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STRONG APPEAL. (06/03/60)

June 3, 1960

STRONG APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 143, March T., 1959, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Cambria County, June T., 1955, No. 13, in the matter of the change of location and lines of the highway known as State Highway Route 222, in the Township of Stonycreek. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Gerald K. Gibson, with him Edward J. Harkins, for appellants.

Frank E. Roda, Assistant Attorney General, with him Michael R.Deckman, Assistant Attorney General, David E. Abrahamsen, Deputy Attorney General, and Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones and Bok, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 400 Pa. Page 53]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK.

Appellants filed a petition in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Cambria County on June 1, 1955, for a Board of View. This was granted. The Commonwealth then filed its petition for a rule to show cause why the appellants' petition should not be dismissed. After answer, hearing, and argument, the rule of the latter petition was made absolute and this appeal was taken.

The petition for a Board of View was filed as a result of the paving and widening of a part of State Highway 222 in Stonycreek Township. The plan authorizing the paving and widening was approved by the Governor on June 7, 1950, and was filed on the same day in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the County. The Commonwealth later entered upon the land and did the work.

Appellants, husband and wife, own property abutting on the highway, as do the owners of five other parcels. The owners of these six lots acquired title before 1950 but after the date of an earlier plan to reconstruct the highway, which had been approved by the governor on March 19, 1924. The owners of three other abutting

[ 400 Pa. Page 54]

    parcels acquired title before March 19, 1924. The owners of all nine lots held title on June 7, 1950.

The highway became part of the State system by virtue of the Sproul Act: May 31, 1911, P.L. 468, 36 P.S. § 1194. Section 8 of this Act (36 P.S. § 61) provided that where a highway was dangerous or inconvenient the Commissioner of Highways could divert it by a plan approved by the Governor: this plan need be filed only in the Department of Highways in Harrisburg.

An amendment (Act of April 6, 1921, P.L. 107, 36 PS § 61) provided that where a highway was to be widened without divergence or where widths and lines were to be established for the future highway, the plan should also be recorded in the County where the road lay. This amendment was needed because the original Act of 1911 made no provision for widening an existing State highway: see In the Matter of Appointment of Viewers, 103 Pa. Superior Ct. 212 (1931), 158 A. 296.

The facts appear in the following excerpt from the opinion of Judge McDONALD, of the court below: "At the hearing it developed that State Highway Route 222 was formerly part of the Bedford-Scalp Level Turnpike taken over by the Commonwealth. The original right-of-way was forty feet, part of which had been constructed of macadam. The plans for reconstruction of said highway as approved... by the Governor of Pennsylvania on March 19th, 1924, prints of which were introduced in evidence, were filed in the office of the Department of Highways in Harrisburg. According to these plans, the highway was reconstructed of concrete for a distance of 7,302.6 feet, on part of which the properties of petitioners abutted. The paved portion of the road was not ...


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