The MassDOT Highway Division Layout Section is responsible for the preparation and review of layout plans and accompanying legal documents for setting the limits of State Highways. The Layout Section prepares and reviews plans and associated Orders to layout, alter, discontinue, and abandon State Highways. Plans and documents are also prepared and reviewed for Land Sales, Land Leases, Drainage Takings, and Easements. The Layout Section maintains an ever-growing archive of State Highway Layout and Easement documents for dissemination to municipalities and the public.
Layout documents are prepared within the scope of MGL Chapter 79 and Chapter 81. For Layout documents to be properly prepared, it is necessary to assemble and evaluate information from survey books, public plans from Cities and Towns, public utility plans, land subdivision plans, and other documents recorded in the Registry of Deeds. This information is the basis for the necessary computations made to define and fix the location lines of the highways, to define the areas and dimensions of individual parcels of land or easements in land acquired for highway purposes, and for purposes related thereto. From these computations, sketches and plans are made and legal descriptions are written. Copies of these plans and descriptions are recorded in the Registry of Deeds. If registered land is involved, copies of the plans are also filed in the Land Court in Boston.
The Layout Section is charged with the responsibility of keeping its plans properly posted to show all changes in the location lines of State Highways. A web page is available which enables public access to downloadable image files of State Highway Layout and Easement plans.