Highway Beautification Program

  • Administers the Highway Beautification Program in accordance with Federal and State law and Rule and Regulation.
  • Controls the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices in areas adjacent to the control routes.
  • Controls the location and maintenance of junkyards in areas adjacent to the control routes.
  • Issues permits for those signs, displays, and devices that are allowed to be erected adjacent to the control routes.
  • Issues permits for those junkyards that are allowed to exist adjacent to the control routes.


Highway Beautification Overview

Congress has declared that outdoor advertising and junkyards in areas adjacent to the Highway Beautification Control System (HBCS) should be controlled in order to protect the public investment in such highways, to promote the safety and recreational value of public travel, and preserve natural beauty. The State of Nebraska, by enacting legislation which became effective March 27, 1972, has elected to participate in the control of advertising signs and junkyards.


Highway Beautification efforts by the Right of Way Division consists of two areas: outdoor advertising and junkyards.

  • Outdoor Advertising Control: Control the erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays and devices along the HBCS. This control may also include the acquisition of the various property interests necessary for removal of nonconforming advertising signs, displays, and devices.
  • Junkyard Control and Acquisition: Control the location and maintenance of junkyards along the HBCS. This control may also include the acquisition of the property rights necessary to screen, relocate, remove or dispose of nonconforming junkyards along the HBCS.


View HBCS maps in the map library



Permits for Advertising Signs


  • To control all signs erected and maintained in areas adjacent to the Nebraska HBCS.
  • To remove all illegal, abandoned and blank signs adjacent to the Nebraska HBCS.


Permit Documents


Permits for Junkyards


No permit shall be granted for the location and maintenance of a junkyard within one thousand feet of the nearest edge of the right of way of any roadway of the HBCS except the following:

  • Those which are screened by natural objects, planting, fences or other appropriate means so as not to be visible form the main-traveled way of the HBCS, or otherwise removed from sight.
  • Those located within areas which are zoned for industrial use under authority of the law of a municipality or county, except those located along any route designated as a scenic byway
  • Those located with unzoned industrial areas, which areas shall be determined from actual land uses and defined by rules to be promulgated by the Nebraska Department of Transportation, except those located along any designated as a scenic byway.
  • Those which are not visible from the main-traveled way of the HBCS.
  • Existing nonconforming junkyards cannot be enlarged and may remain until acquired by the Department of Transportation.

All junkyards within 1,000 feet of the Nebraska HBCS must obtain a permit from the Department of Transportation which is renewable January 1 of each year.


Permit Documents


Guidance Document

Pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-901.03

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties if the Department does not adequately control junkyards and advertising signs?

The penalty for noncompliance with the Federal Highway Beautification Act, P.L. 89-285 for advertising signs is a 10 percent reduction of the Department's annual federal-aid highway apportionment, and a 7 percent reduction of apportionment for noncompliance regarding junkyards.


How does the Department provide for effective control?

The Department has established control procedures through permit systems, inventories, and periodic surveillance of the controlled routes to discover illegal signs and junkyards and monitor other areas controlled by the Act.


What is an illegal sign or junkyard?

An illegal sign of junkyard is one which is erected or established and/or maintained in violation of the law.


What is a conforming sign or junkyard?

A conforming sign or junkyard is one that complies entirely with all the provisions of the State laws.


What is a nonconforming sign or junkyard?

A sign or junkyard is considered to be nonconforming if it was erected or established prior to the effective date of the State law, but does not conform to current law's requirements.

A nonconforming sign or junkyard must be maintained in accordance with the State law. Failure to do so may result in loss of the right to operate and require removal of the nonconforming sign or junkyard without compensation.