When in the construction or improvement of a state highway, in the opinion of the director of transportation, it is in the public interest to vacate or close a public highway or any portion thereof under the jurisdiction of the county commissioners, said director may petition the county commissioners to vacate or close such highway in the same manner the freeholders may petition under sections 5553.04 to 5553.11 of the Revised Code.
The county commissioners shall act upon said petition within thirty days and in the event they refuse to vacate or close said highways as requested shall show such action by a proper resolution. The director or an owner of property abutting on the portion of the highway to be vacated or closed may within thirty days appeal to the court of common pleas of the county in which such highway is located upon the reasonableness of the action of the commissioners and the court may affirm or revoke the action of the commissioners and may direct the commissioners to proceed with said vacation or closing as petitioned for. At said hearing before said common pleas court evidence may be introduced for or against the reasonableness and necessity for said requested vacation or closing. The decision of the common pleas court may be appealed to the court of appeals and the supreme court as in other cases.
When the vacation or closing is approved in accordance with the above procedure, the compensation and damages, if any, due any property owners abutting the portion of the highway to be vacated or closed shall be paid by the director as part of the costs of acquiring the right-of-way for the state highway improvement and pursuant to procedures provided by law relating to the director. Such payment by the director shall be in lieu of any payment required to be paid by the county under sections 5553.10 and 5553.11 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 09-28-1973 .