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Is The I-69 Expansion Price For Your Property Fair? While the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) pushes the message that the final section of the long awaited, 142-mile I-69 extension route will provide significant safety improvement and a reduct

Jason Reese

Is The I-69 Expansion Price For Your Property Fair?

While the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) pushes the message that the final section of the long awaited, 142-mile I-69 extension route will provide significant safety improvement and a reduction in traffic congestion, it won’t do so without encroaching onto the property and livelihoods of homeowners, farmers and businesses found in between Martinsville and Indianapolis on Indiana Highway 37.

Much of the property found along this stretch of road will need to be uprooted to make room for large interchanges, on- and off-ramps, underpasses and overpasses, and a wider road with 400 feet of clearance across. Private property landowners will be approached under the law of eminent domain to allow the state to acquire their private property rights supported by the state’s defense of public interest. The sale cannot happen before property owners are compensated at fair market value though. For example, in a previous I-69 extension route from Bloomington to Martinsville, the state paid $47.4 million for 152 properties. Regardless of how much compensation landowners are offered, it remains of the highest importance that Hoosiers understand their rights as a property owner in Indiana.

Indiana Property Owner Rights and Eminent Domain

Government agencies on all levels possess the power of eminent domain. Eminent domain has been reaffirmed by the Indiana legislature in the form of Indiana laws. Both the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 21 of the Indiana Constitution provide for taking of private property for public use only after the landowners receives “just compensation.” The amount of just compensation depends upon the fair market value of or reduction in the value of the property involved in the taking.

In the case of the I-69 route, INDOT says they have already contacted or will be contacting impacted landowners with a formal request for an in-person meeting. At this meeting, a state representative will be assigned to guide the land-taking process. A third-party appraiser will then value the property, which will be reviewed by a second appraiser and a fair price must then be presented to the current land owner. Not only may there be compensation for basic rights in real estate, but also for loss of improvements, such as buildings, fences, crops, and woodlands.

If the owner and the agency cannot agree on a price, then a court will often set the price. Testimony from professional appraisers and due consideration to both sides will be a part of this lengthy legal disagreement. Although the land purchase cannot be denied, the rights of the landowners must be protected with the help of an experienced attorney by their side.

Wagner Reese Can Help Indiana Property Owners

If you have been informed by a representative that has the authority to buy or use your land for the I-69 expansion project, we want to help you understand the process and your rights as a property owner from the beginning. Additionally, if you are the property owner and need to request a change in the appraisal to ensure fair compensation for you and your family or business, contact the legal team at Wagner Reese to schedule your free consultation with one of our expert attorneys. Our services are free to you until we secure your compensation.

About the Lawyers

Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your property owner case with years of experience and proven results. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation!

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