236.14 Change in Route Status Report

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Figures and Forms
Example Sketch
Road Relinquishment Agreement (Form RW27)
Conveyance of Abandoned Roadway Agreement (Form RW32)

Recommendations for the disposition of existing roadways included in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report must receive approval before they can be included in the approved right of way plans. Approval of the disposition of the existing roadway is initiated by the submission of a Change in Route Status Report (CRSR) to Transportation Planning, after district review (see procedure diagram).

As the right of way plans are developed, the recommendations for the disposition of existing roadways, which are included in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report, must be reviewed to ensure the plans conform to these recommendations. Where the recommendations call for the existing roadway to be transferred to another local government agency, written documentation will be included in the CRSR that outlines the terms of the commitment made by that agency for accepting the sections of existing roadway. In addition, information must be included in the CRSR if an existing route is retained but its classification or the state system is changed. Available options for the disposition of the existing roadway may range from retention in the state highway system to transfer to another government agency or even total abandonment.

An approved CRSR that requires a section of existing roadway to be transferred to another owner, public or private, will also require the preparation and execution of a roadway relinquishment agreement. Guidelines for the preparation of this agreement are detailed later in this article.

Contents

236.14.1 Criteria for Retention

When improvements to existing roadways in the state highway system cause the location of the existing roadway to change, portions of the existing roadway may be retained for commission use under the following conditions, or combination of conditions. Roadways that will remain in the state system must have "route markings" in place.

Absorb existing roadway and right of way into new route (no CRSR required)

  • When any portion of the existing right of way becomes part of the new right of way. Termini limits of permanent right of way purchase are normally used to determine the length to be absorbed.
  • When existing right of way is needed for an outer roadway and is contiguous with right of way for main roadway lanes.

Retain as a route in the same state system (no CRSR required)

  • When necessary to retain continuity of a route in the same system.
  • When necessary to provide a business route to serve a substantial business community around which the main roadway has been relocated and the existing route is the logical solution.
  • When the release of that part of the route will create a condition not consistent with the functional service objectives of that system.

Transfer to another state system classification (CRSR required)

  • When the existing section is necessary in order to maintain continuity of a route on another system.
  • When that part of the route is needed to provide the functional objectives of another system.

Retain as a service roadway on new route (CRSR required)

When a short section of the existing route adjoins at one or both ends a section of roadway on or to be retained on the state highway system, and the right of way is not contiguous with the new right of way, it may be retained as a service roadway if one of the following conditions exists.

  • Due to not connecting or being close to a local roadway, it would be unreasonable to require maintenance by the local political subdivision.
  • Some special condition that dictates this procedure. Usually this condition involves access provisions.

Retain for future use (CRSR required)

When the portion of the existing route is not needed for any of the conditions listed above or for access to properties, consideration will be given to any possible future use by the commission. This may include use by maintenance forces, future improvements, scenic use, or in some cases sale or trade as excess property.

236.14.2 Methods of Removal

When a portion of the existing route is not needed for commission use, it may be removed from the state highway system. The location/environmental study or conceptual study report will recommend a method for removing the existing route from the state system. These recommendations may indicate that sections of the existing roadway be transferred to a local government agency, in which case the written documentation indicating the local government agency's willingness to accept the conveyance of sections of the existing route and any conditions of their acceptance, will also be included in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report. The location/environmental study or conceptual study report may also recommend some other method of removal from the state system. In any case, one of the following methods will be recommended for removing the portion of the existing route from the state highway system and must be described in the CRSR.

236.14.2.1 Convey to Local Government Agency (CRSR required)

Sections of the existing route that need to remain in place to serve local public interests will be identified in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report. These sections may be conveyed to the appropriate local government agency, which is capable of accepting a deed for the right of way. Upon approval of the CRSR by the Chief Engineer or designee, indicating the section of roadway to be transferred to another government agency, a roadway relinquishment agreement must be prepared. The preferred method of transfer is by quitclaim deed to the local government agency. However, the specific method of transfer and other details must be indicated in the agreement. Execution of the roadway relinquishment agreement must be obtained from the local government agencies before the project is advertised for the bid opening. Guidelines for the preparation of the roadway relinquishment agreement are detailed later in this article.

