The Triangle Business Journal is reporting that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has awarded a $347 contract to the Lane Construction Corporation of Cheshire, Connecticut, to repair a section of Interstate 440. The stretch in question runs between Wade Avenue and Walnut Street in Raleigh. The project will affect properties and commuters around North Carolina State University.
Current issues with the roadway include narrow shoulders and an unusual left-lane entrance from Western Boulevard, both of which the project will address. In addition, the project will replace the tunnel under I-440 at Ligon Street, probably with a bridge over the beltline.
While the project clearly will involve private property, NCDOT has not started one-on-one talks with landowners at the time of this writing. NCDOT engineer Joey Hopkins has noted that using eminent domain to obtain private property is a possibility, but one that the agency tries to avoid.
If your property is affected by this project, get acquainted with the basics of North Carolina eminent domain law.
Eminent domain allows the government to take property from landowners, so long as it’s for a public purpose and the government provides the landowner with just compensation. The simplest way to think about it is as a forced sale of property.
Courts almost invariably uphold projects like road construction or improvements as meeting the public purpose requirement, so if your land is necessary for the project, chances are that you’re going to have to sell. Landowners, however, still have rights—most notably the right to just compensation for their properties.
Government agencies that use eminent domain try to pay as little as they can for the land that they need. As a landowner who knows that you’re going to have to sell and who doesn’t have experience in eminent domain law, you start the negotiating process with a distinct disadvantage. For this reason, you need to retain an attorney as soon as you realize that your property is subject to an eminent domain action.
Because of the contingent-fee arrangement we use, there is no risk associated with retaining a lawyer. We only collect fees on any amount we are able to obtain for more than your initial offer. As a result, either you will obtain more compensation than your initial offer, or you will not owe anything in legal fees.
If your property is subject to an eminent domain action, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. With more than 25 years of combined legal experience, our eminent domain attorneys know how to get landowners the just compensation to which they are legally entitled. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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Before going alone against the State let us give you our opinion. It is our pledge that we will provide a free case review for any individual or business facing eminent domain or condemnation. Contact us now at 888-318-3761