The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ("PennDOT") recently announced its preliminary construction plans for a portion of I-95 in Northeast Philadelphia. These plans include rebuilding two interchanges – one at Bridge Street and one at Betsy Ross Bridge and Aramingo Avenue. PennDOT also intends to rebuild a three-mile stretch of I-95 between Cottman Avenue and the Betsy Ross Bridge. Construction is scheduled to start in 2012. However, according to PennDOT, preliminary engineering is to be completed late this year.

Businesses and residential properties will be acquired for the project – either amicably or through the eminent domain process. I spoke with the outside consultant for the project who told me the acquisition for the project will be in about 2 years. However, we always counsel our clients to engage in “pre-condemnation” planning. This involves a number of potential actions including working with PennDOT to see if you can avoid losing your property. However, most planning involves taking steps to ensure that you receive the maximum payment for your property if it is condemned.