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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Streamlining and Innovation Award

Oregon Department of Transportation

Airial photo with alignment drawnThis award recognizes the Oregon Department of Transportation for streamlining and innovation in their right of way acquisition processes.

The Oregon Department of Transportation began to reconsider its approach to project delivery eight years ago. In the past, the Department functioned as a collection of independent experts each with a fairly narrow focus. This structure led to many disconnects and handoffs between technical functions. The resulting poor communication led to pre-construction delays and excessive plan modification. There was a feeling among internal and external customers that the process should be quicker and more responsive to customer needs.

The solution to these problems was to shift the emphasis in the department from functions to relationships. The resulting Project Team approach brought together all appropriate technical staff experts relevant to a specific project. Right of way is customarily a core team member on all complex projects.

The SW 4th - NW Oregon project demonstrates the benefits that the Department gained from their streamlining and innovation effort. Because right of way was participating as a core team member they were able to identify potential problems with proposed alignments. Right of way input into the process resulted in relocating a road to city owned property rather than private property, proposing creative cost to cure solutions to protect property owners' rights, reducing land acquisition costs and preserving value of acquired excess parcels. Residential mitigations were reduced by a third and excess land parcels were made available for mitigation and enhancement measures that were later incorporated into the project. oject Team met monthly for strategy and status sessions, which resulted in the refinement of alignments to avoid relocations, acquisitions and excessive damage to remainder properties.

The Project Team approach also used a public involvement and outreach process to engage the public, identify stakeholder issues and resolve those issues as part of the project development process. The outreach approach also extended to other state and local government agencies. Additionally, the Project Team worked with city and county government to ensure that the project was designed to be consistent with local planning and land use goals, significantly reducing project development time. The net result of the innovative Project Team approach was that right of way was able to deliver the necessary rights of way in 30 percent less time than the initial estimate.

Through its participation in process streamlining and innovation efforts, the Oregon Department of Transportation improved public involvement, intergovernmental agency coordination, improved the right of way process and reduced overall project development and delivery schedules.


Stephanie Anderson | George Bertles | Joe Gray | Julie Hamner | Ken Patterson | Dave Parks

Streamlining and Innovation Honorable Mention Awards

Texas Department of Transportation

Image of a spreadsheetThis Honorable Mention Award recognizes the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Contracting for Right of Way Acquisition Provider Services (ROWAPS). TxDOT established a professional service contract category for full service right of way acquisition that allowed TxDOT to consider contractor qualifications and capacity rather than accepting the low bid.

TxDOT created a two-part process, qualifying potential bidders through a public request for proposals and review of the proposals followed by a negotiation process in which the fees for specific functions and tasks were determined. The result of the successful negotiation was an "indefinite delivery" contract that lasts two years and is capped at one million dollars of total value. For projects that use contractor services, the ROWAPS process results in a right of way acquisition process that takes one third less time.

The ROWAPS process reduced project and process delays, provided additional opportunity for public involvement with the selected ROWAPS contractors and promoted the efficient use of public funds.


Mendy Abney | Gus Canno | Frank R. "Bob" Clark | Jesse Cooper | Jerry Loven | Terry May | Debbie Menefee | Katherine Studer | W.L. Wimberly | Juan Zaragoza

South Carolina Department of Transportation

Photo of a houseThis Honorable Mention Award recognizes South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) for their absolute auction of homes within the Carolina Bays parkway corridor. This corridor impacted 14 homes, all less than three years old, in the Hunters Ridge community.

When the SCDOT followed their existing process for disposing of surplus structures through normal procedures, they did not generate interest from prospective buyers due to issues involving homeowners associations and liability for damage to subdivision roadways. Therefore, SCDOT created an innovative process in which they partnered with a Real Estate consultant, and negotiated liability issues with the homeowners association for SCDOT to accept liability for damage to subdivision streets resulting from the move of the homes. This SCDOT process innovation resulted in all 14 homes being sold. A key element to the success of this process was having representatives from several home moving companies available at the auction to talk to prospective bidders about moving costs. Through process innovation and public outreach the SCDOT was able to sell to many first time homeowners and maintain community cohesion as all of the homes sold were moved within the community.


Oscar Rucker

Updated: 9/5/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
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