What is Right of Way?

Right of way is the legal right to travel over land owned by another, subject to any restrictions or conditions that may be specified by grant or sanctioned by custom. This grant may specifically be used as either a public road, thoroughfare, footpath or in the form of an easement granted or reserved over the land for access. Rights of way are necessary to build and maintain public and private infrastructure systems which allow societies to operate. Examples include road and railway systems, tunnels, bridges, mass-transit systems, power stations, wind farms, hydro-electric dams, electric transmission lines and distribution, telephone and fiber optic cabling, cell phone towers, airports and much more.

Right of way professionals are individuals who work to develop and construct infrastructure projects such as acquisition agents, project managers, attorneys, engineers, surveyors, appraisers and relocation agents.

About IRWA

The International Right of Way Association (IRWA) is a global, member-led organization of dedicated professionals within the right of way industry. Established in 1934 as a not-for-profit association, IRWA's purpose has always been to improve people's quality of life through infrastructure development.

IRWA provides invaluable connections through its network of over 7,500 members across 15 countries. The Association actively promotes career growth through leadership development, education and credentialing opportunities. Recognized as a leading education provider in the industry, IRWA elevates right of way professionals to make a powerful difference in their communities.

Our members work in the following sectors:


IRWA supports career advancement through exemplary educational programs and serves as an effective resource for right of way professionals to gain a professional edge, network and become an industry leader.