Several advertising companies are suing the Texas Department of Transportation for obstructing the views of billboards with highway construction in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News:
Seven outdoor advertising companies allege that the Texas Department of Transportation’s construction project near the intersection of Stemmons Freeway and LBJ Freeway will keep motorists from seeing their billboards.
The advertising companies filed a lawsuit this week against TxDOT in state District court. They allege that the access ramps for northbound Stemmons traffic traveling east onto LBJ will carry motorists above their billboards, rendering them useless.
J. Allen Smith, an attorney for the billboard companies, said TxDOT failed to conduct a study to assess the effect on property owners.
The so-called Takings Impact Assessment is required under a Texas law known as the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act, Smith said. Such a study might have uncovered the problem, he said.
Bob Jackson, TxDOT’s general counsel, has told Smith and his clients that the law does not require the agency to conduct the impact study. But TxDOT has not yet filed its formal answer to the lawsuit.
“After investigating this situation, TxDOT determined that … the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act does not apply to the circumstances described in your letter,” Jackson told Smith in pre-litigation correspondence.
The TxDOT construction project is part of an overall plan to expand LBJ’s traffic capacity between Stemmons and Central Expressway to the east. Tolled lanes will be added to LBJ for those willing to pay.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Lamar Advantage Outdoor Co., Ralston Outdoor Advertising, LCSWS Investments, Levering Enterprises, Ralston Investments, David Perry BCK Properties Joint Venture and Thomas Forest Graham LLC.
Construction on the project continues despite the lawsuit, which has been assigned to state District Judge Dale Tillery in Dallas County.