(1) Whenever the Department of Transportation proposes any project on the State Highway System which will divide a state highway, erect median barriers modifying currently available vehicle turning movements, or have the effect of closing or modifying an existing access to an abutting property owner, the department shall notify all affected property owners, municipalities, and counties at least 180 days before the design of the project is finalized. The department’s notice shall provide a written explanation regarding the need for the project and indicate that all affected parties will be given an opportunity to provide comments to the department regarding potential impacts of the change.
(2)(a) If the project is within the boundaries of a municipality, the notification shall be issued in writing to the chief elected official of the municipality. If the project is in the unincorporated area of a county, the notification shall be issued in writing to the chief elected official of the county.
(b) The department must also consult with the applicable local government on its final design proposal if the department intends to divide a state highway, erect median barriers, or close or modify existing access to abutting commercial business properties. The local government may present the department with alternatives that relieve impacts to such business properties.
(3) The department shall hold at least one public hearing in the jurisdiction where the project is located and receive public input to determine how the project will affect access to businesses and the potential economic impact of the project on the local business community.
(4) The department must review all comments from the public hearing and take the comments and any alternatives presented by a local government under subsection (2) into consideration in the final design of the highway project.