How Older Roads Become State-Maintained

Information from 

Generally to be eligible for state maintenance, older, privately maintained, public roads must: 

  • Have been in public use for at least for 20 years 
  • Be available for the public to use 24 hours a day 
  • Have a right of way that is available to be dedicated to public use and is: 
    • Wide enough (usually 40 feet) to meet minimum safety standards 
    • Sufficient to permit future maintenance 
    • Be unencumbered by utility placement 
  • Serve at least three occupied homes 
  • Be able to safely handle the traffic volume 
  • Connect to other roads already maintained by VDOT or a locality

By law, the Board of Supervisors must take formal action to approve the addition of these roads to the secondary system of state highways and request VDOT to maintain them. They must also identify the source of funding that is to be used to finance any improvements that are needed. 

To initiate the street acceptance process, contact your representative on the Louisa County Board of Supervisors. Then, the following steps must occur in order: 

  • The Board of Supervisors considers requests from citizens to add roads to the secondary system of state highways. The locality coordinates the eligibility review of proposed additions. 
  • VDOT advises the locality of the requirements, improvement costs, and other issues related to the acceptance of proposed road additions. 
  • The Board of Supervisors must guarantee the right of way for the road and take formal action to make the road part of the secondary system. 
  • The Board of Supervisors formally requests VDOT to add the road to the secondary highway system for maintenance. 
  • VDOT accepts the maintenance responsibility for the road as part of the secondary system. 

This information is intended to summarize, in the broadest possible terms, the eligibility factors and considerations made regarding the addition and improvement of older roads as part of the secondary system of state highways. There may be other issues not addressed in this information that may also apply. VDOT's resident engineers are prepared to help you determine the eligibility of your road for state maintenance and to identify any improvements that may be necessary.