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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Innovation Award

Alabama Department of Transportation

Sample right-of-way project map.This Award recognizes the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Right-of-Way Bureau's innovative method of recording and storing right-of-way project maps and providing access to ALDOT employees and the public.

For more than half a century, the ALDOT Right-of-Way Bureau accumulated and stored countless maps, deeds, and other documents and records necessary for acquisition and management of Alabama's highway right-of-way system. Concerns developed regarding space limitations, natural deterioration, retrieval difficulty, and the possibility of loss from fire or other catastrophe. Right-of-Way managers developed a comprehensive system to organize and protect these important documents using state-of-the-art technology.

In the first phase of the project, over 3,000 maps were scanned and indexed by an outside contractor. The scanned documents are stored in PDF format on a server, along with a database of project-related information associated with the scanned material. A Document Management System (DMS), complete with custom search forms, puts the information at the fingertips of any ALDOT computer user. With electronic storage and backup systems in place, these important documents are preserved and protected from future loss or deterioration.

Paul Bowlin, Tammy Hicks, and Mike Wilson.The second phase of the project addressed needs of users outside of the Department. These historical project documents are public records and are in constant demand by surveyors, utility companies, attorneys, engineers, and the general public. The Bureau's DMS is now available for use via the Internet. Right-of-Way staff developed a website for the Bureau and added links to the DMS that allows outside users to search and view these documents. By making the archived documents available to the public, ALDOT significantly reduced the time and money spent locating and retrieving the documents and producing paper copies. Web access to these documents improved accessibility for users who previously had to drive to an ALDOT office to access information. The user can now view and print the documents from any computer with Internet access.

ALDOT is looking at modernizing all record storage and management by utilizing the Right-of-Way model.


Alabama Department of Transportation | Paul Bowlin | Tammy Hicks | Mike Wilson.

Document management system developed and implemented

Innovation Honorable Mention Award

New Mexico Department of Transportation

Hotlink features of the GIS program.This Honorable Mention Award recognizes the Right-of-Way Bureau of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) for its efficient and effective use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) in everyday operations.

With the support of NMDOT Management and FHWA, the Right-of-Way Bureau took on the task of learning and incorporating GIS applications as a tool for improving its many processes and business practices in support of NMDOT's mission.

The Right-of-Way Bureau has implemented GIS applications for managing Indian land acquisitions, government land acquisitions, property management and monitoring water rights. The Right-of-Way Bureau's Railroads and Utilities Section is currently in the final stage of implementing an internet-based GIS rail/highway grade crossing system.

Right-of-Way is striving to expand its use of GIS to include all bureau functions. The bureau's ultimate goal is to create a system that affords users with access to a linked and fully integrated database. This will provide a seamless flow of documentation from beginning to end and facilitate a more efficient and economical right-of-way process.

Ron Noedel, Phil Lujan, Pete Contreras, Chris Park, Mary Pacheo, John Rocha, Leroy Vigil, Henry Gonzales, Bob Lopez, Art Gurule, and Lester Cisneros.


New Mexico Department of Transportation, Right-of-Way Bureau | Lester Cisneros | Pete Contreras | Henry Gonzales | Art Gurule | Bob Lopez | Phil Lujan | Ron Noedel | Mary Pacheco | Chris Park | John Rocha | Leroy Vigil

Efficient and effective GIS use in everyday operations

Updated: 9/5/2014
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