Section 2: ROW Mapping for On-System Projects (For State and Local Government)

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General Requirements

The two main elements required for ROW mapping are the TxDOT ArcGIS geo-database template (populated with the schematic and surveyed parcel features) and property descriptions (preliminary and/or final signed and sealed).

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  • To expedite the acquisition process, parcels or small groups of parcels must be submitted as they are completed.
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  • ROW Project Delivery staff will coordinate with District ROW mapping staff to set the priority of the submission of parcels.

All property descriptions must be prepared, signed, and sealed under the supervision of an RPLS.

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  • The surveyor is responsible for the boundary analysis of the proposed ROW parcels and preparation of the property descriptions, and surveyor's reports.
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  • Expansion of the right of way over a navigable stream requires a permit from the General Land Office.
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Simultaneous ROW Mapping and Schematic Development

The objective of simultaneous ROW mapping and schematic development is to have the final signed and sealed property descriptions completed before the schematic is approved (approved environmental). The title work on the parent tracts will be completed before the surveyor starts work, saving time and expense on that portion of the mapping process.

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  • During schematic development, the design engineer determines the amount of ROW required to accommodate the proposed transportation facility.
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  • ROWAPS contracts should be used to perform the title work on the parent tracts and issue title commitments at 30-60% schematic development level.
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  • The title company will provide the title information and commitments of the parent tracts to the surveyor.
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  • ROW mapping must begin at 60% schematic development level and progress simultaneously with the schematic to meet the needs and timeline(s) of Right of Way Project Delivery.
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  • Preliminary property descriptions will be prepared during the 60-90% schematic development.
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  • Final signed and sealed property descriptions will be prepared during the 90-100% schematic development.

All property descriptions will be received by ROW Division in PDF format via the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Notification of submission shall be emailed to which prompts the ROW Division review. Signed and sealed paper originals are still required and shall be sent with a transmittal memo detailing the submitted items and purpose. The mapping package will be reviewed by the District for technical completeness, compliance with TxDOT guidelines and adherence to the Professional Land Surveying Practices Act. The ROW Division will conduct an administrative review and advise the District and Right of Way Project Delivery Section of any identified deficiencies found.

The District and/or ROW Division will identify the parcels in the Right of Way Information System (ROWIS) as ready for acquisition upon the review and receipt of the ArcGIS geo-database template and/or preliminary property descriptions.

District and/or ROW Division shall notify ROW Division’s Contracts and Finance Section, Project Financial Management Branch via email when parcels are identified and entered into ROWIS.

For additional references for preparation of ROW mapping and general surveying, see the following publications:

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TxDOT Surveying Guide

Committee on Geomatics & Surveying

Professional Land Surveying Practices Act Rules and Regulations

Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying

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ROW Parcel Numbering

General Objectives in Parcel Numbering. There are many different scenarios to consider when numbering parcels. For example on an urban project, one or more contiguous lots may be under common ownership. If the preliminary data shows contiguous properties have a unity of use, then two or more lots may be combined into one marketable unit having one parcel number. If the appraisal data shows contiguous ownership, but do not have unity of use, then assign each lot a separate parcel number, and compute a separate value for each.

Rural projects are usually handled the same as urban projects, with focus placed on the parent tract. A parent tract is defined as a single property not divided by a public way or platted as a subdivision. However, a parent tract may be defined by several smaller purchases that compose one large tract of land under one owner. In addition, one parcel may be comprised of more than one part. For additional guidance, see the examples in the table below.

Usually, properties divided by existing public ways or by separate ownership are considered separate parcels, although they may have common ownership. However, sometimes the unity of use supports combining parcels. In this case, assign the whole property one parcel number, with each divided tract being an associated part.

Standard Numbering System for ROW Parcels. Since parcels or small groups of parcels will be submitted as they are completed, parcels will no longer be required to be numbered sequentially based upon the centerline stationing. The parcels in the first group requested can begin with Parcel No. 1 or can be pre-numbered. The only requirement is that there is no duplication of the same number.

The following are examples and explanations to clarify the standard parcel numbering system:

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Parcel No.



1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

Normal parcel numbers. See Samples 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5A.



Usual outfall or channel easement only. Easements of this type are located outside of actual ROW. See Sample 1A.


2-Part 1

Part 2

One parcel composed of two parts with the same parent parcel. Both parts will be included in a single appraisal report, only one value will show on value forms, and only one deed and one title policy or title certificate is to be obtained. See Sample 5.



