Nebraska Revised Statute 39-1320

Chapter 39


State highway purposes; acquisition of property; eminent domain; purposes enumerated.

(1) The department is hereby authorized to acquire, either temporarily or permanently, lands, real or personal property or any interests therein, or any easements deemed to be necessary or desirable for present or future state highway purposes by gift, agreement, purchase, exchange, condemnation, or otherwise. Such lands or real property may be acquired in fee simple or in any lesser estate. It is the intention of the Legislature that all property leased or purchased from the owner shall receive a fair price.

(2) State highway purposes, as referred to in subsection (1) of this section or otherwise in sections 39-1301 to 39-1362 and 39-1393, shall include provision for, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(a) The construction, reconstruction, relocation, improvement, and maintenance of the state highway system and highway approaches. The right-of-way for such highways shall be of such width as is deemed necessary by the department;

(b) Adequate drainage in connection with any highway, cuts, fills, or channel changes and the maintenance thereof;

(c) Controlled-access facilities, including air, light, view, and frontage and service roads to highways;

(d) Weighing stations, shops, storage buildings and yards, and road maintenance or construction sites;

(e) Road material sites, sites for the manufacture of road materials, and access roads to such sites;

(f) The preservation of objects of attraction or scenic value adjacent to, along, or in close proximity to highways and the culture of trees and flora which may increase the scenic beauty of such highways;

(g) Roadside areas or parks adjacent to or near any highway;

(h) The exchange of property for other property to be used for rights-of-way or other purposes set forth in subsection (1) or (2) of this section if the interests of the state will be served and acquisition costs thereby reduced;

(i) The maintenance of an unobstructed view of any portion of a highway so as to promote the safety of the traveling public;

(j) The construction and maintenance of stock trails and cattle passes;

(k) The erection and maintenance of marking and warning signs and traffic signals;

(l) The construction and maintenance of sidewalks and highway illumination;

(m) The control of outdoor advertising which is visible from the nearest edge of the right-of-way of the Highway Beautification Control System as defined in section 39-201.01 to comply with the provisions of 23 U.S.C. 131, as amended;

(n) The relocation of or giving assistance in the relocation of individuals, families, businesses, or farm operations occupying premises acquired for state highway or federal-aid road purposes; and

(o) The establishment and maintenance of wetlands to replace or to mitigate damage to wetlands affected by highway construction, reconstruction, or maintenance. The replacement lands shall be capable of being used to create wetlands comparable to the wetlands area affected. The area of the replacement lands may exceed the wetlands area affected. Lands may be acquired to establish a large or composite wetlands area, sometimes called a wetlands bank, not larger than an area which is one hundred fifty percent of the lands reasonably expected to be necessary for the mitigation of future impact on wetlands brought about by highway construction, reconstruction, or maintenance during the six-year plan or program as required by section 39-2115 or an annual plan or program under section 39-2118. For purposes of this section, wetlands shall have the definition found in 33 C.F.R. 328.3(c).

(3) The procedure to condemn property authorized by subsection (1) of this section or elsewhere in sections 39-1301 to 39-1362 and 39-1393 shall be exercised in the manner set forth in sections 76-704 to 76-724 or as provided by section 39-1323, as the case may be.


Cross References

  • Advertising and informational signs along highways and roads, see sections 39-201.01 to 39-226.
  • Outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices, rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation, see section 39-102.
  • Outdoor advertising signs, removal, see sections 69-1701 and 69-1702.


  • An injunction may properly be entered to require compliance with the statute making it unlawful to erect or maintain advertising signs along highways prior to determination of whether there is a right to damages resulting from application of the statute. State v. Mayhew Products Corp., 204 Neb. 266, 281 N.W.2d 783 (1979).

  • Sections 39-1320 to 39-1320.11 constitute a reasonable and valid exercise of the police power which bears a substantial relation to the public health, safety, and general welfare and are constitutional. State v. Mayhew Products Corp., 204 Neb. 266, 281 N.W.2d 783 (1979).

  • Advertising easement is required to be taken within six hundred sixty feet of edge of the right-of-way. State v. Day, 181 Neb. 308, 147 N.W.2d 919 (1967).

  • Highway beautification is a highway purpose. State v. Merritt Brothers Sand & Gravel Co., 180 Neb. 660, 144 N.W.2d 180 (1966).

  • Acquisition of permanent easement for the control of advertising was treated as an exercise of the power of eminent domain. Wolfe v. State, 179 Neb. 189, 137 N.W.2d 721 (1965).

  • The taking of control of outside advertising is compensable under this section. Mathis v. State, 178 Neb. 701, 135 N.W.2d 17 (1965).

  • Case is disposed of in Supreme Court upon theory adopted by both parties that proceedings were instituted to acquire a permanent easement. Fulmer v. State, 178 Neb. 664, 134 N.W.2d 798 (1965).

  • Control of outside advertising within specified distance of highway was expressly conferred. Fulmer v. State, 178 Neb. 20, 131 N.W.2d 657 (1964). (Opinion withdrawn, 178 Neb. 664, 134 N.W.2d 798 (1965).)

  • Injunction granted without prejudice to department to proceed under this section to condemn land for drainage ditch at right angle to highway. Heppe v. State, 162 Neb. 403, 76 N.W.2d 255 (1956).