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Property Acquisition

The Iowa DOT acquires real estate as a result of highway improvement projects throughout the state. As part of the proposed improvements, Iowa DOT policy provides for appraisal of property and/or property rights needed for each project. Professional techniques and methods are used to determine “just compensation” in accordance with federal and state constitutions, laws and regulations. Appraisals are prepared to assure fair treatment for both the property owner and the public. 

After completing the appraisal, a right of way agent contacts each owner to explain the plans and appraisals and negotiate the contract for the required right of way. If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiations, the property may be acquired by the laws of eminent domain.

Several brochures are available at the Iowa DOT's Office of Right of Way website.

For more information, please visit the Iowa DOT's Office of Right of Way website.

Relocation Assistance

The State of Iowa's acquisition and relocation program is conducted in accordance with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-646), as amended. Relocation resources are provided to all residential and business relocatees, without discrimination.

If you are required to move as a result of a highway construction project, whether an owner or a tenant, you are eligible for relocation assistance advisory services. You may be eligible for moving assistance, supplemental replacement housing payments and reimbursement for certain expenses incurred in purchasing replacement housing.

It is the intent of the State of Iowa to ensure that displaced individuals receive fair and equitable treatment and do not suffer disproportionately as a result of highway improvements designed for the public as a whole. Any person, family, business or farm displaced by a highway project shall be offered relocation assistance services for locating suitable replacement property.

Relocation payments and advisory assistance are offered in addition to the state's purchase of your property. Questions or problems concerning relocation assistance should be directed to:

Office of Right of Way
Relocation Assistance Section
Iowa Department of Transportation
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, Iowa 50010
Phone: (515) 239-1216

Corridor Preservation Zone

The Iowa DOT implemented a Corridor Preservation Zone (CPZ) for the Council Bluffs Interstate System Improvement Program on September 20, 2005. In the early stages of the interstate redesign process, the DOT worked with the public, and local, state, and federal agencies to identify a CPZ. This is the third renewal of the zone that is refilled every three years.

What does this mean?

  • The CPZ is an area where future transportation improvements may occur, which would require the acquisition of right of way. Designation of the CPZ allows the Iowa DOT to review building permits, subdivision plats and proposed zoning changes before they are approved by local officials. 
  • If the building permits, subdivision plats or zoning changes are not compatible with the Iowa DOT’s proposed improvements, the Iowa DOT may initiate the acquisition process for the said right of way.
  • The CPZ also protects private property owners by providing them with information regarding future transportation improvements that may affect their property.

To learn more, please view our CPZ topics on our FAQ page. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.