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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Summary ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22252.
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1 Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices Introduction Inefficiencies in the process used to acquire and manage real property have a significant impact on the ability of transportation agencies to develop and deliver transportation proj- ects effectively. Acquisition of real property is frequently on the critical path of transporta- tion projects. Along with environmental reviews and utility relocations, delays in acquiring real property are one of the main reasons for project delays and cost overruns. NCHRP Project 20-84 was intended to (a) develop improved, integrated real property procedures and business practices in the project development and delivery process; and (b) develop suggestions to improve property management practices. Of particular interest was comparing typical business practices against the requirements in the Uniform Reloca- tion Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 as amended by Congress (the Uniform Act, codified in the U.S. Code as 42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.), but without regulatory encumbrances—more specifically, provisions in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regula- tions (49 CFR 24). The analysis was to determine which business process elements were critical to the mission of the real property function according to the requirements of federal law, identify strategies to improve or optimize those elements, and identify which business process elements were not critical and could, therefore, be improved or removed. The analysis included an evaluation of factors internal to the acquisition and manage- ment of real property (i.e., typical right-of-way factors), as well as factors related to the integration of these activities with the rest of the transportation project development and delivery process. Typical right-of-way factors included, but were not limited to, appraisal and appraisal review, acquisition and negotiations, titles and closing, condemnation proceedings, settlements, relocation eligibility determination, relocation assistance and payments, and contracting for services. Also included were utility accommodation and relocation, property management, encroachment remediation, and administrative costs (including training). Factors related to the integration between real property activities and the rest of the project development and delivery process included, but were not limited to, integration points and scheduling. Findings Assessment of Real Property Acquisition and Property Management Practices The research team conducted an online survey, follow-up interviews, and a peer exchange to (a) assess real property acquisition and property management practices around the S U M M A R Y

2country, and (b) gather ideas on issues, challenges, and best practices. Highlights of the information gained from these activities included the following: • Issues, challenges, and business practices. The two most significant challenges identified by state departments of transportation (DOTs) were (a) changes to real property acquisi- tion requirements late in the design phase, and (b) lack of sufficient involvement of right- of-way staff during design. State DOTs also identified lack of involvement by right-of-way personnel in the early phases of the project development process (planning and program- ming, preliminary design, and environmental process) as well as during utility coordina- tion as a significant issue. Likewise, respondents highlighted critical staffing issues as a challenge, including staff turnover and difficulty in hiring and retaining staff with adequate real property acquisition experience. • Outsourcing real property activities. In general, state DOTs value using consultants when the internal workload is heavy and the DOT does not have the resources to accommodate the demand; however, feedback from state DOTs indicates that serious issues exist in rela- tion to effectively using consultant staff. Such issues include the quality of deliverables, quality of customer service, and amount of management oversight required, as well as higher overall costs to the state DOT and higher condemnation rates when using consul- tants versus internal staff. • Performance measures. State DOTs use or need a variety of performance measures in connection with the acquisition of real property for transportation projects. Although most participants agreed about the need to measure the effectiveness of the real property acquisition process, several participants cautioned about using performance measures blindly in the context of a process that involves taking private property for the benefit of a transportation project. • Changes to laws and regulations. Only a few participants indicated that there was an urgent need for changes to federal or state laws and regulations. Nonetheless, participants highlighted the need for some changes (e.g., in relation to appraisal waiver limits, reloca- tion benefits for businesses, and timelines related to condemnation proceedings). • Business practices, unique processes, and strategies. Participants provided substantial feedback regarding business practices, unique processes, and strategies their agencies have implemented, or are planning to implement, to streamline real property processes. For example, participants highlighted the need to improve internal coordination within their agencies, particularly with respect to the timing of involvement of right-of-way personnel in the project delivery process. Participants also highlighted the need for more effective coordination with external stakeholders such as federal agencies, railroad companies, and utility owners. • Training. State DOTs provide two types of training and development opportunities, in-house and external, in addition to on-the-job training and mentoring. Some train- ing courses are state certified or pre-approved for continuing education credits for real estate and appraisal licensing. Some agencies have agreements with colleges in their states that offer courses on real property topics. Participants highlighted that train- ing opportunities have decreased substantially in recent years because of budgetary constraints. • Property management. Agencies use a variety of data management platforms for prop- erty management purposes. Although databases and web-based mapping tools are increasingly used, computer-aided design (CAD) or geographic information system (GIS) platforms are rarely used to support property management activities. The most significant challenge participants identified in this area was difficult-to-use databases or information systems. Participants also highlighted difficulty in tracking and moni-

