TITLE 24
Highways

CHAPTER 24-6
Abandonment By Towns

SECTION 24-6-1


§ 24-6-1 Order of abandonment – Reversion of title – Notice.

(a) Whenever, by the judgment of the town council of any town, a highway or driftway in the town, or any part of either, has ceased to be useful to the public, the town council of the town is authorized so to declare it by an order or decree that shall be final and conclusive; and, thereupon, the title of the land upon which the highway or driftway or part thereof existed shall revert to its owner and the town shall be no longer liable to repair the highway or driftway; provided, however, that the town council shall cause a sign to be placed at each end of the highway or driftway, having thereon the words "Not a public highway", and after the entry of the order or decree, shall also cause a notice thereof to be published in a newspaper of general circulation, printed in English, at least once each week for three (3) successive weeks in a newspaper circulated within the city or town and a further and personal notice shall be served upon every owner of land abutting upon that part of the highway or driftway that has been abandoned who is known to reside within this state. Nothing contained in this chapter shall, in any manner, affect any private right-of-way over the land so adjudged to be useless as a highway or driftway if the right had been acquired before the taking of the land for a highway or driftway. Provided, however, that the town of Coventry and any community with a population of not less than one hundred thousand (100,000), receiving a request for the abandonment of a highway or driftway from an abutting property owner, may sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner at fair market value; and provided, further, that the town of North Providence, upon receiving a request for the abandonment of a highway or driftway from an abutting property owner may sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner, at fair market value; and provided further, that the town of New Shoreham, upon receiving a request for the abandonment of a highway or driftway from an abutting property owner, may sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner at fair market value; and provided, further, that the town of Barrington, upon receiving a request for the abandonment of a highway or driftway from an abutting property owner, may sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner at fair market value; and provided, further, that the city of Cranston, upon receipt of a request for abandonment of a highway or driftway within the city of Cranston, where the sale of the highway or driftway to an abutting owner would result in the creation of a new lot that would be in compliance with the minimum-area requirement for construction of a building that is a permitted use, may sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner at fair market value; and provided, further, that the city of Warwick, upon receiving a request for the abandonment of a highway or driftway from an abutting property owner, may sell the highway or driftway to the abutting owner at fair market value.

(b) Provided, further, that nothing in this section shall apply to private ways regardless of their use or maintenance thereof by any municipal corporation.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 71, § 30; P.L. 1903, ch. 1106, § 2; G.L. 1909, ch. 82, § 30; G.L. 1923, ch. 95, § 30; G.L. 1938, ch. 72, § 30; G.L. 1956, § 24-6-1; P.L. 1967, ch. 214, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 74, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 667, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 55, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 298, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 210, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 57; P.L. 2007, ch. 260, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 366, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 33, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 73, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 46, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 52, § 1.)