3(E)-Part 1

Part 2

Two channel or outfall easements from one tract.

Same as Example 3 except that a channel or outfall easement is being acquired rather than a ROW parcel. See Sample 2.





Normal parcel (2) with one outfall or channel easement as explained for example 2.

See Sample 1.



3(E)-Part 1

Part 2

Normal parcel with two channel or outfall easements. Each appraiser will make one report setting out separate values for the ROW parcel and the easements. Values for both easements will be combined into one value on value forms. One deed and one title policy or title certificate will be obtained for the ROW parcel and only one instrument of conveyance and one title policy or title certificate (State Acquisition Projects) will be secured for the channel easements. See Sample 2.




Beginning with a normal Parcel No. 2 that is divided into two parcels. Could be caused by error in original numbering or due to part of original parcel having been sold since ROW map was prepared. See Sample 6. The original Parcel No. 2 cannot be used alone again.




Usual outfall or channel multi-part easement is divided when the parent parcel is also divided as in Example 6. See Sample 6.





2B(E)-Part 1

Part 2

Beginning with a divided parcel divided (2A & 2B) with one easement [2A(E)] then the other parcel (2B) with two easements [2B(E)-Part 1 and 2B(E) - Part 2. See Sample 7.


26-Part 1

Part 2

Sample 8 is when a parent tract resides in two counties with one parcel number divided into parts at the county line. Only one appraisal but division of values. This is applicable to both State and Local Government (LG) acquisition projects and also to a combination involving both State and LG acquisition on a project.



Railroad crossings held in joint use with a railroad (operating railroad ROW) by joint use agreement, license, or permit should be numbered in the same manner as a regular parcel of land with the addition of the designator "RR" (e.g., parcel 1RR). To be used for crossings only!



Joint Use Agreement – Joint use of TxDOT right of way with others.



Wetlands - used for property that is acquired for wetland mitigation.



Overlooked Improvement - used when a parcel has been acquired and an overlooked improvement (e.g., private water, water well, root cellar, etc.) found on the parcel that still needs to be removed).



Temporary easements acquired through the normal acquisition process.



Mitigation: Environmental mitigation except wetlands.



Access rights only. NO ROW TO BE ACQUIRED! See Sample 9.



Outdoor Advertising Sign Only – NO LAND ACQUISITION!



Advance Acquisition Parcel – acquired in advance of ROW project authority to proceed. Option parcels can also be designated this way. AAQ may not be identified on the property descriptions.


Tract 4UR

An uneconomic remainder parcel.



A number assigned (by ROW Division) to uniquely identify a utility facility; may not involve property interest.



A number assigned for payments to be tracked to a Right of Way Professional Service Provider.



A number assigned for appraisal payments to be tracked on a project basis.

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Project Information

All the information previously found on the ROW Map Title Sheet will be submitted in the form of a Word document template. The information will include:

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  • Highway numbers
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  • County or counties
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  • Federal project number (if applicable)
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  • Construction CSJ number(s). If there is more than one CSJ, tabulate the numbers in the heading with the lowest number shown first, and show CSJ and station numbers at break points with arrow indicators.
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  • ROW CSJ number(s) corresponding to each CCSJ
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  • Authorized ROW project limits as setup in DCIS
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  • Project length (shall match DCIS)
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  • Station numbers for the beginning and ending of the project, and station equations.
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  • Reference to previous ROW projects in the same location if applicable.
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  • A listing of all known utility facilities, including U numbers.
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  • Datum Statement including metadata, the state plane zone in which the project resides, basis of bearings and coordinates, adjustment factor used for converting from grid coordinates to surface coordinates including the origin for the scale, rotation angle (if applicable), and original monument description.
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  • Signatures of appropriate signing authorities.
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    • For initial submission: The District Surveyor or Right of Way Project Delivery Manager will recommend acquisition after a technical review for compliance with TxDOT procedures and Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying rules and regulations is completed.
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    • For initial submission: The Area Engineer or Design Engineer will recommend acquisition after a review for conformance with the design schematic and verifying the proposed acquisition is adequate to build the proposed transportation facility.
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    • For final ROW map submission in PDF via EDMS: The District Engineer or designee will sign for final approval verifying ROW activities are complete as shown on the final ROW map.
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ROW Projects for Utility Accommodations Exclusively

Projects that require only utility relocations without parcel or easement acquisition may be submitted with only the Word document template that contains all the information previously found on the ROW Map Title Sheet and should include the following:

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