3 toring real property use as an issue, including how to deal with illegal or unauthorized encroachments. Integrated Transportation Project Development and Delivery Process Modeling The research team developed an integrated model of the transportation project develop- ment and delivery process that takes into account real property acquisition workflows and requirements. The integrated model has been provided as a reference tool on CRP-CD 154, which accompanies this report. The reference tool has three versions, provided in Microsoft® Visio 2010® format and portable document format (PDF) files, as follows: • Level 1. This model provides a high-level depiction of the entire transportation project development and delivery process. • Level 2. This model provides an intermediate-level depiction of the entire process. • Level 3. This model provides a detailed depiction of the real property acquisition process according to the Uniform Act (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.). Developing the reference tool involved analyzing each provision in the three subchapters of the Uniform Act and then mapping each provision to its corresponding location on the transportation project development and delivery process, taking into consideration func- tional areas and interdependencies. For completeness, the research team also mapped the relationships between Uniform Act and federal regulation provisions. Reference Real Property Acquisition and Relocation Assistance Work Schedule The research team also developed a reference work schedule that incorporates the require- ments and procedures in the Uniform Act into a reference (or typical) transportation proj- ect and delivery process. The reference work schedule, which was developed in Microsoft Project 2010®, also is provided on CRP-CD 154 in both Project format and PDF. The refer- ence work schedule includes tasks that represent Level 2 model swim lanes and activities, as well as Level 3 model activities. The reference work schedule could be used for a variety of applications (e.g., for assigning resources to tasks, managing project budgets, analyz- ing workloads, facilitating coordination with internal and external stakeholders, adjusting schedules, monitoring project progress, and preparing reports). It could also be used for training purposes. Strategies for Improvement or Optimization The research team analyzed key elements of the state project development and delivery process to identify opportunities for a more effective integration of real property-related activities with the rest of the process. The analysis focused on process activities with a sig- nificant real property component. Table 1 summarizes the issues, challenges, and strategies identified during the research. The research team identified 153 issues and challenges, and 176 strategies for improvement or optimization. (The higher totals presented in Table 1 reflect the fact that some issues, challenges, and strategies are common to several process activities.) In total, 71 issues and challenges and 80 strategies were identified in connection with activities from appraisals to relocation payments that are explicitly accounted for in the Uniform Act.

4Table 1. Issues, challenges, and strategies for improvement or optimization. Project Development and Delivery Process Activity with a Significant Real Property Component No. of Issues Identified No. of Strategies Identified DEFINITION, SELECTION, FINANCING, AND SCHEDULING 14 15 Prepare Cost Estimate and Identify Funding Sources 6 12 Secure Federal, State, and Local Agreements 8 3 ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS AND PRELIMINARY PLANS 7 8 Conduct Conceptual Design Meeting 2 2 Collect Data for Preliminary Design 1 2 Obtain Permission to Enter Property 3 2 Conduct Value Engineering Study 1 2 ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESS 7 14 Prepare Draft Environmental Documentation 1 5 Conduct Public Meetings 2 4 Meet Environmental Commitments after Clearance 2 3 Conduct Environmental Reevaluation 2 2 DESIGN AND PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS, AND ESTIMATES (PS&E) ASSEMBLY 11 12 Conduct Design Meeting 2 5 Develop Final Horizontal and Vertical Alignments 3 1 Conduct Detailed Design 2 1 Conduct 30%, 60%, and 90% Design Meetings 1 1 Prepare PS&E Package 1 2 Conduct Final Design and Initial Construction Coordination Meetings 2 2 RIGHT-OF-WAY MAP, AUTHORIZATION TO ACQUIRE PROPERTY, PROPERTY ACQUISITION, AND RELOCATION ASSISTANCE 93 99 Provide Planning and Real Property Acquisition Linkages 1 1 Conduct Real Property Research 2 5 Coordinate with Other Stakeholders 6 5 Prepare Right-of-Way Map and Property Descriptions 7 4 Obtain Authorization to Acquire Real Property 2 2 Conduct Appraisal or Waiver Valuation 14 13 Establish Just Compensation 1 2 Prepare and Make Written Offer 3 5 Acquire by Negotiation 13 15 Acquire by Condemnation 7 5 Demolish and Dispose Improvements 2 2 Prepare Right-of-Way Certification 1 1 Determine Relocation Assistance Eligibility 10 9 Provide Relocation Assistance Advisory (Residential) 7 7 Provide Relocation Assistance Advisory (Non-Residential) 5 5 Issue Relocation Payments (Residential) 8 11 Issue Relocation Payments (Non-Residential) 4 7 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 16 15 Inventory and Manage Property Interests 9 7 Lease Property Interests 2 3 Dispose of Property Interests 5 5 UTILITY CONFLICT ANALYSIS, PERMITS, RELOCATION, AND REIMBURSEMENT 10 10 Provide Planning and Utility Process Linkages 2 2 Conduct Coordination Meetings 2 2 Prepare and Execute Utility Agreements 3 4 Monitor Utility Relocations and Reimburse Utility Owners 3 2

