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When the Right of Way Seems Right in the Way: Understanding Construction in Your Neighborhood 

As a homeowner, you might wonder why there is construction happening near your property. It’s likely because your local government or a utility company is working in an area known as the “right of way,” a designated area where public utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications, are installed and maintained. Even though construction can be a hassle, this work is important to keep the operations of a neighborhood running smoothly. At Tilson, we work in the right of way to install fiber optic cables to bring high-speed internet to new neighborhoods. Understanding what the right of way is can help homeowners make sense of the construction and the benefits it brings to the whole community.

Let’s Dig Deeper: What is the Public Right of Way?

The right of way on your property is the land extending beyond the sides of public roads, both above and below ground. On public streets, the right of way includes curbs and sidewalks, and can include part of your yard. While your property survey may include this area, it’s important to note that no individual holds exclusive rights to the public right of way. However, homeowners are still responsible for maintaining this space, including shoveling and mowing. There are also limitations to what a homeowner can build or develop within this zone.

Locating the Right of Way on Your Property

Since the right of way often blends directly into the yard without a clear visual boundary, homeowners may struggle to pinpoint its precise location on their property.

If the plot, deed, or survey from the purchase of your property does not indicate the right of way, there are a few ways you can find out. One option is to reach out to your local zoning or title commission for assistance, or you can opt for a comprehensive site survey that delineates all property boundaries.

What to Expect When Tilson is in Your Neighborhood

When Tilson installs high-speed fiber internet infrastructure in a neighborhood, we work within the right of way. This might include areas on a city street, along sidewalks, in your front, side or backyard, or a mix of all three. Any construction within a public right of way adheres to strict regulations and Tilson only works when local authorities issue the necessary permits and approvals to begin construction.

We recognize that construction activities may cause temporary noise and potential disruption to landscaping. Our goal is to minimize these inconveniences and restore the right of way to its original state as quickly as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about Tilson construction in your neighborhood, please contact

In your neighborhood, safety is our top priority. But remember, these are active construction sites with moving equipment. The work areas are dangerous, and we ask everyone to stay away from the work zones. This is especially true for any children and elderly in the area. We’re committed to keeping our team and your community safe while working efficiently and neatly. 

The Importance of Calling 811 Before You Dig

Since the right of way and your property may have buried utility lines, calling 811 isn’t just a precautionary step for construction companies. As a homeowner, you should always call 811 before any digging project. Failure to do so can have severe consequences, potentially resulting in fatalities or injuries. By calling 811, you’re safeguarding not only your own property but the safety of your neighbors and the community.

Learn more about the equipment, tools, and technologies that Tilson uses to install fiber infrastructure quickly and safely in your neighborhood, reducing construction time and disruption.

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