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Landowners need to be aware of the dangers that highway encroachments may present. An encroachment is any prohibited use or activity by property owners within the highway ROW restricting the full use or purpose for which the ROW was established. Encroachments may include, but are not limited to, improperly located mailboxes, trees, signs, crops, fences, driveway headwalls, etc. within highway ROW. Dangerous situations arise from signs and objects placed in vision triangles and along highways and may add unnecessary liability to the landowner. Decorative rocks and modifications to driveways also present a hazard in the clear zone and ditches of highways. Any excavation or activity within the ROW of any highway requires a permit from the agency that has jurisdiction of that highway.
Most recent is the encroachment of corn planted in the road Right-of-way. The height of the corn has caused the restriction of vision especially at intersections.
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To report a dead deer please call the St. Croix County Non-Emergency Dispatch at 715-386-4701.
Please visit the Employment Opportunities section on the St. Croix County website.
The Department strives to kill all noxious weeds within the County ROW upon discovery. Under Wisconsin §66.0407 - Noxious weeds are defined as Canada thistle, leafy spurge, field bindweed, any weed designated as a noxious weed by the department of natural resources by rule, and any other weed the governing body of any municipality or the county board of any county by ordinance or resolution declares to be noxious within its respective boundaries.
Various groups (WisDOT, WCHA, DNR, etc.) are developing “Best Management Practices” to guide local units of government in Wisconsin with identifying and controlling invasive plant species in the right-of-way as well as to educate and inform land owners. These practices will appear odd to the traveling public as there will be areas of the ROW that will be treated differently than the surrounding ROW with regard to mowing, cutting, and height of vegetation due to the preventative measures needed to accomplish these BMP goals.
The St. Croix County Highway Department is not responsible for damage to vehicles caused by loose gravel or shoulder material kicked up by motorists. These are categorized as typical road hazards and are not reimbursable. Motorists that receive damage to vehicles while traveling need to report their loss to their insurance companies. Insurance is a requirement to drive on Wisconsin highways.
The Department erects temporary signs when normal or routine maintenance activities are occurring to warn motorists to take appropriate caution/action.
If you have any questions, please contact the St. Croix County Highway Department at 715-245-4200.
The St. Croix County Highway Department adopted a County Tourist Directional Sign program in September, 2017. Please click on the link for more information.
County TODS Program (PDF)
Refuse containers (including garbage and recycle containers) are not to be placed on the shoulder of roadways. They are best placed in the driveway to which they serve, off the shoulder line of the highway. Any encroachment should be brought to the attention of the local unit of government for corrective action. St. Croix County Highway Department does not issue written permits for the placement of containers within the public right-of-way.
Equipment operators are encouraged to drive in a courteous, law-abiding manner and respect local weight limits whenever possible. Non-agricultural vehicle operators are encouraged to respect agriculture’s right to utilize roadways, follow safe passing signs and drive in a courteous and law-abiding manner. Farm-equipment signage for areas with the greatest use would be helpful in warning vehicles of possible slow-moving or parked equipment on highways.
Farmers are not exempt from highway weight restrictions except under certain circumstances during harvest time. In reference to Wisconsin §348.17(5) annually lifts weight limits on Class A highways from September 1 to November 30 to harvest corn, soybeans, potatoes, vegetables or cranberries. The law allows weight limits to be exceeded by up to 15 percent for transport from farm field to initial storage or initial processing point. Farmers must meet all other vehicle requirements for size, operation and driver qualifications, and cannot travel on roadways or bridges with special weight restrictions or on most interstates.
In reference to Wisconsin §86, also keep in mind, any person who injures/damages any highway shall be liable in triple damages, to be recovered by the political division in charge of the maintenance on said highway, and the amount recovered shall be credited to the highway maintenance fund.
From September 1 to December 31 of each year, no permit shall be required for the transportation of corn, soybeans, potatoes, vegetables, or cranberries from the field to storage on the grower's owned or leased land, from the field to initial storage at a location not owned or leased by the grower, or from the field to initial processing in a vehicle or combination of vehicles having a registered gross weight of 50,000 pounds or more or described in s. 340.01 (24) (b) that exceeds the weight limitations under s. 348.15 by not more than 15 percent. This subsection does not apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways, except for that portion of I 39 between USH 51 and I 90/94.
Mailboxes are the only structure that private owners are allowed to install within the right-of-way without a permit as a matter of convenience to the landowners and are not as a matter of right. Neither the St. Croix County Highway Department nor U.S Postal Service issue written permits for the placement of mailboxes within the public right-of-way. Rural mailboxes are allowed on highway right-of-way as a matter of convenience to the landowners or occupants and not as a matter of right. Encroachments of any kind on the highway are strictly forbidden by Wisconsin §86.04 and Wisconsin §346.94(5)), which govern encroachments on highway right-of-way.
Mailboxes must meet minimum/maximum standards of support, setting and size. The issue of public safety will be the basis of the Department taking any action to have individuals repair, replace or relocate mailboxes.
Reimbursement may be considered if it is determined by the supervisor that Highway Department equipment came into direct contact with the property. Although the mailbox owner may have invested considerable time and material in the mailbox installation, including a special box, support or landscaping, any reimbursement will be limited to the “standard” post and/or box found at most home stores as well as possibly up to the Department’s current manual labor rate for one (1) hour of time.
Please call 715-245-4200 if you have any questions or concerns.
St. Croix County Highway Department works to mirror the guidelines noted for State highways in regards to the placement of signs. Any signs along roadways, including political/campaign signs, garage sale, for sale, etc. pose potential hazards.
Improperly placed signs can:
Pushing snow or other materials onto or across highways from private driveways can cause accidents and injury, and is prohibited by Wisconsin §86.01, §86.07, §346.94(5), and/or §346.95.
Doing so may create potential safety concerns for the traveling public and may impede the snow and ice removal process. Snow shall not be stored in any manner, which will obstruct or limit vehicular or pedestrian vision, movement or access. Sections 17.60 of the St. Croix County Code of Ordinances and Wisconsin §86.191 prohibit obstruction of vision clearance triangles at intersections.