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Roads and Bridges FAQ

How do I Adopt-a-Highway?

Douglas County does have a program that allows civic organizations the opportunity to Adopt-a-Highway. Requests are made to the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. If you have any questions you may call the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293.

How do I get a road vacated (or closed)?

Roads are vacated by a legislative act by the Board of County Commissioners. The process to vacate a road is authorized by K.S.A. 68-102 et seq and, additionally, by Douglas County Charter Resolution No. 94-2-1. A hearing before the board and pertinent township board is required prior to action. Various public notices of the hearing(s) are required.

While it is possible for the Board of County Commissioners to vacate a road on their own initiative they are typically reluctant to do so without a petition.

How do I get permission to place a gate on a public road?

Permission to place a gate on a rural public road may only be granted by the Board of County Commissioners only in locations that are typically agricultural in nature and not subject to routine traffic. Requests are made to the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046.

If you have any questions you may call the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293. 

What are the standards for entrance construction?

Entrances must be constructed to proper standards and specifications for reasons primarily related to traffic safety. The standards and specifications are contained within an Entrance Construction Application Form available at the Engineering Division office at the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. There is a $75.00 fee required for submission of an application. If you have any questions you may call the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293.

What is a "minimum maintenance" road?

A "minimum maintenance" road is a road that receives little or no routine maintenance and has been officially designated as such by the Board of County Commissioners. Kansas law (K.S.A. 68-5,102) allows for certain roads to be designated as "minimum maintenance" for various reasons. Generally, roads that have been so designated have very low traffic volumes and the local township with maintenance jurisdiction has determined other roads with higher traffic volumes deserve more attention and resources.

What is the policy for controlling dust on the road in front of my house?

Each late-winter, with the approval of the Board of County Commissioners, the Public Works Department has an enrollment period for residents wishing to purchase a "dust palliative" treatment for the road fronting their property. This is a user-fee program, so the property owner pays up front for the estimated cost of applying the dust palliative material. In addition, the property owner pays approximately ½ the cost for the road to be prepared for dust palliative, and an administrative fee to cover our costs of brokering the program.

What is the process required to turn a minimum maintenance road into a routine maintenance road?

The process to designate a road as "minimum maintenance" involves a hearing before the local township, the county planning commission, and the Board of County Commissioners. Requests to designate a road as "minimum maintenance" are made to the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046.

If you have any questions you may call the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293.

Where do I buy a county road map?

Road maps are available at the Engineering Division office at the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. The various sizes available and their prices are as follows:

  • Road Map - 19" square - $5.00 + $0.46 (tax) = $5.46
  • Road Map - 8.5" x 11" - $0.25 + $0.03 (tax) = $0.28

Shipping and handling charges - depends on amount ordered - minimum charge is $1.00.

Who do I call to report a down/damaged/confusing road sign?

If the immediate safety of traffic is at risk due to a missing traffic control sign, i.e. a STOP sign, then you should contact the appropriate law enforcement agency by dialing 911. Other rural sign problems concerning down or damaged signs should be reported to the Public Works Department Operations Division at 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS, by telephone at 785-331-1330.

If you have questions concerning traffic safety issues and the possible need for additional signs or any other questions you may call the Public Works Department at 785-832-5293. 

Who is in charge of maintaining the road in front of my house?

There are several agencies located within Douglas County with rural roadway maintenance responsibilities. State and Federal highways are maintained by the Kansas Department of Transportation. Other major rural routes are maintained by the Douglas County Public Works Department. Local rural roads are maintained by individual townships. Please see the Douglas County Road Map for your specific location, or visit the Roads page to identify which agency is responsible for your specific road(s).