The eminent domain process could be used to acquire needed rights of way for a just announced road widening project.
The plan to widen Lazelle Road will be a joint project of the City of Columbus and State of Ohio. The $27.5 million project will widen Lazelle Road from the present two lanes to five lanes between High Street and Worthington-Galena Road.
Although construction is not slated to begin until 2016, plans are currently being developed. The City of Columbus plans to begin purchasing the necessary rights of way some time in 2015. A public information meeting will be held on October 16, 2014 at the Lazelle Woods Community Center on Sancus Boulevard.
The road widening project is expected to be divided into three phases. Construction is expected to last through 2018. Lazelle Road will be widened from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction with the addition of turn lanes where possible. The dual railroad bridge overpasses spanning Lazelle Road will be reconstructed.
“There’s a lot of traffic up there,” observed Rick Tilton, Columbus Department of Public Service assistant director. “A lot of (people have) moved up there since the road was originally built. This is about making it a safer roadway.”
In addition to more lanes of travel, the plans for the project call for a roundabout at the intersection of Lazelle and South Old State Roads and a new traffic signal at the intersection of Lazelle and Flint Roads. Also planned are sidewalks and a bike path.
Eminent domain is the process by which government entities can obtain private property for use in public projects. When road construction projects such as the Lazelle Road widening project are undertaken, the governmental agency will attempt to negotiate with the landowner a purchase price for the necessary rights of way. If a purchase price cannot be negotiated with the landowner, the government can exercise its right to the eminent domain procedure to obtain the land even if the landowner objects.
If you are a property owner in the project area, you may receive notification from the City of Columbus that it requires a right-of-way across your property. You are entitled to receive fair compensation for your property. You do not have to accept any amount offered to you by the City of Columbus. If your property is impacted by this construction project, contact the Ohio eminent domain attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.