AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Right of Way and Utilities Activity Report Spring 2004 The Right of Way and Utilities Subcommittee Executive Board met January 13-15, 2004 in Washington, DC and the next Annual Meeting is May 9-13, 2004 in Seattle, WA. Considerable turnover continues in our profession and Executive Board changes include: John Williamson of NC replaced Jim Lewis of CT; Ann Hollands of RI replaced Richard Morris of NY; John Campbell of TX replaced Mike Borelli of OK; Jim Viau of OH replaced Ralph Divine of KY; and Terry Sampson of MO replaced Nancy Maieski of WS. FHWA staff will take individual photos of Directors from all States, many of whom are relatively new to their position, to include in the ‘05 subcommittee directory to help members build peer to peer relationships. The Subcommittee Executive Board developed a comprehensive agenda for the 2004 annual meeting to cover numerous issues, as well as best practices, in Right of Way Acquisition, Relocation, Training, Uniform Act regulatory changes, Appraisal, Billboard valuation methods, Pilot projects/Research, Cost Estimating and Utilities. FHWA Excellence in Right of Way Awards will be presented by FHWA Deputy Administrator Rick Capka to State DOT award recipients. Additionally, the Board is working to broaden coordination with other AASHTO entities. John Conrad Chair of the Highway Subcommittee on Advanced Transportation Systems will speak and participate at our 04 Annual Meeting. During our January meeting, the Executive Board also addressed the subcommittee strategic plan as well as succession planning for subcommittee leadership to succeed both Chairman Ken Towcimak and Vice-Chairman Stuart Waymack who will be concluding their service as officers later this year. The Executive Board will continue this succession planning effort during meetings to be held in conjunction with the Subcommittee Annual Meeting in May. The Highway Subcommittee on Right of way and Utilities held its 2003 annual conference in conjunction with FHWA in Newport Rhode Island on May 4 to 8. Attendance exceeded 300, which was down only slightly from previous years and 37 Member States participated. The Keynote address by Dr. Alan Pisarski emphasized the challenges we face to meet transportation needs for a growing and aging population with increased travel demands. The US Department of Commerce Official from the National Telecommunications and Information agency, Jack Zinman, outlined the forthcoming report on using Federal Lands to help meet broadband infrastructure needs. He explained the NTIA’s activities to support efforts to meet these needs. Members expressed their concern that appropriate compensation is required if highways are used. FHWA Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment and Realty, Cindy Burbank, delivered remarks about the importance of the early integration of Right of Way and Utilities professionals for accomplishing successful on-time, on-budget projects. She also presented FHWA’s first Excellence in Right of Way Awards to 5 award recipients and 8 honorable mention recipients. To follow-up on testing practices learned during the European Right of Way and Utilities Scan, the Implementation Task Force held an oversight meeting in conjunction with the Subcommittee meeting. The Subcommittee unanimously approved the right of way portion to its Right of Way and Utility Guidelines and Best Practices SCOH Strategic Plan, Strategy 4-4. The Utilities portion is under final review. The Subcommittee unanimously approved establishment of 11 Technical Councils. The business areas and chairs are: 1) Right of Way and Utilities Mapping & Scoping, Heidi Mireles of NV. 2) Right of Way Appraisal/Appraisal Review, Woody Simmons of KY. 3) Right of Way Consultant Management, Gerald Solomon of MA. 4) Right of Way Relocation, John Williamson of NC. 5) Right of Way Acquisition, Chris Larson of MD. 6) Right of Way Property Management, Jim Viau of OH. 7) Right of Way/Eminent Domain Coordination Management, Richard Hunter of IL. 8) Right of Way Program Management, Rick Kauzlarich of Alaska. 9) Utility Coordination/Relocation/Subsurface Engineering, Joe Bissett of MD. 10) Utility Accommodation, Ralph Williams of ARK. 11) Utility Safety, Bruce Johnson of CO. These councils focus on specific business areas of the Subcommittee’s responsibility, identifying technical developments, trends, initiatives, innovations and potential issues. They work informally by email or telecon and they provide advice and recommendations to the Chairman and Executive Board. AASHTO Policy on dual metric/English measurements on right of way maps and documents: The Subcommittee reviewed this policy as requested by SCOH and the subcommittee recommended a new policy to support state flexibility to adopt the best system to meet the needs of each individual state. The amended policy was adopted by SCOH. Request from the AASHTO Task Force on Geometric Design: The Subcommittee reviewed and commented on two documents updated by the Task Force: A Policy on the Accommodation of Utilities Within Freeway Rights of Way and A Guide for Accommodating Utilities Within Highway Rights of Way.
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