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Appendix B: Glossary


American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Abutter’s Rights

In the nature of private easements, conferred by law, to and from a public road, street, or highway; the law recognizes several kinds of abutter’s rights:

  1. the abutter’s right of “access”, which is the right or reasonable access to and from the property.
  2. the abutter’s right of “light, air, and view”, which are commonly grouped together, and which mean: the right to receive light and air upon the property, and the right to see from and be seen upon the property.

Access Control

power of Government to restrict / control a property owner’s right to create entrances and exits on a public road.

Access Management

A systematic process to manage the number, location and design of direct access points to the public road system in an effort to maintain traffic flow while providing adequate access to adjacent land.


The act or process of acquiring right of way; also sometimes refers to the area being acquired; see “Partial Acquisition”, also “Taking”.

Adverse Possession

The process of obtaining title to real property by making a continuous, adverse, notorious, exclusive, hostile claim by continuous possession for a statutory period of time

Aerial Mapping

Topographic mapping and digital terrain data produced from controlled aerial photographs.


A sworn or affirmed statement or declaration in written form.

Air Rights

The rights to the use of airspace above a given elevation from the ground or improvements; also called aerial rights; can be separated from the bundle of rights.


The horizontal or vertical ground plan of a roadway. Alignments are usually described by grades, coordinates, bearings, and curve lengths.


One of a number of specific transportation improvement proposals, alignments, options, or design choices.


An estimate of value, usually written, as of a certain date.


An individual who estimates market value.


The act of exercising the power of eminent domain; see also “Condemnation” and

Appurtenant Easement

An easement that is attached to, benefits, and passes with the conveyance of the dominant estate.

Area of Joint Usage

The area of joint usage is the width of the proposed pavement and shoulders plus a minimum of two (2) additional feet on each side across the railroad property.

Assessment of Feasible Alternatives

Development and analysis of a limited number of feasible alternatives to decide which alternatives avoid or minimize impacts while meeting the project’s purpose and need.

At-grade Intersection

An intersection where the roadways join or cross at the same elevation. Auditor’s Permanent Parcel Number: A unique number attached to each parcel of land that is established by the auditor of the county in which it is located.

Average Daily Traffic (ADT)

The average number of vehicles that pass a specified point during a 24- hour period.

Avigation Easement

The right, granted by the owner of land adjacent to an airport, to the use of the air space above a specific height for the flight of aircraft; may prohibit the property owner from using the land for structures, trees, signs, or stacks higher than the altitude specified; the degree of the restriction is dictated by the glide angle necessary for the safe use of the airfield’s runway;


The angle between the true (meridian) north and an object; in surveying, it is measured clockwise from the north.


The portion of the roadway between the side drainage ditch and the top of the cut, usually measured at a ratio of horizontal distances versus each foot of increase and elevation, i.e. 4 to 1 slope.

Base Map

1) A map of the project’s study area showing topography, roads, streams, project limits, Red Flags, and other items of interest. 2) In CADD, a file containing information for the project area, which is referenced into sheet files showing specific portions of the project.

Bearing Basis

The direction held on a line to which, all lines in the project are related to. This can be true North, Magnetic North or an Assumed Meridian.


An advertising device that is used to advertise or to give information in a nature of advertising, or any part thereof, the advertising of information contents of which are visible from the main traveled way of any highway on the interstate system or primary system in this state.

Boundary Survey

A survey used to ascertain the boundary line, natural or artificial, dividing two parcels.

Break/Angle Points

The point where a line changes direction.


A relatively permanent enclosed construction over a plot of land, having a roof and usually windows and often more than one level, used for any of a wide variety of activities, as living, entertaining, manufacturing and storage.  Will also want to review “Structures”.

CADD Engineering Standards Manual

Visit the Office of CADD & Mapping Services

Centerline of Construction

The reference line used for construction of a project. Normally located at the median centerline on a divided highway or at the normal crown point located on an undivided highway.

Centerline of Right of Way

The reference line used for the right of way of a project. Normally located at the center of the highway’s existing right of way.

Clear Zone

The roadside border area, starting at the edge of the traveled way, available for safe use by errant vehicles. The desired width is dependant upon traffic volumes and speeds, and on the roadside geometry.

