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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Streamlining and Integration Award

Florida Department of Transportation

This Award recognizes the Florida Department of Transportation and the TBE Group, Inc. for developing the Right-of-Way Considerations for Engineers course to educate engineers on right-of-way cost savings.

Right-of-Way Considerations for Engineers - book coverThe Florida Department of Transportation's (FDOT's) right-of-way acquisition program, including eminent domain, is one of the largest, most complex and most expensive in the country. Within FDOT, there has been a longstanding critical need for engineers to effectively recognize damage issues early, during the design process, and develop successful engineering solutions to reduce impacts to property and business owners, avoid litigation, reduce right-of-way payments and costs, and accelerate project schedules. FDOT realized the key to success was education, specifically developing a course that teaches project managers, engineers and designers to analyze
right-of-way considerations and costs savings at the beginning of the project.

FDOT selected consulting firm TBE Group to develop and teach a course on right-of-way costs and considerations. The completed course was promoted via the Internet, FDOT, the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers, the Florida Engineering Society, and similar resources. In addition, TBE submitted the course to the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. The Board approved the course for eight professional development credit hours toward Professional Engineer (PE) licensure. Furthermore, TBE is now certified as a Continuing Education Provider.

Right-of-Way Considerations for Engineers, a daylong course, includes specially designed course materials for each participant and is taught by an instructor with extensive experience in right-of-way issues. Teaching aids include 170 PowerPoint slides to help illustrate the material, and class participation and discussion are encouraged. The course content includes case studies and focuses on innovative problem-solving techniques that challenge all project participants to rethink, readdress and rework solutions for optimum cost efficiency while satisfying the needs of property and business owners. To date, more than $100 million in right-of-way savings have been realized using these techniques.

Kenneth M. Towcimak, Director of FDOT's Office of Right-of-Way, expressed his high degree of satisfaction with the TBE-developed course. Referring to the course as "an economic and cost-effective solution," Mr. Towcimak said, "The FDOT Office of Right-of-Way is confident that this highly effective course has [fulfilled] and will continue to fulfill an important need in the engineering community, will result in considerable future cost savings through improved engineering design decisions for right-of-way, and, through such improved design, will reduce the social and economic impacts on property owners impacted by right-of-way takings for transportation projects."


Florida Department of Transportation, Kenneth Towcimak, TBE Group, Inc., and Richard Doyle.

Streamlining and Integration Honorable Mention Award

Arizona Department of Transportation

This Honorable Mention Award recognizes the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) for their Right-of-Way (R/W) Plans CADD Standards.

Several ADOT Sections as well as groups outside the Department use ADOT right-of-way plans. Legal description writers, appraisers, acquisition agents, relocation agents, attorneys, surveyors, designers, permits and maintenance staff, the general public, and the FHWA are among the most frequent users of these plans. Due to the increasing needs of the diverse variety of users, the complexity of ADOT R/W Plans has increased through the years.

For the last several years, on-call consultant firms have developed ADOT R/W Plans and the Plans have been coordinated and reviewed by ADOT right-of-way Plans Section technicians. Due to the complexity of R/W Plans, the number of different consultants developing the plans, different plans reviewers, and the vast group of users, a clear and detailed set of standards is required to maintain accuracy and uniformity. Prior to the recent development of the current set of ADOT R/W Plans CADD Standards, the standards were dated 1986 and only available in hardcopy format.

In September 2000, the ADOT R/W Plans Section formed a Standards Team to develop the necessary standards. The new standards are in CADD MicroStation format and they include both color and black and white detailed exhibits of all drawings typically contained within a set of ADOT R/W Plans. The color exhibits contain detailed standard CADD parameters as well as blocks containing Helpful Hints. The parameters cover the standard levels, colors, text parameters, line codes, and weights.

Today's standards provide clear and consistent examples of how applicable information should be illustrated. This simplifies the development process and has resulted in time and cost savings. The uniform manner in which information is currently illustrated on R/W Plans is a benefit to the many users. Standards exhibits are available for reference at:


Arizona Department of Transportation and Sabra Mousavi.

Updated: 10/20/2015
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