If you have decided to build a road, or are thinking about it, it’s important that you understand the various local rules and regulations that may affect your project. This includes things like how you can solicit the local government for their support and how you can plan your construction timeline.
A right-of-way is a portion of land acquired for construction of a road. The right-of-way is usually wider than the actual roadway, and should be wide enough to accommodate the width of the roadway and other necessary elements. This width also allows for the placement of utilities. It is important to ensure that the right-of-way is wide enough to allow for the installation and maintenance of public utility facilities.
When a city acquires property for use as a right-of-way, the owner may sell or give the property to the city for use as a public right-of-way. Typically, the owner’s fee title is extended to the centerline of the right-of-way. However, in some cases, the owner has not provided fee title. In such cases, the city may acquire the right-of-way by exercising authority.
Right-of-way plans are developed after preliminary plans are approved. They describe the outer roadways and include crossroads, entrances, and other important information. Special sheets are prepared for this purpose. If the improvement will be a major traffic generator, the plan sheet will include turn lanes, acceleration lanes, and deceleration lanes. These lanes are usually placed along the centerline of the improvement or at the ends of the right-of-way.
In addition to the main road, a right-of-way can also provide partial controlled access. Normally, these areas will be six feet wide and are located in the right-of-way immediately adjacent to the right-of-way. These areas are intended to be placed before the roadway is constructed.
A right-of-way can be a controlled access right-of-way, a normal right-of-way, or an easement. Each can be a legal obligation or a privilege. All parties must be aware of their rights and obligations before any work is done.
Right-of-way plans are typically a requirement when building a project that is expedited in order to meet a schedule. The project manager will need to obtain right-of-way authority and submit the plans to the district. Usually, these plans are filed electronically. Electronic storage will preserve the history of the acquisition process and will make it easier for the district’s staff to access approved plans.
If a project involves an increase in traffic volume, the project manager will need to obtain the appropriate authorization from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to modify the right-of-way. Controlled access will limit the number of points of ingress and egress to the main roadway, and is generally used when a new roadway is planned or an existing road is modified. Depending on the nature of the road, full control may not be practical. Lower volume minor routes can be considered partial controlled access at intersections, or it may be desirable to have temporary access during the construction of an outer road.
Additional areas of the right-of-way may be purchased for future lane additions or expansion. If a right-of-way is in excess, the excess must not be marked as an uneconomic remnant. Excess right-of-way must be identified with a proper note on the title sheet.
Soliciting local government support
The sleazy gist that is the government is still in business and a lot of cash is being channeled into public works of art and beautification. As such, it’s not surprising that local governments are looking for a worthy adversary to stomp. One of the better options is to solicit private sector contractors. If you’re in the market for a contract, a quick call is all you need to get the ball rolling. It’s not all bad news, you’ll also benefit from the resulting price efficiencies. Besides, who knows, you might find yourself with the aforementioned golden parrot at a palatable rate. Getting a leg up on the competition might even improve your odds in the lottery department. There’s a lot to be said for the well informed road warrior in the first place.
The construction timeline for road building is lengthy and involves a fair amount of homework. For instance, you need to secure permits, study the economic impact of a road upgrade, and relocate businesses. All in all, it takes years of hard work and dedication. With the right team in place, a road construction project can be a lucrative endeavor. However, a little planning goes a long way. Identifying the most important steps first will save you a ton of headaches down the line. It is also a good idea to consider the cost of resources and the level of risk associated with your project. In addition to determining the right mix of contractors and subcontractors, you should also take the time to consider the pros and cons of each option. During the design phase, you should establish a clear vision of the final product, and decide which construction methods will be the most effective.
Choosing the proper tools and materials for the job is another important step. It might be a good idea to include helical piles, in particular, in the list of materials. Aside from obtaining the proper permits, you should also consider the impact of the environment and the public’s health and safety. Your team should include an environmental scientist, an architect, and a representative from the local government. If possible, you should also take into account the effects of traffic congestion, weather conditions, and other factors. You can also consider whether your road is in an urban setting, or has a higher density of homes and businesses than its neighbors. This decision will have a direct impact on the overall construction schedule.
Creating a formal construction plan is a good way to go about it. Despite the many tools and techniques to choose from, the most important decisions are often made by the project managers themselves. To get a sense of the relative complexity of the task, you may want to use a simulation of the process. Doing so will give you a more thorough appreciation of the tradeoffs involved and a better understanding of the potential pitfalls.
As a last resort, you may consider the use of a computer-generated scheduling program. A good one will alert you to logic errors in your plan. By comparing your schedule to other similar projects, you can identify trends and snags before they become costly problems. Likewise, you can identify the best time to work with your teams and their contractors. Keeping a construction budget under control is the key to a successful project.