236.14.2.2 Trade routes with Local Government Agency (CRSR required)

Where sections of the existing route are needed for local public interests, but the local government agencies are unwilling to accept a quitclaim deed for the right of way, consideration can be given to trading another section of roadway for the roadway in question. The local government agency may be willing to accept a section of roadway we wish to dispose of if the department agrees to accept maintenance of a section of roadway they are not capable of maintaining. The broad concept of the trade must be outlined in the written documentation contained in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report that indicates the local government agency's willingness to accept the section of the existing route. The specific details of this trade and the method used to transfer the roadway will be outlined in the roadway relinquishment agreement. Execution of the roadway relinquishment agreement cannot be obtained until the CRSR is approved. However, execution of the agreement must be obtained from the local government agencies before the project is advertised for a bid opening.

236.14.3 Guidelines for trading routes

There are roads in the state that are beyond the maintenance capabilities of local jurisdictions. There are also state highways, which because of low volumes and the service they provide, should not be a part of the state system. Consideration will be given to accepting these local roads into the state system upon the request of the appropriate local officials, contingent upon the transfer of an equal or greater mileage of less traveled roadway from the state system.

The general criteria for trading routes with local jurisdictions is as follows:

  • Trade must be in the same county or city
  • Trade must be based on approximately equal mileage
  • Road transferred to state system must meet major collector or higher functional classification criteria
  • Roads transferred to state system must have roadway widths (surface and shoulder widths) and surface type compatible with the average for state highways with similar AADT. Minimum of 80 ft. of right of way required
  • Roads transferred to state system must have bridges within 80 percent of the average condition ratings for state highways with similar AADT
  • Road to be transferred to county should be stub end
  • Some form of public announcement concerning transfer is required
  • Right of way for future reconstruction to department criteria will be supplied at no cost to department

These same guidelines apply for trades with local jurisdictions when the routes to be traded are not involved with any MoDOT project.

236.14.3.1 Convey to adjacent property owners (CRSR required)

Some sections of the existing route may not be needed to serve local public interests but may need to remain in place to serve local private interests. These sections will be identified in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report. If no local government agency is willing to accept ownership of these sections then the local interests who are served by the existing route will be contacted to determine their willingness to accept this section of roadway. If the property owners are willing to accept these sections of the existing route, then they will be conveyed to them by quitclaim deed when the project is constructed. The transfer of these sections of roadway will require negotiations with the property owners. The terms under which the property owners agree to accept these sections of the existing roadway will be clearly indicated in the roadway relinquishment agreement. These terms may include compensation to the property owner or other services provided by the department to place the road in a condition that is acceptable to the property owners. However, prior to any agreements being finalized, the district must ensure that the conveyance of the roadway to adjacent property owners will not result in properties becoming legally landlocked. The Chief Engineer, or designee, must approve the CRSR before the execution of the roadway relinquishment agreement can be obtained. However, the property owners must execute the agreement before the project is advertised for the bid opening.

236.14.3.2 Abandon the route (CRSR required)

When no other method of removing the existing route from the state highway system can be used, options for abandonment of the route can be explored. If a portion of the existing route is not needed for public roadway access to any properties, abandonment may be an option for disposing of the roadway. Abandonment may also be an option for sections that are providing private access to adjacent properties. However, these sections may require special considerations.

The department's ability to abandon portions of the existing route is dependent on the type of title the department holds for the right of way and the particular circumstances involved with each specific location. Before consideration can be given to abandoning the existing route the opinion of the Chief Counsel's Office must be obtained with regard to the department's ability to proceed with the abandonment. They may also be able to identify potential liabilities that the department might incur as a result of the abandonment. Prior to any agreements being finalized, the district must ensure that the conveyance of the roadway to adjacent property owners will not result in properties becoming legally landlocked. All of these factors must be taken into account when making a decision to abandon an existing roadway.

If abandonment is chosen as the best course of action, a CRSR must be prepared to reflect these recommendations. Approval of the CRSR must be obtained from the Chief Engineer or designee before proceeding with the steps necessary to abandon the route. Once approval is obtained, the Chief Counsel's Office must be contacted to determine the steps necessary to abandon the roadway. It is important to note that there are specific actions that must be taken, beyond approval of the CRSR, in order to properly abandon the existing route.

