Luke v. Mass. Turnpike Auth

In Luke v. Mass. Turnpike Auth. (1958) 337 Mass. 304, 309 149, N.E.2d 225, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) had acquired property for the purpose of constructing a highway and had taken portions of a public road and of three parcels that abutted that road. After the takings, two of the three parcels "continued to be located on another public way" but the "remaining land (approximately sixteen acres)" of the third parcel owned by defendants Powers was left "without access to any public or private way." (Luke v. Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, supra, 149 N.E.2d at p. 226.) The MTA exercised the power of eminent domain for the purpose of "access to and egress from land which otherwise would become isolated due to the no-access provisions of the express toll highway taking" and established a private way easement connecting the three parcels to the road in its new location. (Id. at pp. 226, 228.) One of the landowners whose property was taken for the easement objected on the ground the taking for the private easement had no legitimate public purpose, "stressing the language in the order that the 'Powers Private Way' was to provide 'access to and egress from' the Powers property." (Id. at pp. 227-228.) The court determined that "procuring an easement and creating a right of way for the benefit of parcels of land incidentally deprived of all or of some means of access to an existing way are but a byproduct of the MTA's turnpike undertaking." (Id. at p. 228.) The court stated that the MTA was "not compelled to attempt a new location of the highway" that "would not incidentally result in one or more landlocked parcels" or "to take the entire Powers land so as to avoid the present controversy." (Ibid.)