This Award recognizes the New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) streamlined approach to the Route 1 and Route 9, Section 4T, project in the City of Elizabeth. Right-of-way design, acquisition, and relocation activities were accomplished with the highest regard for the impacted environmental, social and economic constituencies.
The project involved the replacement of the Elizabeth River Viaduct to improve traffic flow. It impacted 11 businesses, 20 multi-family residential dwellings, a motel occupied by long-term tenants on public assistance, and a boarding house with 17 occupants. There were 82 residential occupants requiring relocation assistance. The project also necessitated the functional replacement of the city's public works facility.
The project required that close coordination and integration be maintained between numerous agencies. NJDOT coordinated with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the City of Elizabeth. Coordination with the City and County public housing agencies was particularly important for the motel and rooming house occupants. The right-of-way staff worked closely with the design consultant and project manager to scale back one acquisition preventing the need to relocate a manufacturing facility with 60 employees.
The Central District Right-of-Way staff was proactive and quickly established a satellite office to enhance local awareness of available services. The office was staffed two days per week and remained open one evening every week. Translators were available to assist in discussions with Hispanic residents, and materials were presented in Spanish. Within 2 1/2 years, the entire process was complete, and the occupants were relocated to decent, safe, and sanitary housing.
The challenges faced on this project by the right-of-way staff were quite complex. Despite the various obstacles, the task was accomplished through the efforts of numerous people and agencies. Clearly demonstrated was NJDOT's appreciation of the issues and willingness to deal with them in a manner that fostered cooperation and understanding.
New Jersey Department of Transportation's Capital Program Management Area | Project Management | Design | Environmental Resources | Right-of-Way
Close coordination and integration between numerous agencies
This Honorable Mention Award recognizes the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for streamlining and integration efforts on the Central Texas Turnpike Project (CTTP). The Right-of-Way Team at the Turnpike Project Office is part of the Austin District of TxDOT.
The CTTP consists of three roadway components: State Highway 45 North, Loop 1, and State Highway 130. The project is a "Fast Track" effort to construct 65.7 miles of new highway facilities to ease traffic congestion and increase mobility in the Central Texas region. The cost of the turnpike project is approximately $3.4 billion with a completion date of late 2007. All three highway components are presently under construction. The right-of-way effort consists of acquiring over 600 parcels of real estate and several hundred relocations.
The Right-of-Way team integrated the work of over 24 different companies and subcontractors and over 100 transportation professionals. With the oversight of the TxDOT Right-of-Way Management Team, consultants provided mapping, acquisition, and relocation services. The direct coordination of the eminent domain proceedings also fostered a cooperative work environment with the Office of the Attorney General and other members of the Team.
The integration of many disciplines and streamlining of the acquisition process allowed Texas to begin construction and begin solving some of the Central Texas traffic problems.
Texas Department of Transportation | John Breed | Kerry Fulton | Don Toner, Jr.
Integration led to solutions to Central Texas traffic problems
This Honorable Mention Award recognizes the Office of Real Estate Management System (OREMS) created by the MarylandState Highway Administration (MSHA) to streamline the paperwork involved in the right-of-way process.
Prior to OREMS, every process required extensive paperwork, repetition of steps and hand distribution. All paper copies went through an interoffice mailing system or were hand-delivered. This method was cumbersome, inefficient, and time-consuming. In 1997, the Director of the Office of Real Estate Services requested that a database to track project and property information be developed. The new system was implemented in 1999.
MSHA customers who use OREMS include the Offices of Real Estate Services, Chief Counsel, and Plans and Surveys. The system allows many acquisition tasks and processes to be automated. This system integrates scanned acquisition plats enabling real property specialists to log into the system and print copies of the latest plats from a computer.
The system designed by the Office of Real Estate Services is a model within the MSHA. The OREMS enables the Office of Real Estate Services to make the most of taxpayer dollars by ensuring peak performance.
Maryland State Highway Administration | Ken Drury | Christopher Larson
Streamlined the right-of-way administrative process