What is the Property Acquisition Process?
First, it’s important to note that any land acquisition for new road construction undertaken by IDOT and INDOT requires a planning process and property owner outreach. The priority of both state DOT’s is to work with the property owners to minimize impacts of all projects. The land acquisition process begins with plat of highway, an independent appraisal, an offer, and a period of negotiations. If an agreement cannot be reached, the matter is referred to the courts under the eminent domain laws of what is known as “condemnation”. Condemnation is always considered to be a “last resort” in the property acquisition process for road projects. Before it can acquire property for a project, the DOT’s must show a need for the property and propose fair market compensation to the property owner for needed property. The property owner can agree to settle or can state a case for increased compensation or for remedies of other concerns such as potential drainage problems on private land as a result of the acquisition and project plan. Ultimately, the court decides the dispensation of the case, including final compensation to go to the property owner.
Property owners determined to be impacted by the Illiana Corridor have the right to receive just compensation if acquisition of their property is required for public roadway projects. Just compensation is the fair market value of the property and damages (loss of value) to the remainder of the property if only a portion of the property is required. If the acquisition requires relocation, the property owner may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable and necessary moving expenses and/or supplemental housing payments. Specific property owners will be contacted as soon as more detailed information will be available.