Consideration must be given to the possible future use of the right of way when determining if the roadway is to be obliterated or left in place. Only under special conditions and with prior approval by the Chief Counsel’s Office will the pavement of a roadway being abandoned be left in place. If obliteration is chosen, the right of way will be landscaped with low maintenance materials and left in good condition.

236.14.4 Change in Route Status Report (CRSR)

A CRSR is required to transfer sections of the existing route to another system or change the purpose of the section even if no right of way modifications are involved. The CRSR is composed of a written description of the changes to be made to the existing routes and a sketch that depicts those changes. Functional areas in the district that are affected by the proposed changes (Right of Way, Design, Traffic, Maintenance, etc.) are responsible for ensuring the CRSR has been reviewed and that it addresses their concerns. This review is completed by the District's Asset Management Committee which is comprised of members from each functional unit in the district. Once all concerns have been addressed, the CRSR is submitted to Transportation Planning for processing. It is therefore very important that the concurrence of all affected areas within the district is obtained prior to submittal of the report for approval. The following paragraphs give guidelines for the preparation and submittal of the CRSR.

236.14.4.1 Text

The CRSR will summarize the recommendations and the supporting reasons for disposing of the existing route that were included in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report. Any deviations from those recommendations must be fully discussed in the text of the report. This discussion will include a complete description of the proposed methods of disposal now being recommended and the reasons why the original recommendations could not be implemented. Any supporting documentation needed to justify the recommendations must also be included in the report.

The CRSR will include a description of the recommended disposition for all sections of the existing route within the extreme limits of the right of way involved with the project. This description will include the location, length, and proposed disposition for all sections of the existing route. Examples are provided to assist in determining the proper termini limits for the sections of the existing route to be included in the CRSR. If the reasons for choosing the method of disposition are not clearly indicated in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report, sufficient background information must be included in the report to support the recommendations. A summary of the lengths being disposed of in the same manner will be included in the report. For example, the total number of miles being absorbed, conveyed, transferred, etc. are to be included in the text of the report.

If no location/environmental study or conceptual study report was prepared for the project, the CRSR will contain a discussion of the alternate methods that were considered for disposing of the existing route similar to that included in a location/environmental study or conceptual study report. This discussion will also contain the reasons why the recommendations were selected as the best alternatives and any documentation necessary to support those recommendations.

If the recommended method of disposal results in the existing route being transferred to a local government agency, the written documentation conveying the agency's willingness to accept responsibility will be included as a part of the report. Any conditions or stipulations included as a part of the agency's acceptance of the existing route must be discussed in the report. After approval of the CRSR by the Chief Engineer or designee, a roadway relinquishment agreement must be executed to formalize the commitments made by both parties.

236.14.4.2 Sketch

A line drawing sketch is prepared to show the proposed disposition of existing routes. This sketch is developed on a letter size or multiple of a letter size reproducible sheet. The sketch will be developed at an appropriate scale to allow the details of the CRSR to be clearly visible. Production of a high quality sketch is important because this document will be used to maintain the permanent record of the history of the route. An example of this sketch is available. The existing route will be shown as parallel lines 0.1 in. apart with the space between left blank to permit coloring. The new route will be shown as a solid line 0.1 in. wide. The following features will be included on the sketch:

