Hi, I am trying to find information in regard to the NYS DOT and their right of way.
I own 5 acres of land that is bordered on one side by a state highway. NYS has told me that they are removing approximately 4000 m3 of my property to increase visibility and help with parts of a bank that is caving in and blocking drainage.
About 3 months ago I was contacted by a private contractor hired by NYS and he went over the project and said that they were able to move the earth to another part of my property. He had me sign a waiver to enter my property for the placement of fill.
About three weeks ago he called and said that he was unable to place fill on my land due to liability issues and that he was trying to find a place to dump it. For some reason I think he was "pulling the wool over my eyes" to get me to sign the waiver in our first meeting. He also stated that he was going to contact the owner of the property across the street from me to see if he could place the fill there (why aren't there liability issues there?)
Anyway, I guess my main question is more related to who owns the earth. I understand NYS has the right to maintain anything within in their right of way, but don't I still have ownership of the actual dirt and trees they are removing? My friend thinks the contractor found a person that is willing to pay money for the fill and thus his backing out of our previous plan. Is it logical that he would legally be able to profit from selling my land?
Thanks for your time.