Clearance Easement

An aviation easement which restricts the fee owners use of the land over a certain height, but does not allow for the frequent encroachment of aircraft into the encumbered air space.

Closure Calculations

A calculation of the bearings and distances contained within a legal description, which verifies if the bearings and distances create a fully encompassed shape within a specified tolerance.

Commercial Property

Income producing property (e.g. office buildings, apartments, etc.)


The procedure by which the power of eminent domain is exercised whether it be established by statue or otherwise. In Ohio this term is interchangeable with “Appropriation”.

Construction Limits

Lines shown on a plan view which show the lateral extent of the work; Includes room for all construction activities, including demolition and removals.

Construction Plans

Drawings for the detailed construction of the improvement


Being in physical contact with; adjacent, touching, abutting.

Control Points

A term used to define an exact location established by a surveyor, usually having a numeric value for North and East coordinates and an Elevation.


A line connecting the points on a land surface which have the same elevation.

Controlled Access

A constraint upon unlimited access, ingress, egress and regress to and from a property and the adjoining highway facility.


The transfer of title to land from one person, or class of persons, to another by deed.


A process whereby ODOT contacts, consults, and maintains communication with regulatory agencies to facilitate project development.

Cross Section

A laterally cut view at right angles to center line which shows elevation differences between the proposed grade and existing ground left and right of center line; this view shows the degree of cut or fill, back slopes, side slopes, ditch lines, limits of cut or fill and super elevation.


A written instrument conveying real property or an interest therein from a specified grantor to a specified grantee for a consideration with a description of a property conveyed and containing granting words.

Design Agency

The entity that is contracted by ODOT to prepare the right of way plans. For in-house design, the design agency is ODOT.


A house or other structure in which a person or persons live; a residence; abode; habitation; the apartment or building, or group of buildings occupied by a family as a place of residence.


A right acquired by one party to use or control property belonging to another party for a designated purpose.

Easement by Prescription

A right to use another’s land which is established by exercising this right over a period of time.


Act of going out or leaving.


ODOT’s web-based project management system linking system forecasting, planning, financial management, and project delivery.

Eminent Domain

The power of the sovereign (and those to whom it has delegated the power) to take private property for public use, without the owner’s consent on payment of just compensation.


The act of intrusion upon the property of another, usually occurring when items such as a house, sign, leach bed, well, drive, etc. are discovered to be on public property (right-of-way, etc.) without permission.


A burden upon property that may diminish the value.

Environmental Document

Written report that summarizes environmental studies, potential impacts, avoidance, mitigation and evaluation of alternatives. The significance of the impacts will determine the level of document (i.e., Environmental Impact Statement, Environmental Assessment or Categorical Exclusion) required.

Existing Right of Way

The present limits of the state or agency owned right of way.


A divided arterial highway with full or partial control of access and generally with grade separations at major intersections.


A governmental taking or modification of an individual’s property rights by eminent domain.

Federal Project Number

A unique Identification number assigned to each project that is associated with federal financing.

Fee Simple

An absolute estate or ownership in property including the unlimited power of alienation.

Fill Slope

The portion of the roadway between the outside of the shoulder and the toe of the slope where the area has been filled.

Field Investigation

A site visit conducted to gather or verify data, define scope of work, perform analyses, and make decisions for specific projects.

Field Survey

Any type of survey work done at the project site, including topographic survey, location of boundary monuments, recovery survey, control survey, etc.

Final Tracings

Completed construction plans plotted on reproducible material (usually Mylar).


An expressway with full access control and no at grade intersections.

Frontage Road

A roadway which permits access to properties facing another, generally parallel, roadway to which there is no access.

Gantt Chart

A schedule showing individual tasks, their durations and interrelationships.


A term used to denote an area of unknown/uncertain title rights. Occurs when the titles do not come together to form one line.

General Warranty

A guarantee in a deed by the grantor to defend the title against all defects either before or after the grantor became the owner of the property.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

A computerized data management system designed to capture, store, retrieve, analyze, and report on geographic and demographic information.

