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Roadside Development Permits

When building a structure, planting trees, constructing approaches or excavating near a provincial highway, you may need a roadside development permit.

A permit is needed for any work within 90 metres (m) (approximately 295 feet) of the property line (or right-of-way edge) of a provincial highway. This is done to:

  • Keep sight lines clear and provide safe driving;
  • Leave space for future highway improvements;
  • Control snow drifting; and
  • Maintain the integrity of the highway.
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1. Introduction

A permit is needed from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure for different types of work:

Approach

  • For an approach to a highway.
  • Includes driveways and accesses.

Pipeline and Utilities

  • For any work involving a pipeline or utility (oil, gas, sewer, water, etc.).
  • For pipelines and non-pipeline utility work along or across a provincial highway and other public road allowances.
  • Includes road allowances where a road has not yet been built.
  • Examples: fibre optics, copper and power

Roadside Development

  • For building or altering non-utility structures near the highway.
  • Examples: buildings, towers, large signs on foundations, lights, berms, dugouts, wells, drainage works, other excavations, fences, planting trees, shrubs, brushes and hedges, etc.

Other

  • For using the highway or its property (right-of-way).
  • Examples: parades, races, snowmobile trails, recreational trails, surveying, testing, seismic, etc.

Signs

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2. Roadside Development Guidance

The following provides guidance on what the ministry considers when evaluating a request for a permit. You can also download a Roadside Development Factsheet version of this guidance.

Approaches

Important things to note:

Permissions:

  • Applicant must be the registered land owner.
  • If the applicant is not the registered land owner, written permission from the owner must accompany the application.
  • Wellsite lessees do not require written permission.

Costs:

  • All costs (including construction and maintenance) are the responsibility of the applicant.

Construction must:

  • Be 90 degrees to the highway centre line.
  • Have a top width between 8 m (approx. 26 feet) and 11 m (approx. 36 feet).
  • Slope away from the highway, so it is at least 0.4 m (approx. 1.3 feet) lower than the highway shoulder edge when 8 m (approx. 26 feet) away from the shoulder edge (5% slope).
  • Be as shown on Figures 1 and 2.

Culverts:

  • If a culvert is required, the minimum size allowed is a 500 mm (approx. 1.6 feet) galvanized corrugated steel culvert or equivalent.

Location:

  • At least 155 m (approx. 509 feet) away from another intersection.
  • Where the property line or topographic features does not allow the 155 m (approx. 509 feet), the ministry might consider a reduce distance.
  • Cannot be built where there is poor sight distance or creates hazardous traffic movements.

Sight Triangle with Desirable 155m

Land use changes:

  • All approaches are considered temporary.
  • If land use or traffic volumes change, the approach may be ordered to be removed and replaced with a service road to a different access point to the highway.
Figure 1

Figure 1 - Culverts

Figure 2

Figure 2 - Culverts

Drawing:

Additional information on the drawing that needs to be submitted with your application is outlined in the How to Apply section below.

Pipelines and Utilities

Important things to note:

Transfers:

  • Permits are not transferable.
  • If the pipeline ownership changes, the new owner must apply for a new permit under their name.

Consent:

  • If the pipeline or utility crosses the roads of a rural or urban municipality, consent is required from that municipality.
  • If the pipeline or utility crosses the roads of multiple municipalities, consent is required from all municipalities.

Drawing:

  • Additional information on the drawing that needs to be submitted with your application is outlined in the How to Apply section below.

Roadside Development and Other Activities

Important things to note:

Subdivisions:

  • If the property is to be subdivided, the subdivision must be approved by the Ministry of Government Relations' Community Planning Branch before the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure can issue a permits.
  • For more information, see the Community Planning and Development webpage.

Sight triangles:

  • No development is allowed inside the sight triangle.
  • Sight triangles are the areas next to an intersection that need to be kept clear so drivers on the highway and intersecting road can see each other and react accordingly as they approach the intersection. 
  • The size of the sight triangle varies depending upon type of road and vehicle speeds.

Sight Triangle with Desirable 155m

Setbacks:

  • Objects have to be placed away from the highway. That distance is called a setback.
  • Setbacks are needed to:
    • Protect for future highway improvements
    • Control snow drifting
    • Maintain the integrity of the highway
    • Provide a safe driving environment
  • The size of the setback depends on the type of development and the type of highway.

