Treatment of sections eliminated when highway relocated
(1) Whenever the Department of Transportation relocates or realigns a state highway or a section thereof, and by reason of such relocation or realignment there is eliminated from the original route of the highway a section thereof, the eliminated section shall, if needed for the service of persons living thereon or for a community served thereby, be maintained by the department at state expense, or by the county or by the state and the county on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon.
(2) If such eliminated sections of old right of way, or any part thereof, in the judgment of the department, are needed or valuable for public road use, then the department shall, by appropriate action, declare the purpose of the department to preserve the same for public road use.
(3) If the department determines under subsection (2) of this section that the eliminated sections are merely parts of the old right of way which are no longer needed or valuable for highway right of way purposes or any other public road use, then if such eliminated sections are not owned by the department in fee, the department shall abandon such eliminated sections and such sections shall, except as otherwise provided in this section, revert to and title thereto shall vest in the abutting owner or owners.
(4) Nothing in this section shall impair vested rights of property owners under existing deeds, easements or contracts whereby the state or any county acquired such rights of way. This section shall not prevent the department from contracting for the acquisition of easements or rights of way on such terms and conditions as to abandonment and reverter as it may consider advisable under the conditions then existing. [Amended by 1985 c.259 §1]
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