5 Conclusions and Suggestions The research for NCHRP Project 20-84 produced the following results: • An integrated model of the transportation project development and delivery process, as well as a real property acquisition and relocation assistance model in accordance with the Uniform Act (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.). • A reference work schedule for real property acquisition and relocation assistance. • A detailed list of improvement or optimization strategies to address issues and challenges that affect project development and delivery process activities with significant real property components. • A detailed list of improvement or optimization strategies to address issues and challenges that affect project development and delivery process activities with significant real property components. • A standalone version of the integrated process model was also developed and is included with this report on CRP-CD 154. • A standalone version of the reference work schedule was also developed and is included on CRP-CD 154. Implementing these results nationwide will likely yield benefits such as the following: • A streamlined business process for real property acquisition and relocation assistance that facilitates data exchange and encourages communication and coordination among stakeholders, including stakeholders within the same agency. • Improvements in efficiency and reduction of redundancy in real property activities by maximizing the use of concurrent (as opposed to linear) activities and by integrating real property activities within the project development and delivery process more effectively. • More effective management of real property assets through the implementation of effi- cient inventory and database practices that take full advantage of the survey-quality data agencies already collect to support the acquisition of real property. • More effective contracting practices that result in higher quality, cost-effective deliverables for the agency and more competent (and competitive) contractors. General suggestions to implement the research results include: • Engage research product champions early to address specific challenges for the successful implementation of the research suggestions. Table 1. (Continued). Project Development and Delivery Process Activity with a Significant Real Property Component No. of Issues Identified No. of Strategies Identified OTHER* 13 16 Program Management and Administration* 2 3 Staffing and Training* 6 8 Outsourcing* 5 5 * Not a specific project development and delivery process activity. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 3 6 Establish Project Management Team 1 2 Manage Project Development and Delivery Process 2 4

6• Identify funding mechanisms and submit proposals for implementation of the research products at one or more state DOTs. • Engage public-sector real estate professionals and other interested stakeholders to advo- cate consideration of the proposed changes to the Uniform Act and for potential changes to state laws required to implement suggestions. • Engage public-sector real estate officials to advocate consideration of the suggested changes to federal regulations. • Develop guidebooks, sample templates and scoping forms, and other materials to support the implementation of suggested policy changes at state DOTs. • Engage state DOTs in implementing suggested policy changes. • Evaluate the state-level potential for increased use of technology to support real property business functions. • Initiate a pooled fund study through AASHTO to define requirements, prepare a business case, and evaluate the potential for AASHTOWare™ applications to support integrated state DOT real property business functions. • Develop criteria for monitoring the progress of implementation. More specific suggestions to facilitate the implementation of these results at state DOTs include: • Update relevant manuals, brochures, and other similar documents to depict both the proj- ect development and delivery process and the acquisition of real property and relocation assistance process using the Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 process diagrams. • Make the Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 diagrams and the reference work schedule avail- able online in multiple file formats so that they can be accessed by the transportation community. • Develop a diagram similar to the Level 3 diagram to depict workflows related to Title 49 (49 CFR 24). • Seek funding through FHWA for state-specific implementation assessment workshops to help states identify gaps in their current real property business practices (in terms of the process models) and to develop detailed implementation plans for transitioning to the suggested process models. NCHRP Report 771 summarizes the work completed during NCHRP Project 20-84. The report is divided into the following chapters: • Chapter 1 introduces the project. • Chapter 2 summarizes the results of the surveys and interviews conducted to iden- tify business practices and issues, as well as the literature review of prior studies and initiatives. • Chapter 3 describes a typical model of the transportation project development and deliv- ery process, as well as a real property acquisition and relocation assistance model in accor- dance with the requirements in the Uniform Act (42 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.). • Chapter 4 describes a reference work schedule for real property acquisition and relocation assistance. • Chapter 5 summarizes issues and challenges affecting project development and delivery process activities that typically involve real property components, as well as strategies to address those issues and challenges.

7 • Chapter 6 provides a list of conclusions and suggestions. • Appendix A shows the survey instrument. • Appendix B provides a summary of survey results. • Appendix C provides a description of integrated transportation project development and delivery process phases and activities. • CRP-CD 154, which is provided with the report, provides standalone files containing the Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 models and the reference work schedule for real property acquisition and relocation assistance in Microsoft Visio 2010 (for the models), Microsoft Project (for the reference work schedule), and PDF (for both the models and the reference work schedule).

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 771: Strategies to Optimize Real Property Acquisition, Relocation Assistance, and Property Management Practices provides improved, integrated real property procedures and business practices in the project development and delivery process. The report also provides suggestions to improve property management practices. The report is accompanied by a CD-ROM that contains an integrated model of the transportation project development and delivery process, including a real property acquisition and relocation assistance model and reference work schedule.

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

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