost all smaller utilities run in this easement, such as natural gas, electricity, cable TV, internet and phone lines. Depending on the area of town you live in, you may also have sanitary sewer and water lines buried in ROW, as well as stormwater pipes or ditches. This area also contains power poles, traffic signage, streetlights, etc. The City of Ramsey Public Works Department is responsible for most ROW maintenance, though private utilities are also allowed to work on their equipment in the ROW. The areas of maintenance that the city undertakes are as follows: 

Tree Pruning/Removal

This area is the most common ROW maintenance activity. This work is typically conducted in the late fall or winter months. The most common complaints we receive are when tree branches start growing into the roadway and begin to hit large vehicles, such as school buses, garbage trucks, RVs, etc. The other reason for vegetation removal is sight lines at intersections. This is when brush, tall grass, or trees obstruct a motorist’s view of oncoming traffic, making it difficult to pull into traffic safely. 

Stormwater Drainage

As time passes, vegetation builds up in our ditch system, causing minor backups that must be excavated to ensure the free flow of stormwater. Cleaning cross culverts (culverts running under the roadway) would be another area of stormwater maintenance. Many driveway culverts have culverts and should be cleaned out by the homeowner it is important because an unmaintained culvert can cause drainage problems and can damage roads and driveways. 

Sign Installation

Traffic signs are installed in the ROW to inform motorists of potential changes in speed, alignment, pedestrians, etc. When possible, signs are installed on the property line between adjoining properties. 

Utility Work 

Small utilities, such as gas, electric, cable, etc., have the right to work in the ROW to repair their infrastructure. Before they can perform the repair, they must obtain a permit from the City to work in our ROW. City services may also need to be excavated and repaired in the case of a water main break, sanitary sewer backup, stormwater infrastructure, etc. When permits are pulled by utility companies, door hangers and letters are not sent out.