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Roadwork projects are a necessary evil in our lives. They can cause traffic backups, delays in our commutes, and can seem endless. However, when the project is complete, we have a new or improved road or highway on which we can travel each day.
Some road projects can leave an even greater impact on residents near the construction. If your residential or commercial property borders the project, the government or contractors may want to use part of your land to store equipment—or even completely take it from you for the road expansion. Often, when construction crews must expand a highway or road, the expansion plans encroach on numerous private properties.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has considered plans to widen Route 127 for years. The proposal involves converting 23 miles of highway from Murphysboro to Pinckneyville from two lanes to four lanes. Proponents of the plan believe it will significantly improve travel between the St. Louis metropolitan area and larger cities in Southern Illinois. While the proposal keeps returning to the table, the state has not approved full funding as of yet.
Expanding Route 127 may make travel from Southern Illinois to St. Louis and other high-population areas easier. However, if the construction does take place, it will certainly require IDOT to use and take property that belongs to landowners along the entire 23 miles in both Jackson and Perry Counties in Illinois.
When an agency like IDOT needs private land, officials will generally start by offering to purchase your property for a certain price. Unfortunately, this price is often much lower than you deserve, as you can bet the government will try to keep costs as low as possible for large-scale projects, often to the detriment of property owners.
Instead of accepting an offer, always hire an experienced eminent domain attorney to review your situation. Our lawyers can advise you as to whether an offer for purchase is fair or not.
You always have the right to refuse an offer or to negotiate a higher one. If you refuse to sell the land voluntarily, know that IDOT could file a legal action to take your land under the powers of eminent domain. In these cases, our lawyers can represent you in negotiations, or if necessary, in court, to ensure you get full compensation for the value of your property taken.
If any city officials or corporate representatives ever approach you regarding a possible sale or taking of your property, make your first call to the law firm of Sever Storey. You have too much to lose when you try to handle a condemnation case yourself—and many landowners may not realize the government is trying to take advantage of them until it is too late. We help landowners across the United States and have offices in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina. Call (888) 318-3761 or contact us online to discuss your options.
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