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DELAWARE RIVER PORT AUTHORITY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. (09/29/58)

September 29, 1958

DELAWARE RIVER PORT AUTHORITY, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.



Appeals, Nos. 214, 215, 216, 217, 218 and 219, Jan. T., 1958, from order of Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Appeals, Nos. 113-118, inclusive, Oct. T., 1957, affirming Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's orders, November 19, 1956, Application Docket Nos. 81587, 81591, 81592, 81593, 81671 and 81672, in case of Delaware River Port Authority v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission et al. Order reversed; reargument refused November 5, 1958.

COUNSEL

Morris Duane, with him Henry T. Reath, John B. Felton, and Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for appellant.

Miles Warner, Assistant Counsel, with him Jack F. Aschinger, Assistant Counsel, and Thomas M. Kerrigan, Counsel, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Ernest R. von Starck, with him Samuel Graff Miller, Vincent P. McDevitt, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, for Philadelphia Electric Company, intervening appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 393 Pa. Page 641]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

These six appeals challenge an order of the Superior Court*fn1 which affirmed an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission placing upon the Delaware River Port Authority (herein called the Authority) the entire cost of relocating certain facilities of the Philadelphia Electric Company (herein called the Electric Company).

The problems which these appeals present arise from the construction by the Authority of the Walt Whitman bridge which spans the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Gloucester, N.J.*fn2 The order of the Commission presently attacked arose from six applications to the Commission under § 409 of the Public Utility Code, Act of May 28, 1937, P.L. 1053, 1075, 66 PS §§ 1101, 1179, which requires Commission approval of the construction, alteration, relocation or

[ 393 Pa. Page 642]

    abolition of any highway-rail crossing.*fn3 Compliance with the order made pursuant to these applications and with the general over-all plans of the Authority for the construction of the bridge and its westerly approaches required the Electric Company to relocate certain of its facilities which were located in or over public streets under standard rent-free licenses from the City of Philadelphia.*fn4 The Commission placed the entire cost of such relocation of the Electric Company's facilities upon the Authority. From a unanimous affirmance of this order and allocation of costs by the Superior Court, we granted an allocatur.

The Authority attacks the Commission's order in three principal respects: (1) that the Commission lacked the authority to allocate the costs of relocating non-transportation utility facilities as an incident to a ...


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