NCDOT to buy nearly 200 properties in Alamance County under eminent domain

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- A relocation and widening of NC 119 through Alamance County was discussed as early as 1990. Now, it's moving forward.

In coming weeks and months, the NCDOT plans to purchase 170 properties from 140 owners in and around Mebane to clear a path for the new route.

Jason Campbell, a lawyer with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm, said people need to make sure they are aware of their rights in these situations.

"In North Carolina the laws are pretty firmly stacked against property owners," Campbell said.

While property owners affected by eminent domain are required to sell their properties, Campbell cautioned that they should not immediately accept the DOT's first quote on price.

He said, historically, people who challenge the first quote end up getting 85 percent more for their property in the end.

Campbell also said that home visits from DOT employees should begin soon, in which they will appraise properties.

"They are writing down everything you say," Campbell said. "And they are attempting to convince them to buy your property for the highest price they reasonably can. Consequently, don't tell them the negative things about your property. You can't lie. But remember - emphasize the positive."

Campbell and others will provide free legal advice to those property owners affected Thursday night at 7p.m. at the Mebane Arts and Community Center at 633 Corregidor St. in Mebane.

Construction on the project is expected to begin in Winter 2015. The cost of the construction, not including the purchasing of land, is estimated at approximately $102 million.

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