Right of Way
Although initial survey data is collected early in the project, the right-of-way process begins during the Preliminary Design phase, after an alternative has been selected. The right-of-way process consists of preparing plans in conformance with state standards, and acquiring right-of-way in conformance with federal guidelines and requirements.
Once an alternative is selected, the preparation of right-of-way plans begin. A full set of plans is prepared, detailing existing property ownership and required right-of-way.
Upon approval of the right-of-way plans, right-of-way acquisition will commence. Because federal funds are involved in the project, acquisition must comply with federal requirements. The process involves the determination of fair market value for each acquisition and negotiation with each property owner.
The Idaho Transportation Department continues to move forward with plans for the U.S. 95, Thorncreek Road to Moscow Project.
The final eastern route (E2) for the highway was chosen after a multi-year environmental review process. The Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the project in 2016, giving ITD authority to begin final design and purchase land.
A legal motion was brought against FHWA and ITD in 2017 regarding the Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision. The U.S. District Court for Idaho ruled against the motion in favor of FHWA and ITD in August 2017.
Project opposition appealed that decision in January 2018. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision on December 7, 2018.
ITD will continue right-of-way acquisition and submit a 404 permit application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After those two steps are completed, the project can be put out for construction bids. Work could begin as early as late summer 2019.
Please call Ken Helm at (208)799-5090 if you have any questions about the project.