  • Equations that relate the stationing of the existing route to the stationing of the new route at the locations necessary to allow computation of section lengths.
  • Termini limits of the disposition will normally be shown at the extreme limits of permanent right of way purchase or disposal on the new project. Examples of proper limits for various sections of the CRSR are available. New stationing is to be equated to the old stationing at tie points, at beginning and ending of the project, and at any connections to existing routes or crossovers of existing routes.
  • Both the new and old stationing will be shown at points where a change in the method of disposition occurs.
  • The length of all sections based on old stationing in order to account for the entire length of the existing route. The lengths computed from the stationing will be converted to miles and shown on the sketch to the nearest thousandth of a mile. If the old stationing and new stationing use different units of measurement (English and metric), the sketch will include lengths shown in dual units. This will allow reference to the original plans as well as the new plans.
  • Section numbers, range, township, city limits, county lines (if more than one county), and any other necessary information will be indicated on the sketch.
  • All affected routes must be included in the sketch and clearly labeled. Other state routes that are not affected will also be labeled.
  • The entire length of the existing route covered by the CRSR must be shown on one sketch if at all possible.
  • The color code listed below is to be used when preparing the sketch. If the particular project requires the use of additional colors to cover other circumstances make sure this is clearly indicated on the sketch.
    • Absorb - Red.
    • Abandon or Convey to Adjacent Property Owners-Green.
    • Convey to __________ County - Yellow.
    • Convey to the City of ___________ - Purple
    • Convey to ___________ (Agency) - Orange
    • To be Retained - Brown.
    • Transfer to Another System - Blue.
  • A color key will be included on the sketch representing the colors used to indicate the various methods of disposition. The name of the recipient will also be included if applicable. (i.e., city, county, property owner, etc.)

236.14.4.3 Submittal

The CRSR is submitted to Transportation Planning, by the district, after it is reviewed by the District's Asset Management Committee when the plans have been developed in sufficient detail to allow completion of the report. This will occur sometime after preliminary plan approval and prior to the time plans are approved for right of way purposes. The district will prepare a transmittal letter requesting Transportation Planning process the report and proceed with the actions necessary for approval. If the report recommends that a section of the existing route be removed from the state system, the district's transmittal must also explain the status of any subsequent agreements that are necessary to accomplish the approved dispositions. These agreements might include the roadway relinquishment agreement or other documents needed to carry out the disposition.

The district is responsible for checking the accuracy of the details contained in the report and the sketch. The district is also responsible for ensuring that the recommendations for disposition contained in the location/environmental study or conceptual study report are complied with or that sufficient documentation is included in the report to justify the change in recommendations. All areas in the district affected by the proposed changes (Right of Way, Design, Traffic, Maintenance, etc.) are responsible for reviewing the CRSR to ensure it addresses their concerns. This review is completed by the District's Asset Management Committee. Transportation Planning is responsible for processing the report, submitting it the Chief Engineer or designee for approval, and making appropriate changes in the state route inventory which result from the approved report. When the CRSR includes transfer of sections of roadways located within the right of way of interstate and/or US Routes, the review and approval of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is required before submittal of the CRSR to the Chief Engineer or designee for approval. Right of Way Section is responsible for determining when FHWA approval is necessary and for submittal of the CRSR to FHWA for their review and approval.

After the District's Asset Management Committee review, the report will be provided to Transportation Planning four weeks prior to the desired approval date to allow sufficient time for records verification, processing and copying. The report submitted for processing must contain a colored copy of the sketch. In addition, the district will forward an electronic version of the sketch to the Transportation Planning Division for their use in processing the report. They will make copies of the colored sketch or prints of the electronic file for their use in processing the report.

236.14.5 Implementation of Approved Changes in Route Status

Once the Chief Engineer or designee approves the CRSR, the district may proceed with the steps necessary to carry out the approved changes in route status. The Commission's Execution of Documents Policy will be reviewed to determine who has the authority to execute any subsequent agreements that are necessary to accomplish the approved dispositions.

The first action to be taken by the district will be dependent on the type of dispositions approved in the report. For example, if all sections of the existing route are to be retained in the state highway system, no further action is required.

If sections of the existing route are to be conveyed to other owners (local public agency or adjacent property owner), then a roadway relinquishment agreement must be drafted and executed as the first action. A description of the individuals authorized to execute the agreement can be found in the Commission's Execution of Documents Policy.

After the roadway relinquishment agreements are executed a copy of the CRSR, including a colored copy of the sketch, copies of the relinquishment agreements, and appropriate plans will be provided to the district right of way manager so quitclaim deeds can be prepared for those sections of the old route that are to be conveyed to others. Any special conditions contained in the relinquishment agreements will be taken into account when preparing the quitclaim deeds.

Sections of the existing route that are approved for abandonment will need the involvement of the Chief Counsel's Office as well as the district right of way manager. In this case the first action taken by the district will be notification of the Chief Counsel’s Office of the approved CRSR. The Chief Counsel’s Office and district right of way manager will provide guidance in regard to the proper course of action for each of the properties to be abandoned. A copy of the CRSR, including a colored copy of the sketch and appropriate plans will be provided to the Chief Counsel’s Office and the district right of way manager.

