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St. Louis County Public Works complies with numerous policies. Some are set by the County Board; others are set at the state or federal level. We follow them to ensure all of our citizens have access to County services. The main policies enforced by the Public Works Department include:

Traffic Signs

The policy ensures compliance with the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MnMUTCD) requirement of an assessment and management method that maintains the minimum level of sign retroreflectivity. The proposed policy recognizes that the MnMUTCD is the standard for all traffic control devices on all roads open to public travel in Minnesota. Therefore, all traffic control devices on the St. Louis County highway system shall conform to its standards and specifications as specified in Minnesota Statute 169.06.

The MnMUTCD states the basic requirements of a traffic sign are:

  • To fulfill a need for traffic operations or traffic safety
  • Champion a command of attention of drivers
  • Provide drivers a clear and simple meaning so they understand what to do
  • Ensure the driver can plainly see the actual condition for why the traffic sign is installed
  • Be placed in such a way as to provide adequate response time for the driver to react

A key approach to accomplish these basic requirements is through a conservative use of traffic signs. A conservative use of traffic signs not only reduces maintenance costs, but is understood to improve the effectiveness of those remaining traffic signs, which cumulatively improves traffic safety for all users and pursues the goals of the Minnesota Toward Zero Death partnership in St. Louis County.   

Proposed Traffic Sign Policy PowerPoint 

Proposed St. Louis County Sign Policy

Mailbox Support

St. Louis County strives to provide right-of-way for the traveling public that is safe, efficient and free of unnecessary hazards, while minimizing the inconvenience to property owners. Minnesota law authorizes the road authority to remove and replace certain mailbox (Minnesota Statute 169.072) installations if they are deemed to be a public nuisance, a road hazard, and/or a danger to the health and safety of the traveling public (Minnesota Rules Chapter 8818).

St. Louis County Mailbox Policy

Plats & Subdivisions Roadway Standards

The St. Louis County Public Works Department has been directed through Subdivision Ordinance Number 60 to establish the required standards for roadways in plats and sub-divisions. The policy establishes  consistent standards which will enable all developers to design with consistent rules.

Read the Roadway Standards for Plats and Subdivisions

ATV Ordinance

St. Louis County has adopted an ordinance that allows the operation of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) on all County Roads outside of city limits. 

  • Provides for ATV operation on all county roads outside cities.
  • Provides for a permit process for county roads within city limits. 
  • Provides for a permit process for any county road on an as-needed basis. This will be issue driven and will be a collaborative process with the ATV clubs. 
  • Does not include conditions for speed, headlights, helmets required under the age of 18 and unsafe operation, because they are already covered by state statute and rules.
  • Provides a mechanism for the County Board to close or restrict roads if needed.
  • Provides a mechanism for the Public Works Director to close roads quickly in the event of damage or safety issues. These actions are subsequently reviewable by the County Board.
  • Provides for an Official All-Terrain Vehicle Map* and the County Land Explorer for road users and enforcement to refer to. These will be updated as needed through action of the Executive ATV Permit Committee or as a result of County Board action.
*The Official All-Terrain Vehicle Map is a GeoPDF that allows users to view their current location within an application, such as Avenza Maps, using the GPS in a smartphone or tablet. For more information on how to use these GeoPDFs, click here.

Read the ATV Ordinance

Process to allow ATV use on County roads within city limit
An ATV club or city must submit a permit application to St. Louis County to allow the use of ATVs on county roads within city limits. The permit application is considered for approval by the Executive ATV Permit Committee which is composed of the St. Louis County Public Works Director (or their designee), the St. Louis County Land Commissioner (or their designee), the St. Louis County Sheriff (or their designee) and two (2) members of the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners.

Permit Application


Phone: 218-625-3830
Fax: 218-625-3888

Phone: 218-625-3800
Fax: 218-625-3818

Phone: 218-262-0150
Fax: 218-262-0014

County Surveyor
Duluth - Survey Desk
Phone: 218-625-3879

Virginia - Survey Desk
Phone: 218-742-9837

All contacts