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 is continuing to work on final design plans and right-of-way appraisals for the U.S. 95, Thorncreek Road to Moscow Project. ITD anticipates this work will be completed this spring.
The Federal Highway Administration and ITD evaluated many alternatives for the new highway alignment, including western, central and eastern routes. The final eastern route (E2) was chosen after a multi-year environmental review process. ITD received a Record of Decision (ROD) from the Federal Highway Administration in March of 2016. The ROD gave ITD the authority to begin final design and purchase land.
A legal motion was brought against FHWA and ITD regarding the Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for this project. In August 2017, the U.S. District Court for Idaho ruled against the motion in favor of FHWA and ITD. In January, an appeal to the ruling was filed in the ninth circuit court. The deadline for ITD and FHWA to comment on the appeal is March 31, 2018. ITD does not anticipate a decision until sometime later this year.
Please call Ken Helm at (208)799-5090 if you have any questions about the project.