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AGO 1954 No. 265 - June 02, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

HIGHWAYS, LIMITED ACCESS ‑- AUTHORITY OF HIGHWAY COMMISSION TO MODIFY OR ABANDON PLAN OF

Chapter 47.52 RCW authorizes the State Highway Commission to modify or abandon the plan of a limited access highway subsequent to its adoption.

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                                                                    June 2, 1954

Washington State Highway Commission
Transportation Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                  Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 265

Attention:  Lorenz Goetz, Secretary

Gentlemen:

            You have requested our opinion by letter of May 3, 1954, previously acknowledged, concerning the authority of the State Highway Commission to modify or abandon a plan for limiting access to a highway subsequent to adoption of the plan.  Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Chapter 47.52 RCW authorizes the State Highway Commission to modify or abandon the plan of a limited access highway subsequent to its adoption.

            RCW 47.52.020 1953 Supp. provides, in part, as follows:

            "The highway authorities * * * may * * * establish, * * * vacate, alter, * * * and provide limited access facilities for public use wherever such * * * authorities are of the opinion that traffic conditions, present or future, will justify such special facilities:  * * *"

            RCW 47.52.025 provides, in part, as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "Such highway authorities of the state, * * * in addition to the specific powers granted in this chapter, shall also have, and may exercise, relative to limited access facilities, any and all additional authority, now or hereafter vested in them relative to highways * * *"

            We can conceive of many situations in which the Highway Commission may desire to change the plan of a limited access highway which has been previously adopted.  The statutes set forth above authorize such changes as the Highway Commission, in the exercise of its sound discretion, deems necessary or desirable.

            Although the authority to make such changes would be present in all cases, the procedure for effectuating them must necessarily depend upon the circumstances of each situation.  Rights of property owners abutting upon the highway may, in certain instances, intervene.  For this reason, we suggest that in each situation where a modification or abandonment is contemplated, this office should be contacted in order to determine the preliminary procedural steps, if any, that must be taken in order to legally accomplish the desired result.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

WILLIAM C. HALLIN
Assistant Attorney General

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