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US Highway 221 Widening Project to Affect Residents in Jefferson, Todd, Fleetwood, and Deep Gap, in Watuaga and Ashe Counties

Shiloh Daum, a North Carolina eminent domain attorney for Sever Storey, recently conducted an informational seminar for the public in West Jefferson to discuss the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans to widen US Highway 221. NC DOT plans call for the expansion of 221 from the intersection of US 421 in Deep Gap northward to the town of Jefferson and the intersection with NC Highway 88. Members of the public who might be affected by the NC DOT taking land by eminent domain and condemnation had a chance to learn about the project and important aspects of North Carolina eminent domain and condemnation law.

NC DOT first announced its formal plans in December 2012 to widen and expand US 221 from its existing two lanes to a new four land divided highway configuration. The project is awaiting its final “Finding of No Significant Impact” (or FONSI), but the project designers and engineers expect to complete that last formality this spring. NC DOT is currently expecting to begin acquiring right of way from affected property owners in July 2013. The new right of way will be approximately 200 feet wide for the entire length of the 16-mile long project. The expansion begins in Deep Gap, then it continues north through Fleetwood, past the communities of Todd and Baldwin, the US 221 Business spur to West Jefferson, and finally ending in the heart of the Town of Jefferson, NC. The project budget for the right of way is approximately $34 million, with an additional $118 million for construction. Construction is not expected to begin until 2015. The final, northern-most segment of the project is not yet fully funded, and it will probably commence beyond 2018, according to NCDOT estimates.

Affected land owners and residents can review the maps below to see basic information about the scope of the project. Approximately 70 residences and 33 businesses will have to be moved from their existing locations along US Highway 221. Shiloh Daum’s presentation included a review of the maps, the project scope and timeline, and information about the legal process for property owners in the planned right of way. He explained the taking process and the requirement that land owners receive just compensation for the loss of their property. The seminar discussion included information about severance damages and residual damages in condemnation cases, and how landowners can protect their legal rights by working with the experienced eminent domain attorneys in Sever Storey’s North Carolina office. Landowners learned the importance of appraisals, experts, and understanding the right appraisal and property valuation methods. Residents also learned how relocation expenses and issues are handled and compensated when someone is displaced by an eminent domain taking.

Several property owners in Ashe and Watauga counties have since had personal appointments and consultations with Shiloh Daum to understand how this project will affect their particular property, and what valuation and just compensation issues might be involved as the NCDOT plans to take some land or their entire parcel. If you are affected by the widening of US Highway 221, then call or email Shiloh Daum, the Sever Storey North Carolina eminent domain attorney in the Winston-Salem office.

Follow the links below for a detailed map image.

 

MAP 1, Deep Gap 421 to New River in Fleetwood

New River north through Fleetwood to Baldwin

From Baldwin north to the West Jefferson town limits and 221 Business split

West Jefferson commercial district (Lowes and Wal Mart) to project end at Highway 88.

 

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