Grade Separation

A crossing of two roadways, or a roadway and a railroad, or a roadway and a pedestrian walkway or bike path in such a way (by the provision of crossing structures) that neither facility interferes with the operation of the other.


Party to whom property is transferred by deed (buyer).


Party who transfers property by deed (seller).

Gross Take

Area enclosed within a parcel of proposed right of way, this area includes existing right of way where underlying fee extends into the existing easement or where the proposed right of way overlaps existing lesser rights of way.

Highway Easement

An easement acquired specifically for highway purposes; used where highway right of way is not or cannot be acquired in fee.

Horizontal Curve

A circular arc (simple curve) used to connect tangent lines, “usually on the centerline of the right of way”.

Horizontal Datum

A grid reference, usually tied to State Plane Coordinates and Latitude & Longitude.


Is defined as something that is man-made, not there by nature, that is located within the existing right of way and/or proposed take area and is not part of the roadway.(i.e. a bridge constructed by ODOT is not an improvement, however a bridge constructed by the property owner would be an improvement).


Act or right of entering.


The waterway opening located at the upstream portion of a pipe or channel.  The flow line or invert of a pipe can also be used to describe the inlet.

Land Contract

Contract for the purchase and sale of land upon execution of which title is transferred. Term commonly refers to an installment contract for the sale of land whereby purchaser receives the deed from the owner upon payment of final installment.


A piece of land belonging to one person and surrounded by land belonging to other persons.

Landlocked Remainder

The residue or remainder of a parcel after a partial taking or the acquisition of access rights, where the remainder has no legal access to or way to reach a public road.

Larger Parcel

Concept in condemnation which deals with the property from which the acquisition is taken; it could be all of one tract, part of one tract, or several tracts; it is based on physical contiguity, unity of use, and unity of ownership; the larger parcel must be established before the highest and best use can be determined.

Leach Field

A land area continuing leach lines for distribution of sewerage effluent into the soil.

Legal Description

A description of real property by government survey, metes and bounds, or lot numbers of a recorded plat including a description of any portion thereof subject to an easement or reservation. Must be complete enough that a particular parcel of land can be located and identified.

Lead In Course

Describes a line/direction from a clearly defined control station to the True Point of Beginning for the property in question (the beginning point of the parcel description).


a claim, encumbrance, or charge on property for payment of some debt, obligation or duty.

Limited Access

A prohibition of access except at certain public points such as interchanges.

Local-Let Project

A local transportation improvement project that is funded with Federal or State monies in which the local public agency assumes project administration duties.

Local Public Agency

State agency, local political subdivision, board, commission, or other governmental entity identified in the Ohio Revised Code as being eligible for assuming the administrative responsibilities for ODOT improvement projects.

Major Project

A transportation improvement where the anticipated result of the improvement is expected to have a significant impact on the highway’s public access, level of service, traffic flow, mobility patterns, or mode shares. They require substantial right of way acquisition or have a high degree of public controversy. Examples include new alignments (e.g., bypasses) and new interchanges.


The portion of a divided highway separating the traveled ways from traffic in the opposite direction.

Median Barrier

A low concrete wall erected between lanes of highway traffic which is designed to keep vehicles from vaulting over into oncoming traffic.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

An organization formed by local elected officials and designated by the Governor that, in cooperation with the state, is responsible for transportation planning in urbanized areas. It serves as the forum for cooperative decisions making by principal elected officials of general local government.

Minimal Project

Transportation improvements generated by the traditional maintenance and preventive maintenance program as they relate to the development of the District Work Plan. These projects do not alter the basic highway cross section or geometry. They require no right-of-way acquisition and have minimal impacts on existing utilities. They have no impacts to environmental resources and require no environmental agency coordination. Minimal projects are likely to require only minor public involvement

Minor Project

Transportation improvements that generally are located on an existing alignment. Small adjustments to the existing alignment to improve geometric conditions may be involved. Substantial relocations of non-interstate roadways that do not result in significant environmental impacts also can qualify as Minor Projects. Minor projects and their associated impacts can be developed and approved through the Categorical Exclusion process. Examples include bridge replacement, culvert replacement, pavement widening, geometric realignment, and intersection upgrades including the addition of turn lanes.


