As we predicted in the blog “Has the Southeast 540 Extension Location Finally Been Decided?” back in April of 2014, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has recommended the “Orange Route” for the completion of the southern portion of I-540. Our sources have been telling us for some time that the tea leaves, political winds, and economic realities made the Orange Route the most likely candidate for this long-awaited construction.
What is the Impact of the Orange Route Decision?
One of the economic realities that NCDOT had to deal with on this toll-supported project was the anticipated cost of acquiring property from existing landowners along the other routes. The Orange Route is considered the least costly in terms of effects on landowners compared to the alternative routes but will still take a huge toll (no pun intended) on those who find themselves in its path. Even though fewer properties will be affected, NCDOT’s own estimates put the number of properties affected by the entire project at 744, including 281 displacements. Displacements will include 271 homes and 6 businesses.
How Do I Know If My Property Will be Affected by the I-540 Loop?
At this point there have been no detailed plans regarding the engineering of the actual project but the general area of the Orange Route is found at the NCDOT website. If you believe your property might be affected, we can assist you in determining more specifically whether your property falls within the route. Please feel free to give us a call to discuss that issue.
What Happens Next?
NCDOT indicates that the project will be broken up into three phases. The first phase will be from N.C. 55 Bypass to U.S. 401 and construction of that phase will begin in Fiscal 2018 (which means conceivably starting in October of 2017). In that phase, there are 385 total parcels affected: 124 displacements and 233 partial takings. We expect that Right of Way acquisition will begin later this Spring. The timing of the acquisition may be affected by opposition from environmental groups, but with this decision, NCDOT appears committed to finally moving forward.
What can YOU expect? NCDOT will likely contact you by letter indicating their intention to take your property, or a portion of it, for the project. When you hear from NCDOT, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your options and next steps.
You can also expect to hear from law firms who will offer to represent you. When you do, you’ll want to consider the experience of those firms in representing landowners against NCDOT and actually trying condemnation cases to verdict.
Our Raleigh Attorneys Can Help You with Your Land Condemnation Case
While chances are we can achieve just compensation for you without a trial, an understanding of how to prepare and actually try condemnation cases is invaluable experience for any law firm that claims expertise in handling them. As we like to say, the best way to maximize a fair settlement of a case is to get it ready for trial.
Our experience and resources, including experts in the areas of appraisal and land use, allow that type of preparation of your case.
Speak with a Lawyer Experienced in NCDOT Cases
Contact Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas, LLP for an experienced Eminent Domain and Land Condemnation attorney to handle your case. Please feel free to complete the online contact form below or call 919-615-2473 and ask to speak with one of our Eminent Domain lawyers. We are happy to help.
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