2017 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 48 - Roads, Bridges and Ferries
RS 48:491 - Public roads

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 48:491 (2017)


§491. Public roads

A. All roads or streets in this state that are opened, laid out, or appointed by virtue of any act of the legislature or by virtue of an order of any parish governing authority in any parish, or any municipal governing authority in any municipality shall be public roads or streets, as the case may be.

B.(1)(a) All roads and streets in this state which have been or hereafter are kept up, maintained, or worked for a period of three years by the authority of a parish governing authority within its parish, or by the authority of a municipal governing authority within its municipality, shall be public roads or streets, as the case may be, if there is actual or constructive knowledge of such work by adjoining landowners exercising reasonable concern over their property.

(b) Actual or constructive knowledge is presumed if prior to or during the work the public body notifies the last known adjoining landowners of same by written notice by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. When such notice is given more than two years and ten months from commencement of such work, it shall suspend the foregoing prescription for sixty days.

(c) Actual or constructive knowledge is conclusively presumed within all parishes and municipalities, except as otherwise provided by R.S. 48:491(B)(3), if the total period of such maintenance is four years or more, unless prior thereto and within sixty days of such actual or constructive knowledge, the prescription is interrupted or suspended in any manner provided by law.

(2) When a local governing authority for any reason decides to dispose of any road, street, or property used for right-of-way purposes which was originally donated to the authority or its ancestor in title, the property shall revert to the original donor or his heirs or assigns. The authority shall notify the donor or his heirs of its intention to donate the property by sending written notice via certified mail, return receipt requested, to the donor or his heirs at his last known address. The notice shall inform the donor or his heirs or his assigns of the authority's intention to have the land revert and provide him ninety days from receipt in which to respond. If, upon the expiration of the ninety-day period, no response has been received by the authority, it shall dispose of the property in accordance with applicable law. In the donation deed from the authority to the donor or his heirs or his assigns, the authority shall reserve rights of passage for landowners who own property contiguous to the property to be reverted.

(3) Repealed by Acts 2003, No. 204, §1.

C. All roads or streets made on the front of their respective tracts of lands by individuals when the lands have their front on any of the rivers or bayous within this state shall be public roads when located outside of municipalities and shall be public streets when located inside of municipalities.

D. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, any road or street used by the public is a public road or street provided it is designated as such by the local governing authority, and it shall be within the discretion of the local governing authority to maintain the road up to a private drive; however, no road or street on private property shall be designated as a public road unless ownership is transferred or the right of way is given to the local governing authority.

Amended by Acts 1954, No. 639, §1; Acts 1980, No. 517, §1; Acts 1984, No. 944, §1; Acts 1985, No. 480, §1; Acts 1988, No. 869, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1058, §1; Acts 2003, No. 204, §1.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Louisiana may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.