Maine State Highway Opening Permit (3-ME-e)
MaineDOT provides a sample Permit Application form, application instructions, and reference materials on their Location and Highway Opening Permits Webpage.
Depending on the location of the encroachment, the project developer may need to submit State Highway Opening Permit Application materials to MaineDOT, or the applicable municipal authority. If the project only requires installation of standard wooden utility poles, then the developer may not need to obtain a State Highway Opening Permit.
State Highway Opening Permit Process
3-ME-e.1 – Contact MaineDOT
A developer should contact MaineDOT to review application requirements for the proposed project. 17-229-210 Me. Code R. § 5(6)(A). Depending on the location of the encroachment, the project developer may need to submit State Highway Opening Permit Application materials to MaineDOT, or the applicable municipal authority.
3-ME-e.2. – Does the Project Encroach on a State Highway?
If the project requires public way access to a state or state-aid highway then the project developer must obtain a State Highway Opening Permit (Permit) from the Maine Department of Transportation.
3-ME-e.3 to 3-ME-e.4– Does the Project Encroach on a Municipal Highway?
If the project requires access to a city street, town way, or state or state-aid highway in a compact area of a compact urban municipality, then a project developer must procure a State Highway Opening Permit (Permit) from the municipal authority before making any underground installation. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, § 2503(14). All other local public ways are regulated by the county commissioners. Municipal public road and highway right-of-way processes and requirements vary by jurisdiction. Developers of projects under municipal jurisdiction should consider contacting the appropriate municipal authority before construction. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, § 2502(1)(B).
3-ME-e.5– State Highway Opening Permit Application
A developer must submit a complete State Highway Opening Permit Application (Application) to MaineDOT. An Application must include, at minimum:
- The developer’s primary contact information;
- Proposed work information;
- Impact & fee information;
- Specific location plans;
- General location map;
- Traffic Control Plan for any work proposed within the limits of a Freeway;
- Permit Fee;
- Developer’s signature; and
- Special State Highway Opening Permit in instances where the area of the work exceeds the estimated Impact Value limits specified in the Highway Opening Application.
3-ME-e.6 to 3-ME-e.7 – Review Application Materials for Completeness
MaineDOT review Highway Opening Permit applications for administrative and technical completeness. MaineDOT retains the authority to prescribe additional requirements in its approval of the all permits to prevent obstruction of public travel. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, § 2503(5).
3-ME-e.8 to 3-ME-e.10 – Review Application for Approval
MaineDOT must assess the Application for approval. MaineDOT typically processes Applications within 30 days of receipt of a complete application. 17-229-210 Me. Code R. § 6(2)(B). Any Applications impacting recently paved travel lanes will typically be denied as outlined in 17-229-210 Me. Code R. § 6(3). Upon reviewing the Application for approval, MaineDOT considers the following:
- Specific site conditions;
- Proposed work in the same general location;
- Public comments; and
- Any other MaineDOT concerns about the Application.
3-ME-e.11 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)
Any interested person seeking to appeal a MaineDOT determination may appeal to Maine Superior Court within 30 days of MaineDOT’s filing of its decision. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, § 2063-66. If the developer seeks to appeal a municipal decision then the developer may file “a notice of appeal with the clerk of the municipality and with the clerk of the board of commissioners.” The appeal must be made within two weeks of the municipal decision filing and the appeal filing must contain a copy of the original permit petition and the municipal adjudication. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, § 2503(13)(C). The county commissioners must hold the appeal hearing within 30 days from the time the appeal is filed. The county commissioners must also issue their decision on the appeal within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, § 2503(13)(C)(2).
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- Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, § 2502(1)(B)
- Maine – Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 35-A, §§ 2503 et seq., Procedure for application for permit
- Maine – Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §§ 2063 et seq., Regulation of Facilities in the Public Way
- Maine – 17-229-210 Me. Code R. et seq., Maine Department of Transportation – Utility Accommodation Rules