Sue Ayers Presents Case Study in Condemnation Related to Brazos Yard at IRWA Transportation Symposium

June 19, 2019 | Speaking Engagements

In January 2018, Union Pacific began construction on its $550 million Brazos Yard in Robertson County, Texas. With the capacity to switch up to 1,300 rail cars per day, Brazos Yard is one of the highest capacity yards in Union Pacific’s 23-state network and will showcase best practices in operating efficiency, technology, and innovation.

As the lead condemnation counsel for the project, Susan Dillon Ayers shared a case study related to the Brazos Yard during the 2019 IRWA Transportation Symposium. The presentation, entitled “The Brazos Yard (UPRR): A Case Study in Condemnation Under Rule 71.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” discussed the best practices resulting in efficient and timely land acquisitions with a modest rate of condemnation. In addition, Sue highlighted the procedures for condemnation in federal court under Rule 71.1.

In conjunction with the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) Region 2 and Region 9 Spring Forum, Bluebonnet Chapter 74 hosted the Transportation Symposium on April 11, 2019, with a variety of topics covering best right of way (ROW) practices, potential legal issues, incentives, and the benefits and drawbacks of these strategies for future transportation projects.

Founded in 1934, the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) is a professional member organization comprising approximately 10,000 global infrastructure real estate practitioners across 15 countries. With 87 chapters worldwide, IRWA serves professionals who acquire, manage, and transfer the land rights needed for building and maintaining energy and transportation infrastructure.

Based in Austin, Texas, IRWA Bluebonnet Chapter 74 is part of Region 2 and comprises more than 230 professionals involved in a wide array of projects requiring real estate and right of way services. For more information, visit the IRWA Bluebonnet Chapter 74 website.

For access to the presentation materials, contact Sue Ayers at 512.236.2336 or email To explore Jackson Walker’s experience in helping condemnors acquire the property interests they need to construct public projects, visit our Condemnation & Eminent Domain practice page.

Meet Sue

Susan Dillon Ayers represents condemnors in all aspects of land acquisition, including negotiation of easements and crossing agreements, the purchase of real property in fee simple, condemnation, and appeal. During the 2019 Legislative Session, Sue advised clients regarding bills that would impact condemnations and high-speed rail. She is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a sought-after speaker and writer on eminent domain issues. Outside of her practice, Sue actively serves on the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation and is a mentor for the UT Law School Women’s Law Caucus.

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Union Pacific Begins Brazos Yard Construction in Texas »
Years of planning and negotiating are finally paying off as Union Pacific begins construction on a $550 million, 1875-acre rail yard in Robertson County, Texas.