Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions

General Definitions

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, in this title, 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) "Commission-designated highway systems" means the following as defined in this section:

(a) national highway system;

(b) primary highway system;

(c) secondary highway system; and

(d) urban highway system.

(5) "Condemnation" means taking by exercise of the right of eminent domain, as provided in Title 70, chapter 30, and chapter 4 of this title.

(6) "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.

(7) "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.

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

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

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

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

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

(13) "Federal-aid highway funds" means those funds available for expenditure by the department pursuant to Title 23, U.S.C., or other federally available funds for highways.

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

(15) "Financial district" means a transportation commission district established in 2-15-2502.

(16) "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.

(17) "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.

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

(19) "Interstate highway" means a highway that is part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower system of interstate and defense highways described in Title 23, U.S.C., and is a subcomponent of the national highway system.

(20) "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.

(21) "National highway system" means that system of public highways designated by the commission and approved by the secretary of transportation, as provided in Title 23, U.S.C., including interstate highways.

(22) "Primary highway system" means those highways that have been functionally classified, in accordance with federal requirements, as either principal or minor arterials and designated by the commission as being on the primary highway system.

(23) "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, as provided in Title 70, chapter 30, and chapter 4 of this title; or

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

(24) "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.

(25) "Scenic-historic byway" means a public road or segment of a public road that has been designated as a scenic-historic byway by the commission, as provided in 60-2-601.

(26) "Secondary highway system" means those highways that are outside department-designated urban boundaries and that have been functionally classified, in accordance with federal requirements, as either minor arterials or major collectors and designated by the commission, in cooperation with the boards of county commissioners, as being on the secondary highway system.

(27) "State highways" means the highways throughout the state that are not located on a commission-designated highway system but that are on the state maintenance system.

(28) "Urban highway system" means the highways and streets that are in and near incorporated cities with populations of over 5,000 and within urban boundaries established by the department and that are functionally classified, in accordance with federal requirements, as either arterials or major collectors and designated by the commission, in cooperation with local government authorities, as being on the urban highway system.

History: En. Sec. 2-101, Ch. 197, L. 1965; amd. Sec. 69, Ch. 316, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 32-2203(part); amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 23, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 512, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 75, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 546, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 34, Ch. 125, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 299, L. 2019.