A marker set to delineate boundaries of a tract of land or mark important features such as intersections of centerlines of roadway and section lines.

Net Residue

Is the area of land the property owner(s) retain after the project acquisition is completed.

Net Take

Is the area of the proposed taking excluding any existing road right of way.

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

Requires all agencies to disclose and consider the environmental implications of their proposed actions. NEPA applies to all Federal agencies and most of the activities they manage, regulate or fund that affect the environment.


Taking possession of property and use of the same; said e.g. of a tenant’s use of leased premises.


A point or position located from a centerline. Offset distance are measure to the left or right of the centerline.


Ohio Administrative Code


Ohio Revised Code


Ohio Utility Protection Service

ODOT-Let Project

Project administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation.


Something used in connection with a main building. A small building appurtenant to a main building, and generally separated from it, e.g. outhouse; storage shed.


A term used to denote an area of known and/or unknown title rights. Occurs when the titles extend beyond and into an abutters title rights creating an overlap in rights.


One who has the right to possess, use and convey something: a person in whom one or more interests are vested.  An owner may have complete property in the thing or may have parted with some interests in it (as by granting an easement or making a lease).


The bundle rights allowing one to use manage and enjoy property, including the right to convey it to others.  Ownership implies the right to possess a thing, regardless of any actual or constructive control.  Ownership rights are general, permanent and heritable.


A small package or bundle.  A tract of land; esp., a continuous tract or plot of land in one possession, no part of which if separated from the rest by intervening land in another’s possession.  A description of property, set forth in a conveyance, together with the boundaries thereof, in order to provide for easy identification. 

Parent Tract

The entire property that could be subject to damages and/or benefits in a partial taking.


A document granting permission/right to do something.

Personal Property

All property that is not real property; “corporeal property” is a type of personal property which is tangible and moveable and not attached to or part of real estate, such as furniture; “incorporeal property” is a type of personal property which is intangible, such as ownership of stock, patents, copyrights, and so forth.


Refers to items which are determined to be personal property.


A unique Project Identification Number assigned by ODOT to every project.

Present Road Occupied (PRO)

Area in which the property owner holds the underlying fee title to but is currently encumbered by Highway Easement.


The actual improvements to be constructed upon the right-of-way; such as a highway, pipeline, drainage ditch, power line, etc.

Project Development Process (PDP)

Process for the planning, design, and construction of ODOT projects that involves regular communication among technical disciplines,

Property Line

Boundary line of division between two properties/estates.

Proposed Right of Way

The right of way that is necessary to construct and maintain the proposed roadway.

Real Property

Land, improvements and all legal interests therein.


Refers to items which are determined to be real property.

Recorded Subdivision

A group of building lots, defined in a document called platted subdivisions / recorded subdivisions and kept on file by the County Recorder. Lots are conveyed by lot number rather than metes & bounds descriptions.

Red Flags

Locations of concern, including environmental and engineering issues, within the study area. Red Flags do not necessarily identify locations that must be avoided, but rather identify locations that will entail additional study coordination, creative management or design approaches, or increased right-of-way or construction costs.

Red Flag Summary

A document that identifies areas of concern that may entail additional study coordination, creative management or design approaches or could cause revisions to the anticipated scope of work, the proposed project development schedule, the estimated project budget, or the potential impacts of the project on the surrounding area.

Residential Property

An area of land that has a zoning designation of residential and/or has individuals that claim occupancy.

Retaining Wall

Vertical walls, usually constructed of concrete, to hold back material.

Right of Way

A strip of land occupied or intended to be occupied by transportation and public use  facilities, such as roadways, railroads, and utility lines. The land is either owned outright or controlled by easement by the public agency. Also, see ORC 4511.01 Traffic Laws – Operation of motor vehicles definitions - (UU) “Right of way”.

Right of Way Designer

shall design and arrange the right of way plan sheets and other right of way plan work as necessary to fulfill the scope of services document and the Department’s Policy and Procedure Manuals.

Right of Way Plans

A portion of a highway plan showing a graphical representation of a highway improvement and its relation to adjacent property, the parcel or portions thereof needed for highway purposes, and other pertinent information.

