Lansing Board of Water & Light
Commonwealth Associates, Inc. was hired by the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) to perform right of way acquisition and preliminary engineering services for the construction of a 138 kV transmission line connecting the Erickson Substation to the Willow Street Substation. The transmission line was much needed to address increased capacity and system reliability issues. The project required permanent easements of varying widths (typical width of 50’) along primary and secondary routes selected by the BWL from Commonwealth’s December 2013 Routing Study.
Commonwealth’s right of way tasks included initial preparation of mapping, title work, and development of a line list of parcels including property and ownership information. Market value data was collected for land valuation, and a method for calculating appropriate offer amounts was established. Commonwealth staff met with property owners on an individual basis to obtain permission to survey the parcels, to negotiate the acquisition of proposed easements, and to execute the necessary documents. These good faith negotiations were performed by Commonwealth employees rather than a contract field agent. Commonwealth provided all necessary records and documentation that established the secured easements required for construction.
A challenge that Commonwealth faced with this project was that the proposed transmission line routes ran through a sensitive urban environment. To overcome this challenge, Commonwealth utilized a “good neighbor” approach. By spending additional meeting time with selected property owners, Commonwealth was able to minimize opposition to the project.
All tasks associated with completing the project were managed by Commonwealth. All required easements for the project were secured without Eminent Domain.