Right of Way

Freedom Title & Abstract is a member of the IRWA - International Right of Way Association and is directly involved with the Georgia Peach Chapter 22. This organization involves securing, managing, and transferring property rights for public use. Their members are known to be Georgia's finest and remains the best source for Right of Way education and professional services.

Georgia's growth and advancement has often required the acquisition of property for right of way projects. Population growth, migration, changing social priorities and technologies have contributed to the need for the continued acquisition of rights of way for:

telephone and cable
road and rail systems
gas lines
public buildings

Early History

The earliest recorded history of civilization provides examples of government construction projects requiring land and “rights of way”. Historians believe the Persian (some argue Assyrian ) “Royal Road” was first built around 4500 BC and the first recorded acquisition of land for the purpose of transporation. The ancient highway stretched between Sardes near the Persian Gulf, and Susa(modern day Turkey) near the Mediterranean Sea. According to Dr. Shaowen Wang[4], the first known printed map in recorded history is a Mesopotamian map carved in stone which might reflect such a recording. The royal road was found so important that Darius I reconstructed it. If you don't recognize the name of Darius, maybe his son, Xerxes is more familiar? (pronounced zerk-sees) That's who fought the 300 Spartans. Later, Alexander the Great found the Royal Road very usefull and used it to conquer the Persian Empire.

Later History

Some of the earliest knowledge of right of way comes from societies where the king was believed to have divine rights and therefore possessed all rights to the land. Rights were granted to nobles or rented to tenant farmers in exchange for military and economic support. If the sovereign wanted to utilize the land, he simply dispossessed the occupant. Thus, the origin of the term “sovereign rights”.₁ The nobles' opposition to the king's absolute control over property rights began to manifest itself in the signing of the Magna Carta of 1215. This document, among many other provisions, limited the rights of the sovereign. From that beginning, the absolute right of government to property and property rights has been more and more precisely defined and limited.

Bit More Modern History

In pre-Revolutionary America and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment included property right guarantees in the Constitution.

As democracy grew, so did the protection of private property rights. This protection did not lessen the rights of the government to take or use the land, but rather it required the government, when exercising its rights, to follow due process of law and to pay just compensation. Modern laws, court decisions, and the increasing complexity of the acquisition process created the need for agents with high levels of technical knowledge and communication skills. Today’s right of way agent, whether employed by a government agency, a utility company, or a consulting firm, is considered a professional; knowledgeable about property acquisition laws and processes, and educated ethical standards of practice.

  1. ^ Fox, Alexander the Great, 1973:96.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Herodotus, Histories v.52-54, viii.98; Herodotus seems to have been in possession of an itinerary. W. M. Calder, "The Royal Road in Herodotus" The Classical Review 39.1/2 (February - March 1925:7-11) suggested that Herodotus was partly in error in his tracing the route through Anatolia by making it cross the Halys and showed that though his overall his distances in parasangs are approximately correct, his distances over the sections he describes bear no relation to geographical facts.
  4. ^ "Herodotus, a Greek from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, appears to have reported only that part of the network which led directly to the parts of the Greek world that concerned him," notes Rodney S. Young, "Gordion on the Royal Road" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 107.4 (August 15, 1963:348-364).
  5. ^ Dr. Shaowen Wang (CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory (CIGI), National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois. This information was constructed for the study of maps and the modern day GPS systems... if I’m allowed to be redundent
  6. ^ Starr, S. F. "The Persian Royal Road in Turkey" Yearbook of the American Philosophical Society 1962 (Philadelphia 1963) 629-632.