Right of Way Reviewer

shall perform a comprehensive review of the boundary resolution, right of way plans and legal descriptions. Provide a completed Right of Way Checklist (see Appendix H) with each review submissions as well as a Right of Way Legal Description Checklist (see Appendix I) with the Final Right of Way submission and Right of Way Tracings. The Final Right of Way submittal and the Right of Way Tracings submittal shall include a copy of the District review comments as well as the disposition of each comment.

Riparian Rights

The right to access to and use of waters that border a person’s property.

Scenic Easement

An easement acquired to preserve a particular view for the future enjoyment of the public.

Scope of Services

Document that details specific project requirements and responsibilities. Used for both consultant and in-house services.

Service Road

Sometimes referred to as a Frontage Road or Access Road, it is a roadway generally running parallel to the mainline, which provides access to commercial, residential, or farm area.


The portion of the roadway adjacent to the traveled way provided for the accommodation of stopped vehicles and for lateral support of the road.

Sight Distance

The length of unobstructed line of sight from a given point in a given direction; important where traffic from one traveled way intersects another or where traffic crosses an oncoming traffic lane.

Slope Easement

If permanent, an easement to affect and maintain slopes, usually along a roadway or ditch line; if temporary, an easement to construct slopes where slope area reverts to fee owner after construction or after a designated time.

Special Warranty Deed

Deed in which the grantor warrants the title only against defects arising after they acquired the property.

Spiral Curve

General, the Euler spiral, which is also known as the clothoid, is used in the design of spiral transition curves. The radius varies from infinity at the tangent end of the spiral to the radius of the circular arc at the end that adjoins the circular arc. By definition, the radius of curvature at any point on an Euler spiral varies inversely with the distance measured along the spiral. In the case of a spiral transition that connects two circular curves having different radii, there is an initial radius rather than an infinite value. In simple terms it is a curve that has an ever increasing/decreasing radius.

A transition curve between a straight and a curve where the curvature (the reciprocal of the radius) is proportional to the distance along the curve from its tangent point with the straight.


Measuring system based on specified intervals; used in highway plans with reference to a monumental line such as a centerline or baseline.

Straight Line Distance

A system used to identify the location of a state highway system, measured from West to East or South to North from the county line or from when the route begins within the county.


Refers to anything that is constructed or built from different interrelated parts with a fixed location on the ground.  This includes buildings, but the term structure can also be used to anybody of connected parts that is designed to bear loads, even if it is not intended to be occupied by people.  Such as: Aqueducts, viaducts, Bridges, Canals, Cooling Towers, Dams, Retaining walls, Tunnels,  Manure Pits, etc..

Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE)

Provides data on existing utilities through four progressive quality levels. Quality Level D gathers information from a review of existing records. Quality Level C gathers information from a visual survey of existing features. Quality Level B gathers horizontal mapping based on field markings, surveying, and surface geophysical methods. Quality Level A gathers three dimensional mapping using vacuum excavation of test holes.


A neighborhood which is neither rural nor urban, but has some of the characteristics of both.


In condemnation, a taking is when an entity with the power of condemnation appropriates a property right owned by either a private individual or another entity with the right of condemnation; a taking can be a formal taking or an act that results in a taking; in either case, the entity that effects the taking must pay just compensation.

Temporary Construction Easement

An easement on property to use or construct on and use the land for a specific purpose for a specified time period.

Temporary Road

Any crossover, ramp, roadway, etc. Whose sole purpose is to temporarily maintain traffic during construction which is normally removed upon project completion.

Title Search

An investigation of public records and documents to ascertain the history and present status of a property.


Physical features of an area (including trees, signs, buildings, contours, etc.)

Typical Section

A portion of a highway plan showing proposed cross-sectional views of the pavement and roadway.

Uneconomic Remnant

A remainder property of little or little value.

Utility Easement

The right for a utility to use and occupy land and to maintain a facility upon the land, frequently limited as to type of facility and usually limited as to location on the land.

Work Limits

The extreme limits of the contractor’s responsibility on a project including all temporary and incidental construction (except temporary traffic control devices).


The division of an area into districts or sections and the public regulation of the character and intensity of use of land and improvements therein.