(a) Whenever, in connection with the laying out, widening, relocating, improving,
constructing, or altering of a highway by the department of transportation, land,
an easement, or other interest therein owned by a public utility or railroad company,
is acquired by the director of transportation under the provisions of this chapter,
thereby necessitating the relocation of the facilities of the company, the director
of transportation, subject to the provisions of this chapter, may acquire by purchase
or may take by condemnation such land or easements therein as may be necessary for
the relocation or replacement of the public utility or railroad facilities and convey
the land or easements to the public utility or railroad company. The conveyance shall be in lieu of any damages for the value of the land, easements,
or other interests therein of the company so taken by the director of transportation,
not including, however, any damages for the cost of the relocation for which the state
may be liable.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “public utility” shall embrace the
definition therefor contained within § 39-1-2 and, in addition, shall include any public water works or water service owned or
furnished by any municipal or quasi-municipal corporation or authority.
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