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I live in Washington County, Oklahoma, a very rural area, the last house on a dead end county maintained gravel road.
Our house sat vacant for a really long time, during that time since noone lived there the county stopped maintaining the road. During this timeframe the local landowner installed a cattle guard across the road.
Now we own the home and the county has begun to maintain the road again. We complained to the land owners and the county commisioner regarding the poor condition of the cattle guard. The commissioner said the cattle guard was covered under a grandfather clause. But spoke to the landowners, resulting in the landowners pulling up the old cattle guard and replacing it with another piece of junk. Basically the landowners dug up a county road and installed non-engineered structure, it has not been proved to be structurally sound, has no assigned load limit, has side braces that were welded by a non-certified welder and I donít believe it is even wide enough for a emergency vehicle to travel across.
When I spoke to the county commissioner about a private party making these types of changes to a county road, he still went back to the stand that the cattle guard was still covered under a grandfather clause.
My question: Is there a legal stand for the grandfather clause? Should the grandfather clause end at the time the cattle guard was pulled up? What are my options?
Last Saturday, one of the pipes popped loose, I had to get out and move it before I could continue driving down the road. I easily could have tripped, got my foot stuck between the pipes, or hurt myself in numerous ways while removing this piece of pipe. Now, every time you drive across it the piece of pipe flops and rolls under the tires. If I am injured or my vehicle damaged who is responsible?
If your property or you get injured you can sue the county but keep in mind that the county has some level of immunity from suits. If you can get past the immunity, you may win.
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