The Vanderburgh County Engineering Department's policy is to be as conservative as possible when claiming the existence of public right-of-way. Unless reliable documentation can be found to the contrary, the right-of-way for any given publicly (County) maintained road is assumed to be limited to the physical limits of the road surface (i.e. from edge of pavement to edge of pavement).
Any documentation of right-of-way that can be found is only valid for the specific area that is being referred to in the instrument. For example, if one property is found to have thirty (30) feet of right-of-way dedicated in its recorded deed, the adjoining properties cannot be assumed to have the same amount of right-of-way. Each property must be investigated and the right-of-way determined independently of any other property.
In addition, the language of the documentation must reference a specific amount of right-of-way to be considered valid. The reference must include a linear measurement of the right-of-way dedication, often given in feet or meters, but sometimes even given in rods or chains ( 1 chain = 4 rods; 1 rod = 16.5 feet). Language in an instrument that does not call out a right-of-way measurement, such as "all right-of-way of record", is not sufficient to determine the existing right-of-way.
Also, the location description within the document must match the property and road in question. An instrument that describes a public roadway route that does not currently exist is generally not considered to be valid documentation.
Examples of instruments that are commonly used by this Department to verify existing right-of-way include: recorded property deeds, recorded plats, historical records of the Board of Commissioners, and historical road records of the County Surveyor.