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Home >Adopt-A-Highway Program >Conditions and Suggestions

Adopt A-Highway Conditions and Suggestions

  • If a municipality chooses to implement a local Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Program, the municipality is responsible for all aspects of the Program with the exception of signs. The DOT is responsible for approving the sign location, number, and size of all sign assemblies on both State and local roads. Signs may be located within a highway right-of-way or outside the right-of-way on publicly owned property.
  • Signs identifying the program and the participants may be installed within the municipality and not necessarily along the "adopted" section(s). Sign panels shall be high density overlaid plywood at least ½ inch thick or of other materials sufficiently stable, durable, and weather resistant not to deform under normal conditions of weather. Standard sign post materials should be used. Do not use sign posts which will create a roadside "fixed" object and pose safety problems. These signs will be the only signs used to promote the Adopt-a-Highway program along the roadsides.
  • The municipality will determine who bears the cost of producing, installing and maintaining the signs. Signs should conform to any local sign ordinances. The design of the sign(s) is a municipal responsibility, however, the DOT would prefer to see municipalities seriously consider using the suggested AAH design included herewith for the sake of continuity of design throughout the State.
  • A municipality may choose to require a cumulative total of at least 1 mile of highway per organization to be the minimum eligible for adoption. In addition, you may want litter pickup to be done on both sides of the roadway a minimum of two times per year, more often if necessary. Litter pickup in any highway median is prohibited.
  • It is suggested that participants be required to adopt for a minimum amount of time, such as a two year period.
  • The MDOT's Community Services Division should be notified of all "adopted" State or State Aid Highways or townways, regardless of their location. No interstate or controlled access roadways are eligible for adoption.
  • Any local community organizations, including civic, social or school groups, will be allowed to adopt highways, as will individuals 18 years (suggested) or older. Participants should have municipally-approved applications on file with the municipality. These applications may include signed registration/release forms from everyone participating in the pickup.
  • Businesses that wish to sponsor groups may do so. Business names and logos may go on the Adopt-A-Highway signs.
  • A municipality may want to suggest that groups with members less than 15 years old (suggested) must be supervised by adults 18 years or older. Individuals under 9 years of age (suggested) should not be permitted in the cleanup area. There should be one adult per eight under-age group members. Teams should stay on one side of the road at a time.
  • The municipality is responsible for possibly supplying plastic trash bags, safety vests, work zone signs, etc.
  • It is suggested that a town may want participants to separate and recycle appropriate materials in compliance with local municipal practices for their benefit.
  • Participants should dispose of the filled trash bags in accordance with the rules and regulations of the local community. The Maine DOT will remove litter from the adopted State section only under unusual circumstances; i.e. when large, heavy or hazardous items are found and/or reported to the Maine DOT Division Office.
  • Maine DOT Maintenance Division offices may monitor the program in their areas.
  • After each pickup, the municipality may want the adopting groups to complete activity reports detailing the number of people involved, number of bags of litter picked up, hours spent, etc.
  • Cleanup during bad weather or when visibility is reduced or restricted should be prohibited. The adopting group may need to reschedule the cleanup.

This page last updated on 6/27/13