This Chapter describes the general requirements and administrative process for obtaining a permit from SHA for State highway access or other work on the State right-of-way. Prospective applicants should contact the appropriate AM Area Engineer with any questions regarding the permitting process.
SHA issues several types of permits for access and various construction activities. Permits may be issued by either AM or the pertinent District office, depending on the type of permit applied for.
The following projects and construction activities require an Access Permit, which is issued by AM:
Table 4.1.1 Activities That Require an SHA Access Permit
Except when required in connection with an Access Permit, the following projects and activities within the State right-of-way require a permit issued by the appropriate District office.
Table 4.1.2 Activities That Require an SHA District Permit
Prospective applicants should coordinate with the District Office staff for further information on the process and requirements for obtaining their permits. It should be noted that all utility work must be coordinated with and permitted through the District office, independent of the Access Permit.
Any individual, corporation, or local government required to obtain a permit in accordance with Section 3.3 and Section 4.1 of this manual shall make written application to the appropriate address below.
Maryland State Highway Administration
SHA's permit process is separate from, but closely tied to, the local subdivision and land development approval process. Proper coordination of land development, highway access, and transportation system improvements is essential to maintaining a safe and functional State and local highway network. SHA coordinates with local government in the planning of highway improvements, the review of subdivision and development proposals, and the issuance of State and local construction permits.
SHA’s concurrence with proposed highway access concepts for site development and subdivision projects is normally obtained through submission of preliminary plans to the local approving authority. As the project moves forward into final engineering design and construction permits, SHA continues to provide concurrent review comments to the local approving authority. This is to ensure that site plans are prepared in compliance with SHA’s access and drainage requirements and adequate progress is being made towards fulfilling the requirements for an access permit. Details of this process are discussed further in Chapter 5.
While incorporating SHA comments into the local planning and development process helps to provide timely identification and consideration of highway access issues, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that subdivision and development proposals are prepared in compliance with SHA requirements, as well as those of the local approving authority.
Traffic studies may be required by SHA, the local approving authority, or both, in order to evaluate the impact of the proposed development on traffic conditions on the State highway at the point(s) of proposed access and/or nearby intersections. Traffic study requirements and procedures are discussed in Chapter 6.
Detailed engineering plans for all construction work proposed on State property must be approved by SHA prior to permit issuance. All SHA comments arising from the plan review process must be addressed satisfactorily and approvals from the various offices must be obtained. Commercial or subdivision access shown on the plans must be consistent with access concepts accepted by SHA and the local approving authority and in compliance with all applicable SHA standards for highway access as established in this Manual. The scope of highway capacity improvements required by the local approving authority must be consistent with the applicable conditions of approval. It is strongly recommended that an appropriate amount of time is planned in the development process to allow sufficient review, comment, and approval of development plans. Chapter 7 provides a detailed overview of the SHA plan review process and requirements.
Applications for an access permit will be considered complete when accompanied by all required submissions and supporting documentation. The extent of submissions and documents required may vary with the scope of the project, the complexity of the work proposed, and the specific issues involved. However, certain documents are required for all access permits. Documents routinely required are discussed in this section.
NOTE: In order to ensure timely processing of applications and related materials, we must insist that all submittals be made directly to the AM. Checks for all referenced fees and payments shall be made payable to the “State of Maryland”.
At a minimum, the following documents must be submitted by the applicant and accepted by SHA prior to the issuance of any access permit:
At SHA’s discretion, the following documents may be required on a case-by-case basis:
Upon receipt of the required documents from the applicant and confirmation that the applicant has obtained the appropriate approval(s) from the local government, AM staff will prepare the permit and assemble all supporting documentation. The surety and permit documents are processed, recorded in our database, and the permit is prepared for final review and signature. Please allow a few weeks for SHA to process the complete application package and issue the permit. In the event that unforeseen problems are discovered with the plans or other aspects of the application package during permit processing, the applicant will be promptly advised in order to facilitate timely issuance of the permit.
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