AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Right of Way and Utilities
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
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
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.