ROW Project Challenges

By Colliers Engineering & Design

First Things First: What is ROW?

pipeline constructionRight-of-Way, or ROW, is the legal right of one to cross the property of another. It is usually granted in the form of a permanent lineal strip of land. Common ROW projects include highways, railways, electrical transmission lines, and oil and gas pipelines.

When an entity requires land to construct a project, they will often rely on Land Agents to help with acquiring the required land. That’s where Maser Consulting comes in. Land Agents support the efforts of the entity by acquiring the land needed for the project.

Each Project is Unique

When working with clients and the public, our Land Agents keep in mind the aspects that make each ROW project unique. The first thing taken into consideration is location and time of year. Exceptional circumstances like a recent hurricane or winter weather can slow or pause projects completely. Also, local governments often vary in their rules, regulations, and processes. Since each jurisdiction has its own requirements, our team must have a thorough understanding of the area they are working in. Projects may also have unique challenges with title searches including public record errors, bankruptcy/foreclosures, missing heirs or numerous heirs to a property, undiscovered will, liens and/or mortgages that require releases, etc.

Combating Challenges

Common ROW project challenges include accelerated schedules and strict budgets. Our Land Agents combat these by implementing project tracking systems to closely monitor our critical path and budgets. They also use automation, or standard procedures, to reduce the time that repetitive tasks take to complete. This ultimately saves our client money. Projects require diligent project pre-planning and early site visits. It’s important to determine a critical path to create plans that are feasible as early as possible.

Other project challenges may include decrease or loss of project funding, legislature issues of various kinds, property valuation process, project location and time of the year issues, or completely unforeseeable issues like COVID-19.

As Land Agents…

meeting with landownerAs the Land Agents who deal with easements and the public, our ROW team must remain professional and be able to communicate details of the project in clear, helpful ways. Our team is always acting as an extension of our client to maintain and protect their reputation. When communicating with the public, our Land Agents are mindful to listen to everything they have to say so their concerns can be accurately understood and addressed.

Staffing is always a challenge because it is a niche market, and it is of the utmost importance that the staff is up to the task. Maser Consulting strives to be competitive in this area. The key to retaining staff is the quality and attitudes of management. Our management aims to lead with Maser’s Core Values: Advancement, Professionalism, Teamwork, Safety, and Responsiveness.

Overall, ROW projects require careful planning, good communication, and expert execution. Want more information? Contact Holly Cataldo, Director of ROW & Land Services at holly.cataldo@colliersengineering.com.

Share this:

Leave a Comment