Right of Way Tactical Measures
Our Division is divided into two teams: Acquisition Services and Property Management Services.
The Acquisition Services Team is responsible for acquiring property needed for highway projects. This complex process involves working with other Divisions to identify property needed for projects, identifying the owner(s) of those properties, having the properties valued, reviewing those valuations to determine just compensation, and making an offer to purchase the property from the landowner(s). Negotiations follow, which can run a wide range of outcomes, from real estate purchase contracts to occupancy agreements to litigation. Relocation assistance is also available to property owners that are displaced as a result of a project.
The Property Management Team manages a variety of responsibilities once the property has been acquired, ranging from the removal of structures and other improvements so a project can proceed, to the leasing of land and buildings after a project is completed. Property Management during the pre-construction phase of a project involves the clearance of structures, other improvements, pests, and hazardous materials from acquired properties. Following a project, the Property Management Team ensures that the public's assets are preserved, protected, and utilized to serve transportation needs. This includes permitting activities to ensure encroachments do not threaten public transportation systems, controlling access to ensure the safe operation of our highways, disposing of excess land that is not needed for current or future projects, and managing property that is being held for future transportation projects.
Each Team works hard in a variety of areas to manage the Department's real estate needs. These key areas are discussed in the stories below.