Beware: if you obtain ownership of the land under a discontinued or abandoned road, as the abutting landowner, you may gain a whole lot of heartache and expense.
State laws governing abandoned and discontinued roads are complex and confusing. Every decade or so the legislature tries to clean this up, without much success. They’ll try again this session, using a set of recommendations from a task force. Senator Tom Saviello is sponsoring a bill that includes all of those recommendations.
When I was a Mount Vernon Selectman in the mid-1980s, we researched all of the town’s abandoned and discontinued roads to determine the legal status and whether or not the public retained rights of access. At that time, my principle interest was in establishing and protecting public rights of access, especially when those old roads led to public lands or recreational property.