The project manager and the core team are responsible for ensuring that all of the disposals approved in the CRSR are implemented in the correct manner. Since portions of the existing route may need to remain in place throughout the construction phase of a project, the actual transfer of ownership or abandonment of sections of the existing route may not occur until that phase of the project is complete. The project manager may therefore wish to delegate the responsibility for making the physical transfer of ownership or abandonment to a core team member who will be involved with the construction phase of the project. In any case, it will be the project manager's responsibility to see that all portions of the existing route are disposed of in accordance with the approved CRSR.

236.14.6 Roadway Relinquishment Agreement

A roadway relinquishment agreement will need to be prepared for any sections of the existing route that will be conveyed to other owners. A standard form agreement named Form RW27 has been prepared by the Chief Counsel's Office as a basis to develop the agreement. There may be situations when it is in the Commission's best interest to enter into an agreement to relinquish a section of roadway that was previously abandoned by the Commission, but the roadway was neither conveyed to another party, obliterated, nor permanently barricaded. The Chief Counsel's Office has prepared Form RW32 as a basis to develop the agreement for roadways that have been previously abandoned. These agreements may need to be modified to fit the particular circumstances of each relinquishment. The agreements can also be modified to accommodate transfer of right of way to a private property owner. Any modifications to the standard language must be approved by the Chief Counsel's Office prior to execution.

Any commitments or promises made by either party that constitute a condition of acceptance of the existing roadway must be fully detailed in the agreement. These conditions of acceptance might include upgrading the road to a certain condition prior to transfer or future state maintenance of the section at a specified time period. It is important to note that this agreement will be developed through a process of negotiations resulting in an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both parties. Each case will have unique conditions that will need to be considered during the negotiation of the relinquishment agreement. The district will consider all requests from the party receiving the section of the existing roadway that will minimize the burden of ownership and future maintenance. However, the cost associated with any conditions of acceptance must be compared to the benefit MoDOT will receive from the transfer of the existing roadway. Any conditions of acceptance that cannot be shown to be cost effective for MoDOT will not be accepted.

The requirements for proper execution of the agreement will depend on the party receiving the existing roadway. If the accepting agency is a county commission, the agreement is to be executed by at least two of the county commissioners. If the accepting agency is a city, a copy of the ordinance or resolution authorizing execution of the agreement must be attached. Only the authorized party can execute the agreement. If an adjacent property owner is the recipient, the agreement only needs to be executed by the future owner. In any case, the execution of the roadway relinquishment agreement must be obtained from the other parties before the project is advertised for the bid opening. The Commission's Execution of Documents Policy is reviewed to determine the proper party authorized to execute the agreement on behalf of the commission.

If a roadway will be relinquished to a local public transportation authority, with the intent that it continues to be used as a public roadway, see EPG 236.5.12.2 Road Relinquishment Utilities for further guidance.

Proposed roadway relinquishments to private entities shall be reviewed in a manner consistent with the conveyance of excess property described in EPG 236.5.12.1 Excess Land Conveyances Utilities.

236.14.7 AASHTO Application

When a portion of an existing U.S. or interstate route is proposed for elimination, establishment, relocation, extension, establishment of an alternate route, or recognition of a business route, an AASHTO application will be submitted. The AASHTO application can be obtained from Transportation Planning or Traffic. Once the District's Asset Management Committee has reviewed the change in route marking, six completed copies of the AASHTO application in addition to the change in route marking will be forwarded to Transportation Planning as early as possible during right of way plan development. As soon as the change in route marking is approved, the Traffic Division will submit the application to AASHTO. However, AASHTO only meets to approve applications in the Spring and the Fall of each year. The approval process is detailed in the MoDOT Route Marking Process.

236.14.8 Change in Route Marking

Any change in the designation (number, letter, etc.) of any state route requires a change in route marking. Guidelines for preparation of this request are contained in EPG 943.1 Submittals. The Change in Route Marking Report (CRMR) shall be reviewed by the District's Asset Management Committee and submitted to Transportation Planning for processing.

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