Maximizing Transportation Assets by Building Community Connection Through Innovative Development of Rights of Way and Airspace

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  07/26/2023


Urban highways were often built through communities, physically dividing them and creating social and economic hardships. MnDOT strives to ensure the transportation system furthers economic well-being and quality of life for all communities. The right of way (ROW) areas adjacent to highways can sometimes be used for nontransportation uses that benefit these communities. After learning about innovative ROW projects around the country, MnDOT is better prepared to help revitalize communities burdened for decades. Researchers analyzed case studies of projects such as building land bridges over highways, developing highway underpasses and even removing a highway segment in ways that provide benefits to both the community and the traveling public. The examples highlight the primary importance of engaging and partnering with multisector partners, including community groups, public and private funders, and other agencies to develop facilities or spaces that the community wants and needs. The review also demonstrated best practices for facilitating and financing the ROW projects and promoting economic, social and environmental benefits. MnDOT can incorporate these principles in small or large projects requested by a community or as part of a larger agency planning effort.

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