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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Progress Report: Some Highway Right-of-Way Costs Decreased, But Legislative Changes Needed to Further Reduce Costs, Report No. 01-46, October 2001
Full report in PDF format

  • In Fiscal Year 2000-01, some Department of Transportation right-of-way costs such as payment of landowner attorney and appraisal fees declined from Fiscal Year 1997-98 in spite of increasing land values.  However department payments increased for other landowner costs such as land use planners, certified public accountants, and relocation assistance.
  • Likely factors contributing to cost decreases were 1994 law changes that limited state payment of landowner attorney fees and the department’s more frequent use of negotiation, which is less costly than condemnation.  Factors contributing to the increases include acquisition of more right-of-way in densely developed areas with higher costs associated with relocating people and businesses.
  • The Legislature did not adopt our 1999 recommendation for reducing costs for landowner expenses.  Under the recommended option, the state would have paid up to a specified amount for a landowner to obtain one appraisal.  The state would also pay up to a specified amount for landowner attorneys and technical experts but only if the property's final sale price was a specified percentage over the department's initial offer.  The Legislature also did not adopt our recommendation to eliminate payments for business damages.  The department paid $16.4 million in business damages in Fiscal Year 2000-01. 
  • As we recommended, the department increased outdoor advertising fees to eliminate a funding deficit in its Outdoor Advertising Program.

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 99-02 Justification Review of the Right-of-Way Acquisition Program, published in August 1999.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Planning and Environment
Pre-Construction and Design Services
Right-of-Way Acquisition
Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
Florida Department of Transportation

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 06-18 The Legislature Has Several Options for Reducing the State’s Road Right-of-Way Costs, published in February 2006.
  • Report No. 01-13 Special Review: Department of Transportation Can Expedite Its Proposed Staffing Reduction Plan, published in March 2001.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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