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European Right-of-Way and Utilities Best Practices

Cover: European Right-of-Way and Utilities Best Practices, U.S. Deptartment of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, International Technology Exchange Program, August 2002

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Office of International Programs FHWA/US DOT (HPIP)
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590

Tel: 202-366-9636
Fax: 202-366-9626


Publication No. FHWA-PL-02-013


The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Department of Transportation.

The metric units reported are those used in common practice by the persons interviewed. They have not been converted to pure SI units because in some cases, the level of precision implied would have been changed.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the document.

The publication of this document was sponsored by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration under contract number DTFH61-99-C00005. awarded to American Trade Initiatives, Inc. Any opinions, options, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government, the authors' parent institutions, or American Trade Initiatives, Inc.

This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

Technical Report Documentation Page
1.Report No.
2.Government Accession No. 3.Recipient's Catalog No.
4.Title and Subtitle
European Right-of-Way and Utilities Best Practices
5.Report Date
August 2002
6. Performing Organization Code
7.Author(s) Richard Moeller, Joachim Pestinger, Myron Frierson,Wayne Kennedy, Adele McCormick, Catherine Colan Muth, Janet Myers,Paul Scott, Stuart Waymack 8.Performing Organization Report No.
9.Performing Organization Name and Address
American Trade Initiatives
P.O. Box 8228
Alexandria, VA 22306-8228
10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12.Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of International Programs
Office of Policy
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
13.Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

FHWA COTR: Donald W. Symmes, Office of International Programs

16. Abstract

As right-of-way acquisition and utilities coordination grow more complex, transportation agencies in the United States are under pressure to streamline the process of providing cleared right-of-way for highway projects. The Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program sponsored a scanning study of England, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands to review best practices in right-of-way and utilities services.

In the countries visited, the U.S. delegation observed a philosophy of sensitivity to the needs of property owners affected by highway projects, as well as innovative techniques for compensating owners. Highway agencies emphasize coordination with utilities to minimize delays. Right-of-way professionals undergo formal education and ongoing training to develop expertise in their field.

The scanning team's recommendations for U.S. application include encouraging property owner input by involving owners in the design phase and using an in-depth interview process, creating a voluntary land consolidation pilot program, developing education programs for right-of-way professionals, and promoting greater coordination and communication between State transportation departments and utilities.

17. Key Words

right-of-way acquisition, utility coordination, land consolidation, property owner compensation, property appraisal, design-build, utility corridor

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public from the
Office of International Programs
FHWA-HPIP, Room 3325
US Dept. of Transportation Washington, DC 20590

international@fhwa.dot.gov www.international.fhwa.dot.gov

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

20.Security Classif. (of this page)

21. No. of Pages

22. Price

Reproduction of completed page authorized

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)



Richard Moeller
 Team Leader

Joachim Pestinger
Washington State DOT
 Team Leader

Myron Frierson
Michigan DOT

Wayne Kennedy
International Right-of-Way

Adele McCormick
Report Facilitator

Catherine Colan Muth
O.R. Colan Associates, Inc.

Janet Myers
Maine DOT

Paul Scott

Stuart Waymack
Virginia DOT

American Trade Initiatives, Inc.
Avalon Integrated Services, Inc.
for the

Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

National Cooperative Highway Research Program
(Panel 20-36)
of the
Transportation Research Board

August 2002


Many people contributed to the success of the Right-of-Way and Utilities Scanning Study. Above all, the team would like to thank the members of the host delegations who so willingly gave their time, resources, and hospitality to make us welcome and provide the team with a wealth of valuable information on right-of-way and utilities practices in their countries. Although too numerous to list here, the individuals the team met with are listed in Appendix C. In addition to those listed, the team would like to thank everyone in the host countries who worked on behind-the-scenes logistics. We appreciate their valuable contribution to the success of this study. Special thanks go also to the superb interpreters who enabled team members to focus their attention on the content of each presentation with such ease.

