The authority may acquire, pursuant to subdivision (10), section six of this article, any land, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements or other property necessary or proper for the construction or the efficient operation of any water development project.
This section does not authorize the authority to take or disturb property or facilities belonging to any public utility or to a common carrier, which property or facilities are required for the proper and convenient operation of such public utility or common carrier, unless provision is made for the restoration, relocation or duplication of such property or facilities elsewhere at the sole cost of the authority.
When the authority finds it necessary to change the location of any portion of any public road, state highway, railroad or public utility facility in connection with the construction of a water development project, it shall cause the same to be reconstructed at such location as the unit or division of government having jurisdiction over such road, highway, railroad or public utility facility deems most favorable. Such construction shall be of substantially the same type and in as good condition as the original road, highway, railroad or public utility facility. The cost of such reconstruction, relocation or removal and any damage incurred in changing the location of any such road, highway, railroad or public utility facility shall be paid by the authority as a part of the cost of such water development project.
When the authority finds it necessary that any public highway or portion thereof be vacated by reason of the acquisition or construction of a water development project, the authority shall request the commissioner of the division of highways, in writing, to vacate such highway or portion thereof if the highway or portion thereof to be vacated is part of the state road system, or, if the highway or portion thereof to be vacated is under the jurisdiction of a county or a municipality, the authority shall request the governing body of such county or municipality to vacate such public road or portion thereof. The authority shall pay to the commissioner of the division of highways or to the county or municipality, as the case may be, as part of the cost of such water development project, any amounts required to be deposited with any court in connection with proceedings for the determination of compensation and damages and all amounts of compensation and damages finally determined to be payable as a result of such vacation.
The authority may make reasonable rules for the installation, construction, maintenance, repair, renewal, relocation and removal of railroad or public utility facilities in, on, over or under any water development project. Whenever the authority determines that it is necessary that any such facilities installed or constructed in, on, over or under property of the authority pursuant to such rules be relocated, the railroad or public utility owning or operating such facilities shall relocate or remove them in accordance with the order of the authority. The cost and expenses of such relocation or removal, including the cost of installing such facilities in a new location, the cost of any lands or any rights or interests in lands and the cost of any other rights acquired to accomplish such relocation or removal, may be paid by the authority as a part of the cost of such water development project. In case of any such relocation or removal of facilities, the railroad or public utility owning or operating them, and its successors or assigns, may maintain and operate such facilities, with the necessary appurtenances in the new location in, on, over or under the property of the authority for as long a period and upon the same terms as it had the right to maintain and operate such facilities in their former location.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session