The Beltway project has been in the works for more than a decade, but is now finally getting underway. The total length of the new road to be constructed is 34.2 miles and runs from U.S. 158 southwest of Winston-Salem to U.S. 311 southeast of the city. The project involves two segments: the western section and the eastern section. The western section runs from U.S. 158 to U.S. 52, while the eastern section runs from U.S. 52 to U.S. 311. The eastern section will become I-74 upon its completion. Currently, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is speeding up the purchase of property and the start of construction for a portion of the eastern section.
Landowners in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have been waiting decades for North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) officials to move forward on the Winston Salem Northern Beltway project. Much of the Winston Salem Beltway was designated for future highway development using the Transportation Corridor Official Map Act (NC Gen. Stat. Chapter 136, Article 2E). This Act allows the NC DOT and other condemning authorities to prevent further building permits, new structures, and other developments that might affect the project. The route for the new highway has been well known for many years, and owners have simply been waiting for some movement by the State to actually make the project a reality.
Over the years, NC DOT has been slowly acquiring property for the Beltway from local landowners, many of whom wound up taking far below market value because of financial hardship, or because the NC DOT acquisitions have negatively impacted the quality of their neighborhood. In the second half of 2012, NC DOT announced that it would be moving forward to acquire the remaining properties in the path of the Beltway. Many owners of homes and businesses received letters from NC DOT and its sub-contracted Right of Way Agents throughout the fall of 2012, stating that offers would be made soon. Not surprisingly, appraisals and offers were delayed and many land owners have been left to wonder when NC DOT would be in touch with them.
Since then, NC DOT has been conducting surveys, marking the path of the road and the right of way. Many property owners might be familiar with wooden stakes that are marked with white paint and flagging that indicates the boundary of the future taking. We can now confirm that NC DOT and its Right of Way agents are actively conducting appraisals and making offers in the Eastern Segment of the Winston Salem Northern Betlway, known by the NC DOT Project Number as U-2579B. Construction on this portion of the project is planned to begin in 2014. We know that appraisal activitiy has been ongoing especially in the Walkertown-Guthriel Road area, as welll as in the Highway 158 section where the Loop will require a large interchange.
Sever Storey is actively working with and representing clients in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County who are going to be forced to give up their land to the NC DOT through eminent domain to may way for the Winston Salem Beltway. We previously conducted public informational seminars for members of the community, and we are happy to provide a free consultation to any land owner who has been contacted by NC DOT, its Right of Way agents, and especially for landowners who have received an offer from DOT.
REMEMBER: Just because NC DOT makes you an offer for your property, you do not have to accept it! You should consult with the experienced eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey before making any decisions. There is no charge, and we can explain your options and the potential value of the property you are being asked to sell. Don’t settle for less than your land is worth or for less than the just compensation that the law allows you to recover.
Email or call our North Carolina office to discuss your case.
Shiloh Daum, North Carolina Eminent Domain Attorney
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