Section 7A. In connection with the laying out, alteration or reconstruction of a state highway, the department may alter or relocate connecting ways as may be necessary. Land or rights in land may be acquired for this purpose by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine by the department in behalf of the city or town in which the land lies, or in behalf of the commonwealth, at the option of the department. The department may take or acquire by eminent domain under said chapter, easements in land outside the location of limited access state highways, said easements to be taken in behalf of those owners of land abutting said highways, whose rights of access to and egress from their land, and any other rights necessary to make the same available for use, will become inoperative due to the construction of said highway. Control of the land or rights in the land acquired under this section shall not vest in the city or town until such time as the work for which the land or rights in land have been acquired has been completed by said department, except that the city or town shall be responsible for snow and ice control on such portions of the highway as may be opened to traffic prior to final completion or acceptance of the project. Any person whose property has been taken or injured by any action of said department under authority of this section may recover from the commonwealth under chapter seventy-nine such damages therefor as he may be entitled to.