UDOT maintains almost 16,000 lane miles of state highway across Utah, which amounts to a multibillion dollar investment in roads, bridges, and other real property assets. UDOT and its predecessor, the State Road Commission, have been acquiring real property for highway development purposes since the early 1900s. This property acquisition process continues to move forward as the State’s highway facility footprint expands in proportion to Utah’s significant population growth.
These factors combine to add multiple levels of complexity to the surplus land sale and disposal process. At a high level, any surplus land transaction requires us to walk through several important steps, including:
Understanding any other encumbrances or property rights that may be associated with the land at issue.
Analyzing the potential and actual future needs for the land at issue for transportation purposes. UDOT has a fiduciary responsibility to the public to not dispose of any real property interests that it may need for future transportation purposes.
If a parcel can be declared surplus after working through our entire process, we can proceed with a real estate transaction. Any such real estate transaction is process intensive because buyers and sellers want to ensure they understand what they are getting/giving up. That means we often work with real estate brokers and agents, appraisers, land surveyors, engineering firms, environmental firms, title companies, and other governmental agencies (e.g., planning, environmental, traffic and safety, and the Federal Highway Administration). And where we have surplus parcels that no one has expressed an interest in purchasing, we will attempt to sell them on the open market, sometimes by working with real estate professionals directly and other times though an auction process.
UDOT’s surplus property professionals are dedicated to helping interested parties navigate these complex processes. They are also hard at work removing barriers and streamlining processes as they manage large transaction-based workloads.