MassDOT Right-of-Way Manual Review & Revision

In March 2018, ORC Training was hired by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to review and revise the MassDOT Right of Way (ROW) manual. This manual represents the operating procedures for the DOT’s ROW acquisition program. ORC’s scope of work included two general tasks:

Task 1: Review ROW Manual and Identify Revisions
Review the DOT ROW manual (12 chapters and 2 draft chapters) and recommend revisions to it to reflect updates, developments, and evolutions at the Federal level and within the overall right-of-way industry. Submit the suggested revisions to the DOT for review and comments.

Task 2: Complete Procedure Revisions
Draft an updated ROW manual, incorporating DOT comments and accepted revisions. Submit draft updated ROW manual for review and comment. Deliver the Final ROW Manual to DOT for FHWA submittal/approval and implementation.

Through the review and revision process, ORC ensured the manual’s compliance with a number of relevant Federal policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations, including:

  • Uniform Act and 49 CFR Part 24;

  • MAP-21 amendments to the Uniform Act;

  • FHWA Final Rule for 23 CFR Parts 635,710 and 810, Right of Way and Real Estate; effective September 22, 2016, and Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

ORC worked collaboratively with the MassDOT ROW staff to deliver a revised ROW manual. In addition to its internal review of the ROW manual, ORC interviewed specified subject matter experts and MassDOT ROW project managers by telephone to gather technical information and background about existing procedures and request feedback for improvements. ORC considered all revisions identified by the DOT and made recommendations regarding how or if these revisions should be incorporated. The multiple review and comment periods provided an effective tool for communication.


Massachusetts Department of Transportation


ROW Manual Review and Revision

May 2012 – October 2018