Missouri DOT selling land parcels no longer needed for highways

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is having a spring sale — of land, that is. MoDOT will be selling off parcels of land the department no longer needs to build, improve or maintain the state highway system.

A few years ago, the department began an aggressive effort to sell excess property and put the money toward road and bridge projects. The move has proved successful. Between July 2008 and January 2011, the agency has conveyed 726 parcels generating $10.8 million.

This month, MoDOT’s Realty to Roads program is looking to build on that success with its third sales blitz — an all-out attempt to sell multiple properties across the state in a short period of time.  Thirty-nine parcels ranging in size from one-tenth of an acre to 199 acres will be available for purchase between March 28 to April 1 by either auction or sealed bid.

“While we no longer need this land, the parcels we’re selling are valuable, and we’re trying to find that right buyer,” said Gregory Wood, Realty to Roads Project Director in MoDOT’s Right of Way Division.

In addition to bringing in money for highway projects, Wood said selling excess right of way saves maintenance costs, reduces liability and puts the property back on the tax rolls to the advantage of local communities.

Several former MoDOT maintenance sites are included in the offering, along with some property the department purchased to restore wetlands as part of its dedication to land preservation.  Wood said the use of the wetland sites would be restricted by land preservation laws, but would be attractive to property owners looking for the peace and quiet of undeveloped and protected land.

MoDOT’s district offices will handle the property sales for the land in their respective regions.  Most of the property will be conveyed by sealed bid, while other properties will be sold at public auction or online.  The online sale works much like a silent auction where the highest bid is posted each day and interested buyers have the option to top the best offer. Property details, including the sale dates and times, can be found at http://www.modot.org/realtyforsale/index.htm.