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Route 12 North-South Arterial Project, Utica, NY

Route 12 North-South Arterial Project

The $62M project, planned in three stages, will involve numerous changes to the traffic pattern in the Utica area and will involve the major reconstruction and partial realignment of the North-South Arterial through West Utica.   This project also includes but is not limited to replacing the 51 year old bridge over Columbia Street, creating a new pedestrian bridge across Route 12, construction of additional parking between Court and Lafayette Streets, and constructing a new ramp off Oriskany St. providing access to Varick Street.   Stephen Zywiak, DOT regional design engineer stated “This is the central arterial that we have in the region and the condition is such that we need to get a timely replacement”.

This project has been in the planning phase for years and will affect approximately 85 families and businesses.  The final NYS DOT public hearing for the project was held on September 27th, 2011 at the state office building at 207 Genesee St.  The final alternative has been selected, property appraisals are underway and the first phase of the project will begin in late 2012.  The state can begin acquiring properties once they obtain final design approval from the Federal Highway Administration, which is expected to occur by the end of 2011.

Because this is a public use project, the state highway department has eminent domain authority to acquire property if negotiations can not be reached.   Property owners should familiarize themselves with their rights under New York eminent domain law prior to accepting an offer from the state.  We have several pages on our website devoted to this topic, including a flow chart which details the New York eminent domain process and information related to attorney fee and cost recovery.  There are 2 important eminent domain statutes that you should be aware of:

  1. When presented with an offer by the State, you can either sign the final settlement papers or the offer for advanced payment.  By signing the final settlement papers, you are accepting the state’s offer and waiving your right to pursue additional just compensation under New York eminent domain law.  If you would like to pursue a claim for additional just compensation, you must sign the offer for advanced payment.  Once this offer is signed, you will receive payment from the state for the amount offered (provided there are no liens or judgments attached to your property and no past due taxes) and allow you to initiate a claim for additional just compensation.   If you sign the offer for advanced payment, you must within three years after service of notice of acquisition or vesting, (whichever is later) file a claim for additional damages with the clerk of court having jurisdiction over the matter. (NY EM DOM PROC § 503).  Learn more about New York eminent domain.
  2. NY EM DOM PROC § 701 allows for the recovery of attorneys fees and costs in a just compensation case if the final award is substantially greater than the condemning authority’s offer of payment.

 


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