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DEPARTMENT HIGHWAYS v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL. (03/18/59)

March 18, 1959

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ET AL.



Appeal, No. 49, March T., 1959, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Complaint Docket No. 14577, in case of Department of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission et al. Appeal quashed.

COUNSEL

Nelson M. Galloway, Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, and John R. Rezzolla, Jr., Chief Counsel, Department of Highways, for Department of Highways, appellant.

Lewis J. Carter, Assistant Counsel, with him Thomas M. Kerrigan, Counsel, for Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Allen Lesley, with him H. Merle Mulloy, for railroad, intervening appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 113]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

We are here concerned with a motion to quash this appeal. The proceeding originated March 7, 1949, upon the filing of a complaint by the County of Montgomery relative to a dangerous underpass on U.S. Route 202 in Lower Gwynedd Township. By order dated June 2, 1952, the Public Utility Commission directed relocation of the highway and reconstruction of the railroad bridge at that point. The order provided that, for the materials furnished and work performed by the Reading Company, it should be reimbursed by the Department of Highways, Montgomery County and Lower Gwynedd Township to the extent,

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 114]

    respectively, of twenty-five, eighteen and three percent. The estimated total cost of the project, including both highway relocation and bridge reconstruction, was $722,348.29. The record discloses that the improvement was completed on May 15, 1955, and that the actual cost of the bridge reconstruction was $434,881.46, for portions of which amount the Reading Company was reimbursed in accordance with the Commission's order.

On July 7, 1956, the Reading Company filed with the Commission a petition for the reopening and rehearing of the proceeding and for the modification of the order of June 2, 1952, seeking further reimbursement from the Department of Highways on the ground that the Department had initiated a project with the Bureau of Public Roads of the United States for an allocation of federal funds. See Department of Highways v. Pa. P.U.C., 179 Pa. Superior Ct. 376, 116 A.2d 855; Department of Highways v. Pa. P.U.C., 185 Pa. Superior Ct. 418, 138 A.2d 143. The eventual result was an order by the Commission under date of April 21, 1958, reallocating the costs of construction and directing that the Department pay to the Reading Company, the County of Montgomery and Lower Gwynedd Township the sums, respectively, of $220,000.00, $75,000.00, and $12,000.00. On May 9, 1958, the Department petitioned for reopening, rehearing and modification of the Commission's order of April 12, 1958. On July 16, 1958, the Commission addressed a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Highways which reads as follows: "This will advise you that in executive session on July 14, 1958, the Commission denied the petition of Department of Highways for reopening, rehearing, and modification of the Commission's order of April 21, 1958". This letter was received by the Department on July 17, 1958. The thirty-day

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 115]

    appeal period set forth in Section 1101 of the Public Utility Law*fn1 terminated on Saturday, August 16, 1958. This appeal was ...


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