Right of Way Services

Infrastructure and development projects, whether public or privately funded, all require the assurance that property rights and boundaries are properly identified. R&M’s Right of Way Services Group provides specialized land status and title research, combined with surveying and mapping support to place the identified property interests on the ground. Our team includes some of the most experienced and qualified land status and ROW professionals available in the private sector. R&M’s services include research for land status history and ownership of properties, prescriptive rights/adverse possession claims and ROW status for airports, roads, trails, bridges, railroads, ports and utilities, including hydroelectric projects. We provide support for property acquisition by providing legal descriptions, drawings and negotiations services for property owners and agencies.

Group Manager - Right of Way Services

Karen Tilton, PLS, CFedS, SR/WA


read Karen's bio

Karen is a lifelong Alaskan with 34 years of surveying experience in Alaska. She is an expert on land status and right of way issues with an emphasis on land titles, property rights and the history of public right of way in Alaska. Karen is a graduate of the University of Alaska, and is a licensed Professional Land Surveyor, a Certified Federal Surveyor and a Senior Member of the International Right of Way Association. Her specialty is research and documentation of the planning, construction and physical location of historic routes – an essential skill for mapping the rights of way associated with such routes. Karen is responsible for preparation of mapping products and supporting documentation for a wide range of public transportation and infrastructure projects.

R&M prepared right of way base mapping for this 11 mile long project, which required detailed research on the history of road construction and homestead settlement to determine the basis of the existing ROW. The project affects many un-subdivided tracts of land for which no ROW exists by plat or document. In such cases, an easement by prescription was claimed, based on long term public use and maintenance. This project will be constructed in segments – Phase I ROW maps have been submitted and Phase II plans are in progress.
R&M prepared the first comprehensive title opinion for Cold Bay Airport for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. The land was first withdrawn from the public domain in 1942 and conveyed to the State of Alaska in 1966. The title opinion evaluated over 250 parcels and interests, including fee properties, aviation and hazard easements, reservations originating from the federal conveyance, and lease lots. R&M prepared a graphic exhibit to accompany the title opinion and parcel spreadsheet and assisted the Department and the State Attorney General in development of the title certification.
R&M researched and compiled documents relating to the basis of right of way for a portion of the Glacier Highway that had been constructed in the 1920s and maintained and improved with federal, Territorial and State money for nearly 100 years. There had long been questions related to the basis of right of way, as the road had been in the Tongass National Forest for many decades. R&M was able to provide the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities with documentation to support the right of way width shown on Bureau of Public Roads construction plans before Statehood.