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August 30th, 2020 — In

Dealing With Highway Takings: Landowner Tips and Useful Information

This Article is written by Owner’s Counsel of America for general informational purposes only.  It is intended to assist landowners in understanding some of the basic aspects of dealing with the taking of private property for highway purposes and highway projects. This Article is not to be viewed as providing legal advice or to be considered as a substitute for consulting with an experienced eminent domain lawyer on the matters covered herein. Background Highways in the United States are generally split into four types: Interstate Highways (federally funded but state-maintained), older U.S. Highways, state highways, and county highways. In order to continuously develop, improve and maintain this vast transportation network each year, large amounts of private property must be acquired, either through voluntary negotiations with property owners or by the exercise of the eminent domain power. As a result, the taking of property for highways generally exceeds the taking of property for all other public purposes. Federal and State Laws Given the number of highway takings across the country, specific regulations and procedures have been adopted by federal, state, and local jurisdictions to address such matters. While these laws may differ somewhat from state to state, they also share a degree of similarity. This is particularly true of takings for interstate highways. For instance, in 1970 the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act (1970) (“URA”) was passed by the U.S. federal government. URA is meant to ensure fair compensation and assistance for all owners being required to give […]

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