Responsibilities & Objectives
The Property Management Section will perform all the functions required to assure control and administration of acquired lands and improvements, to dispose of portions of highway right of way no longer needed for highway purposes, to manage the access rights owned by the Department, to issue permits for all allowable encroachments on the right of way, and to manage the airspace on all highway systems for non-highway purposes. Property management activities shall be handled in a manner consistent with the public interest and designed to reflect the maximum long-range public benefit. The following nonexclusive list details some of the more major activities.
- Managing the newly acquired right of way. This includes maintaining an inventory of all improvements acquired as a part of the right of way acquisitions on projects; entering into short term rental agreements for owners and tenants to continue in occupancy until the property is needed; determining if conditions exist for rodent control measures to be implemented; clearing the right of way for construction by surveying structure for asbestos and demolition and removal of exiting structures.
- Disposing of surplus properties, land and/or improvements by holding auctions or sealed bid sales and managing the air space which is that space located above, at, or below the highway's established grade line lying within the right of way.
- Accomplishes the relinquishment or abandonment of old highway sand segments of highways remaining after the construction of the relocated roadway is completed. Plats and legal descriptions are prepared and offers of relinquishment are made to the appropriate governmental subdivision. If the relinquishment offer is declined, abandonment instruments are prepared which indicate if the property is to be sold, revert to private ownership, or remain in public ownership.
Property for Sale, Rent, or Lease
The Nebraska State Constitution, Article III, Section 21 states "Lands under the control of the state shall never be donated to railroad companies, private corporations or individuals."
Frequently Asked Questions
If time allows, can I continue to occupy my home or business after it has been sold to the Department?
After a right of way acquisition contract is finalized, a rental agreement may be made with the occupant whether owner or tenant. If the property is owner occupied, the owner may continue to occupy the property rent free until the expiration of the ninety (90) day notice to vacate or until thirty (30) days after payment is made for the property, whichever is the later date.
If the property is tenant occupied, the tenant will continue to pay rent to the owner until the State becomes legal owner. After that time and commencing with the next rental payment date, the tenant will make rent payments to the Department of Roads and the lease will be continued on the same term, including those concerning utilities, as with the previous owner.
How does the Department dispose of improvements that were acquired on a project?
The methods used for disposal of improvements in addition to owner retention mentioned above are:
- Removal by State forces: The acquired improvements will be retained by the State and removed by State forces when it has been determined to be beneficial to the State. The benefit derived may be an improvement which the State can put to good use or the cost of the removal may be far less by having the State do the removal rather than others.
- Public Sale - by Auction or Sealed Bid: The auction method of disposal is used where there is sufficient equipment, fixtures, and buildings to be moved to warrant an auction. Sealed bids are requested when isolated properties or improvements are to be disposed of, or where the number of properties to be disposed of in an area have not accumulated in sufficient numbers or high enough salvage value to warrant an auction.
- Negotiation: In those instances where the disposal of improvements were unsuccessful by the auction or sealed bid method, the disposal of improvements may be accomplished through Property Management negotiations or demolition. Isolated low salvage value outbuildings may be disposed of without advertising.
- Demolition Contract: When there is no reasonable probability of the acquired improvements being disposed through public sale, salvage, or other means, or it is in the public interest because of health, safety, beauty, neighborhood preservation, or environmental factors, the acquired improvements can be removed from the right of way under a clearing contract as soon as practicable after the improvements have been permanently vacated.
- Incorporating the removal of improvements as a part of the physical construction contract: In some situations it is more beneficial to have the acquired improvements removed as part of the physical construction contract rather than by any other method.
What does it mean to "relinquish" an old highway after the construction of the relocated roadway is completed?
To surrender all or part of the rights and responsibilities relating to all or a part of a fragment, section, or route on the State highway system to a political or governmental subdivision or public corporation of Nebraska.
What does it mean to "abandon" an old highway after the construction of the relocated roadway is completed?
Cessation of use of right of way or activity thereon with no intention to reclaim or use again for highway purposes. In Nebraska statutes 39-1302, "abandon" shall mean to reject all or part of the Department's rights and responsibilities relating to all or part of a fragment, section, or route on the State highway system.
What are access control rights?
Access control rights are property rights owned by the Department to regulate access, through the limitation of public access to and from properties abutting the highway facility. If it the condition where the right of property owners' use and enjoyment of access is owned and controlled by the Department. For more information, download the Access Control Policy.
Can these access control rights ever be changed?
The Department realizes there may be locations where granting an access within an area where access rights were previously acquired may be consistent with our current policies.
In these cases, a request for the establishment of a new access shall be submitted by the property owner to the district engineer. The property owner may request to purchase any type of access (from full unrestricted access right to some lesser restricted access right) from the Department.
If the request is approved, the value of the access rights being sold by the Department will be determine by an appraisal.
What does it mean to issue permits for allowable encroachments on the right of way?
It is the policy of the Department to keep highway right of way clear of private uses and encroachments, except where the Department, by permit or written agreement, allows such encroachment.
The Department's policy recognizes that there are non-highway uses of the right of way that are allowed by State statute. For more information, download the Encroachment Policy.