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Section 6: Sale of Right of Way (Fee Simple) No Longer Needed for a State Highway Purpose to the Abutting Landowner(s)

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Overview

Note: The Right of Way Manual provides guidance for disposition of property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes. Unless otherwise stated, procedures outlined below apply to property interests that are no longer needed for state highway purposes.

If the GE does not acquire a right of way interest no longer needed for a state highway purpose when the state owns fee simple title, it can be sold to the abutting landowner(s).

In any sale or exchange when the abutting landowner is a trust, or a person who is a trustee, contact the ROW program office in Austin.

If any of the landowners decline to purchase their portion, the remaining abutting landowners may purchase the adjusted portions of right of way no longer needed for a state highway purpose, provided there is no interference with an adjacent owner’s rights, including access to the highway facility.

If only one of the abutting landowners is interested in purchasing the right of way interest no longer needed for a state highway purpose, the entire tract can be sold to that owner, even if their property does not abut the entire tract.

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Procedures

The department notifies owner(s) of their eligibility to purchase a portion of the right of way interest no longer needed for a state highway purpose abutting their property and explain all associated expenses.

The department prepares submission package.

The ROW program office in Austin follows procedures outlined in Section 4, Sale of Right of Way (Fee Simple) No Longer Needed for State Highway Purpose to a GE.

If the adjacent landowner will be purchasing the asset, then after the department approves the recommended value, the department will ask the landowner(s) to provide a current licensed attorney’s opinion based on an examination of the deed records and indicating all the owners of land abutting the right of way interest no longer needed for a state highway purpose.

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Sale by Sealed Bid

Occasionally, right of way no longer needed for a state highway purpose may be sold by sealed bid to the general public:

  • if the tract of land owned in fee simple by the state is surrounded by public roads and other right of way
  • if the abutting landowner declines to purchase a tract of right of way.

In this type of sealed bid sale (see Sealed Bid Sales), the department must confirm that any property interests of abutting private property owners are not interfered with, especially access to the highway facility.

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