Right of way, the process of obtaining any property needed to complete roadway projects, is the last major step before a project is released to bidders for construction
During the previous stage, it might be determined that existing utilities located within the project limits conflict with the proposed roadway design. As right of way is being acquired, utility owners relocate their facilities to accommodate project construction. Utility owners aim to perform this work with minimal disruption to service.
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, in many cases NCDOT must acquire a certain amount of private property.
In the acquisition of right of way, NCDOT must treat all property owners with impartiality, fully explain all legal rights, pay just compensation in exchange for property rights, and furnish relocation assistance. Legal action is initiated only when a settlement cannot be reached.
While right of way is being negotiated and purchased, the final design plans are developed to guide the construction of the project.