The team would like to express its gratitude to the staff members of American Trade Initiatives, Inc., (ATI) for their phenomenal efforts, without which this trip would not have been possible. ATI, contracting to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), handled all logistical aspects of the study, from pre-trip planning to preparation of this report. The staff's guidance was invaluable. In particular, the team would like to recognize:

Finally, this trip would not have been possible without the support and funding of the FHWA Office of International Programs. The team especially would like to thank Donald Symmes and Hana Maier for sponsoring the trip and allowing the team to learn firsthand the right-of-way and utilities best practices used in the European countries visited.



The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) international programs focus on meeting the growing demands of its partners at the Federal, State, and local levels for access to information on state-of-the-art technology and the best practices used worldwide. While FHWA is considered a world leader in highway transportation, the domestic highway community is interested in advanced technologies being developed by other countries, as well as innovative organizational and financing techniques used by FHWA's international counterparts.

The International Technology Scanning Program accesses and evaluates foreign technologies and innovations that could significantly benefit United States highway transportation systems. Access to foreign innovations is strengthened by U.S. participation on the technical committees of international highway organizations and through bilateral technical exchange agreements with selected nations. The program is undertaken cooperatively with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and its Select Committee on International Activities, and the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) National Highway Research Cooperative Program (Panel 20-36), the private sector, and academia.

FHWA and its partners jointly determine priority topic areas. Teams of specialists in the specific areas of expertise being investigated are formed and sent to countries where significant advances and innovations have been made in technology, management practices, organizational structure, program delivery, and financing. Teams usually include Federal and State highway officials, private sector and industry association representatives, and members of the academic community.

FHWA has organized about 50 of these reviews and disseminated results nationwide. Topics have included pavements, bridge construction and maintenance, contracting, intermodal transport, organizational management, winter road maintenance, safety, intelligent transportation systems, planning, and policy. Findings are recommended for follow-up with further research and pilot or demonstration projects to verify adaptability to the United States. Information about the scan findings and results of pilot programs are then disseminated nationally to State and local highway and transportation officials and the private sector for implementation.

This program has resulted in significant improvements and savings in road program technologies and practices throughout the United States, particularly in the areas of structures, pavements, safety, and winter road maintenance. Joint research and technology-sharing projects have also been launched with international counterparts, further conserving resources and advancing the state of the art.

For a complete list of International Technology Scanning topics, and to order free copies of the reports, please see pages iv-v.

Website: www.international.fhwa.dot.gov E-Mail: international@fhwa.dot.gov




Geotechnical Engineering Practices in Canada and Europe
Geotechnology--Soil Nailing
International Contract Administration Techniques for Quality Enhancement-CATQEST


European Asphalt Technology European Concrete Technology South African Pavement Technology Highway/Commercial Vehicle Interaction
Recycled Materials in European Highway Environments


European Bridge Structures Asian Bridge Structures Bridge Maintenance Coatings
European Practices for Bridge Scour and Stream Instability Countermeasures Advanced Composites in Bridges in Europe and Japan Steel Bridge Fabrication Technologies in Europe and Japan Performance of Concrete Segmental and Cable-Stayed Bridges in Europe


European Intermodal Programs: Planning, Policy and Technology National Travel Surveys Recycled Materials in European Highway Environments Geometric Design Practices for European Roads Sustainable Transportation Practices in Europe Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Across European Highways European Right-of-Way and Utilities Best Practices


Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety in England, Germany and the Netherlands Speed Management and Enforcement Technology: Europe & Australia Safety Management Practices in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand Road Safety Audits--Final Report Road Safety Audits--Case Studies Innovative Traffic Control Technology & Practice in Europe
Commercial Vehicle Safety Technology & Practice in Europe
Methods and Procedures to Reduce Motorist Delays in European Work Zones


Advanced Transportation Technology European Traffic Monitoring

Traffic Management and Traveler Information Systems European Winter Service Technology

Snowbreak Forest Book - Highway Snowstorm Countermeasure Manual (Translated from Japanese) European Road Lighting Technologies Freight Transportation: The European Market


Emerging Models for Delivering Transportation Programs and Services Acquiring Highway Transportation Information from Abroad--Handbook Acquiring Highway Transportation Information from Abroad--Final Report International Guide to Highway Transportation Information

All publications are available on the internet at www.international.fhwa.dot.gov


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