Senate Bill No. 82

Introduced By mahlum

By Request of the Department of Transportation

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing a scenic-historic byways program; authorizing an advisory council for the scenic-historic byways program and describing the council's duties; authorizing the transportation commission and the department of transportation to administer the program; and amending section

60-1-103, MCA."


A statement of intent is required for this bill because the department of transportation is required in [section 2] to adopt rules to effectuate the scenic-historic byways program. The legislature contemplates that rules promulgated under [section 2] address, at a minimum, the criteria and procedures for establishing a scenic-historic byways program. The legislature intends that:

(1) local authorities be responsible for nominating routes for inclusion in the program;

(2) incorporated communities and their extraterritorial jurisdictions located on designated routes may choose not to be considered as part of the scenic-historic byway; and

(3) the designation of a route as a scenic-historic byway in no way be construed to interfere with private property rights or the rights of other highway users, including commercial motor vehicles.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 60-1-103, MCA, is amended to read:

"60-1-103.   General definitions. Subject to additional definitions contained in this title that are applicable to specific chapters or sections and unless the context otherwise requires, terms are defined as follows the following definitions apply:

(1)  "Abandonment" means cessation of use of right-of-way or an easement or cessation of activity on the right-of-way or easement with no intention to reclaim or use again. Abandonment is sometimes called vacation.

(2)  "Bridge" means any bridge constructed by the department, together with all appurtenances, additions, alterations, improvements, and replacements and the approaches to the bridge, lands used in connection with the bridge, and improvements incidental or integral to the bridge.

(3)  "Commission" means the transportation commission provided for in 2-15-2502.

(4)  "Condemnation" means taking by exercise of the right of eminent domain.

(5)  "Construction" means supervising, inspecting, actual building, and all expenses incidental to the construction or reconstruction of a highway, including locating, surveying, mapping, and costs of right-of-way or other interests in land and elimination of hazards at railway grade crossings.

(6)  "Control of access" means the condition in which the right of owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons to access, light, air, or view in connection with a highway is fully or partially controlled by public authority.

(7)  "County road" means any public highway opened, established, constructed, maintained, abandoned, or discontinued by a county in accordance with Title 7, chapter 14.

(8)  "Department" means the department of transportation provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 25.

(9)  "Director" means the director of transportation, a position provided for in 2-15-2501.

(10) "Easement" means a right acquired by public authority to use or control property for a designated purpose.

(11) "Eminent domain" means the right of the state to take private property for public use.

(12) "Federal-aid highway" means a public highway that is a portion of any of the federal-aid highway systems.

(13) "Federal-aid highway systems" means all of the systems named as part of the systems and their urban extensions.

(14) "Federal-aid interstate system" means that system of public highways selected by the commission in cooperation with adjoining states, subject to the approval of the secretary of commerce, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C.

(15) "Federal-aid primary system" means that system of connected public highways designated by the commission, subject to the approval of the secretary of commerce, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C.

(16) "Federal-aid secondary system" means that system of public highways not in the federal-aid primary or interstate systems selected by the commission in cooperation with the boards of county commissioners, subject to the approval of the secretary of commerce, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C.

(17) "Fee simple" means an absolute estate or ownership in property, including unlimited power of alienation.

(18) "Highway" includes rights-of-way or other interests in land, embankments, retaining walls, culverts, sluices, drainage structures, bridges, railroad-highway crossings, tunnels, signs, guardrails, and protective structures.

(19) "Highway", "road", and "street", whether the terms appear together or separately or are preceded by the adjective "public", are general terms denoting a public way for purposes of vehicular travel and include the entire area within the right-of-way.

(20) "Highway authority" means the entity at any level of government authorized by law to construct and maintain highways.

(21) "Maintenance" means the preservation of the entire highway, including surface, shoulders, roadsides, structures, and traffic-control devices that are necessary for the safe and efficient use of the highway.

(22) "Public highways" means all streets, roads, highways, bridges, and related structures:

(a)  built and maintained with appropriated funds of the United States or the state or any political subdivision of the state;

(b)  dedicated to public use;

(c)  acquired by eminent domain; or

(d)  acquired by adverse use by the public, jurisdiction having been assumed by the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(23) "Right-of-way" is a general term denoting land, property, or any interest in land or property, usually in a strip, acquired for or devoted to highway purposes.

(24) "Scenic-historic byway" means a public highway designated by the commission as enhancing Montana's scenic, cultural, historic, recreational, natural, archaeological, or educational assets and as promoting tourism and economic development.

(25) "State highway" means any public highway planned, laid out, altered, constructed, reconstructed, improved, repaired, maintained, or abandoned by the department."

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Scenic-historic byways program -- rulemaking authority -- advisory council. (1) There is a scenic-historic byways program. The commission may designate roads to be included as part of the program and may add or delete roads from the program. However, a road may not be designated as a scenic-historic byway without the concurrence of the affected local governments and the agencies responsible for road maintenance and operation.

(2) The commission may delegate to the department the responsibility for establishing eligibility criteria for inclusion in the scenic-historic byways program. The department shall adopt rules to effectuate the purposes of the program.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of 2-15-122, the commission may appoint an advisory council. The purpose of the advisory council is to assist the department in identifying and recommending to the commission roads that should be included in or deleted from the scenic-historic byways program. The advisory council may not exceed 14 members and must include representatives of local governments and individuals with expertise in the fields of visual assessment, resource protection, tourism, economic development, and local planning.

NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Codification instruction. [Section 2] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 60, chapter 2, part 2, and the provisions of Title 60, chapter 2, part 2, apply to [section 2].