Home / Verdicts & Settlements / DOT pays $1.9M for splitting land with elevated highway

DOT pays $1.9M for splitting land with elevated highway


A wealthy landowner has received $1.9 million from the North Carolina Department of Transportation as compensation for a land condemnation action.

The DOT initially offered Raiford Trask Jr. $437,550 for building an elevated highway over the middle of 423 acres that Trask owned in Brunswick County, according to his attorney, Emmett Haywood of Nicholls & Crampton in Raleigh.

Trask is a prominent name in Brunswick and nearby counties, where several landmarks, including two public schools and the drawbridge spanning the Intracoastal Waterway to Wrightsville beach, bear the family’s moniker.  

The elevated highway in question was part of the I-140 bypass project and reduced access to Trask’s vacant land, making it more difficult and expensive to develop, Haywood said.

“If you have one large tract of land you can loop the utilities. We could have developed it with one sewer lift station. Now we’ll have to have two,” she said. “Plus, you’re not going to want to put houses up near this elevated highway.”  

She added that the DOT eventually acknowledged that land adjacent to the highway would have to be set aside for a noise or landscape buffer, and its appraiser increased the original offer to $818,225.

The case finally settled through mediation for $1.9 million, but only after the DOT also agreed to convey 3.2 acres to Trask as part of the deal.

“That was really critical to the settlement to get that additional land,” Haywood said. “It wasn’t of any use to the DOT, but we could use it.”

Follow Phillip Bantz on Twitter @NCLWBantz



Amount: $1.9 million, plus conveyance of 3.2 acres of adjacent landlocked parcels

Case name: NCDOT v. Raiford G. Trask Jr., et al.

Court: Brunswick County Superior Court

Case number: 15-CVS-797

Mediator: Bob Beason of Durham

Date of settlement: Dec. 5, 2017

Highest offer: $437,500 deposit

Most helpful expert: Dan Weeks, land planner, and Richard Sniffen, appraiser, both of Wilmington

Attorney for plaintiff: John Oates, assistant attorney general in Raleigh

Attorney for defendant: Emmett Haywood of Nicholls & Crampton in Raleigh

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