Use the following as a guide:

When all roads have already been built:

If all roads have already been built on your side of the highway (including service roads, and possible twinning on your side), then only minimal setbacks from the highway property line will be required.

Twinned Highway with a Service Road Setbacks

Two Lane Highway with a Service Road Setbacks

Highway still to be twinned:

If the highway is to be twinned in the future on your side but has not yet been done, then the setbacks are increased to leave room for the future twinning and a service road. To see if a highway is planned to be twinned on your side, contact the ministry.

Two Lane Highway to be Twinned Setbacks

Service road not yet built:

If a service road has not yet been constructed, then the setbacks are increased to leave room for the future service road.

Twinned Highway Setbacks

Two Lane Highway Setbacks

Low volume highways:

Along lower volume highways, the ministry might allow a reduced setback for trees, shrubs, movable granaries and dugouts.

Low Volume Two Lane Highway Setbacks

Drawing:

  • Additional information on the drawing that needs to be submitted with your application is outlined in the How to Apply section below.
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3. How to Apply

Consultation Prior to Applying

You are encouraged to discuss your proposed works with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure before submitting an application. The ministry's contact information can be found at:

Area Contact Map

Online Application

Need help filling out the application form? Download the how-to guide:

Roadside Development Application Guide

Before beginning the online application form, make sure you have the following:

  • Contact Information:
    • Your name, address, phone number, email address.
    • If you are applying on behalf of someone else, their name, address, phone number, email address.
    • If you are applying for a pipeline or utility, the name and phone number of an emergency contact.
  • Location of the proposed work:
    • The region of the province the proposed work will be in (For assistance, please refer to the ministry's Regional Offices Map).
    • Location of the proposed work such as legal land description, parcel number or GPS coordinates.
  • Description of the proposed work:
    • A description of the proposed work, and additional details, including who the work will benefit.
    • The purpose of the proposed work. Note:
      • A project is "commercial" when it is for an organization or business entity, including municipal infrastructure.
      • A project is "private" when it is for a private individual, including private farms, acreages and dwellings.
    • How long do you anticipate the work will be used? For example, will it be less than or more than one year?
  • Drawing(s):

Location plan:

    • Your drawing should have a location plan, showing:
      • Highway number (if applicable), north arrow and legal land description or GPS co-ordinates.
      • Any existing buildings, approaches and any land marks or reference points.
      • Distance of the proposed work from:
        • Highway centre line or property line.
        • Other nearby legal boundaries.
        • Existing approach(es) and other buildings.
      • Dimensions of the proposed works.

Cross Section (pipelines and utilities):

    • For pipelines and utilities, your drawing should also have a cross section, showing:
      • Depth to top of the pipe/utility at the highway's right-of-way limits, ditch bottom and centre line.
      • Position of casing vents, identification signs, etc.

Specifications (pipelines and utilities):

    • For pipelines and utilities, your drawing should also have specifications, listing:
      • Commodity being carried by the pipeline
      • Operation pressure
      • Casing, vent and carrier pipes (as applicable):
      • Diameter
      • Thickness
      • Material type

Profile (upon request):

    • Upon reviewing your applications, the ministry might request a profile (further instructions will be provided at that time). 
      • Pipelines and utilities may wish to proactively submit a profile with their application.

Engineer's stamp (upon request):

    • Upon reviewing your applications, the ministry might request your drawing(s) be stamped by an approved engineer.
      • Pipelines and utilities may wish to proactively have their drawings stamped.

Example drawings:

  • Consent:
    • For any impact to a rural or urban municipality, a copy of their written consent will also have to be submitted with your application.
  • Impact or detour traffic:
    • If your proposed work will impact or detour traffic, the ministry may request a detour plan. 
    • The detour plan should indicate the legal land location of the closure points, proposed traffic signs and consent of the municipality whose roads would be used to detour traffic.

Once this information has been compiled, you are ready to submit your application.

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4. Apply

For assistance or to discuss your application before submitting it, contact your local regional office.

Area Contact Map

Need help filling out the application form? Download the how-to guide:

Roadside Development Application Guide

Note: You are encouraged to use Google Chrome web browser to experience the full benefits of the online application form. If the page is not loading, you can try clearing the cache and cookies in your web browser.

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