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Underpasses (tunnels) under public highways are often required to address highway safety concerns, such as the movement of animals and/or machinery from one side of an agricultural operation to another. Usually they are built at the same time as the highway is constructed or upgraded but on occasion, especially where the land use has changed or traffic volumes have increased dramatically since highway construction, an applicant will request a permit to place a private structure under the road. They may also be constructed in connection with recreational or industrial developments. Examples of such structures could include:

  • pedestrian underpasses
  • cattle underpasses
  • wildlife underpasses
  • skier underpasses
  • golf cart underpasses
  • industrial conveyor belts

While the Ministry will not pay for private accesses of this type, if the developer is willing to pay the cost of construction and maintenance, a permit of this sort can be considered .Properly engineered drawings will be required and, should the installation be approved, the works must be designed, constructed and supervised by a professional engineer. Liability insurance will also be required. Please see Approval Process in this guide for general information on the application requirements. You should also contact the District Transportation Office during the initial planning stages.