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PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (ET AL. (06/13/62)

June 13, 1962

PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (ET AL., APPELLANT).



Appeals, Nos. 57 and 63, April T., 1962, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, No. A.86353, in case of Pittsburgh Railways Company v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Margaret M. Morrison, for street railway company, appellant.

T. M. Rutter, with him Joseph M. Gaydos, Assistant County Solicitor, and Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for Allegheny County, appellant.

William A. Goichman, Assistant Counsel, with him Joseph I. Lewis, Chief Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Clarence W. Biggs, Jr., Solicitor, for Borough of Ingram, appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Wright

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 419]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

We are her concerned with appeals by the Pittsburgh Railways Company (hereinafter referred to as Pittsburgh) and the County of Allegheny from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, dated October 9, 1961, as he result of an application

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 420]

    by Pittsburgh for approval of the alteration of the crossing where Center Street and two of Pittsburgh's tracks, located in the bed of the street, cross above the grade of two tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad, all in the Borough of Ingram, Allegheny County. This application, docketed at A.86353, is one of sixteen similar applications for the approval of the abolition or alterations of steam railroad crossings, and of highway crossings above or below grade. These applications were filed concurrently with the application of Pittsburgh, docketed at A.86339, seeking approval of the abandonment of street railway services and facilities in that portion of its system operated between the downtown area and suburban municipalities to the west; and also concurrently with Pittsburgh's applications, docketed at A.76720, Folders 73 to 78, to substitute bus service. As a matter of procedure, these applications were consolidated for hearing, and the record is quite extensive. So far as the application at Docket A.86353 is concerned, the order of the Commission directs that the crossing be altered generally in accordance with a bridge plan prepared by the Borough of Ingram. The costs were allocated as follows: ten percent each to be paid by the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Borough of Ingram; twenty-five percent to be paid by the County of Allegheny; and fifty-five percent to be paid by Pittsburgh.

The bridge in question was erected in 1905 by Pittsburgh's predecessor, the Pittsburgh, Crafton & Mansfield Street Railway Company. At that time Center Street was known as Catherine Street. Prior to the construction of the bridge, the Borough of Ingram enacted an authorization ordinance, dated January 26, 1903, which provided that Pittsburgh's predecessor "shall erect and maintain a bridge which can be used for vehicle travel ... and shall provide a walk, not less than four feet on each side of said bridge for foot passengers

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 421]

... and shall grade so much of said Catherine Street as shall be extended to the full width thereof when open". By an agreement, dated May 29, 1903, between Pittsburgh's predecessor and the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company, predecessor of the Pennsylvania Railroad, it was stipulated that the bridge should be constructed and maintained solely at the expense of Pittsburgh's predecessor. We are therefore concerned in this case with a bridge which was built at the initiative of Pittsburgh's predecessor to accommodate its facilities, presently owned and maintained by Pittsburgh, and which Pittsburgh is obligated to maintain. It should be noted that the bridge will continue to be used by Pittsburgh's buses, and that the order complained of entirely relieves Pittsburgh from future maintenance.

During the course of the proceedings it became apparent that there was a substantial question as to the adequacy of the bridge structure, and its actual physical condition. The Commission became concerned about the possible existence of "a serious and hazardous condition for the traveling public". Consequently, under date of March 20, 1961, the record was opened and further hearings scheduled, upon due notice to all parties, "for the purpose of determining whether the aforesaid Catherine Street Bridge (Center Street) crossing, located in the Borough of Ingram, Allegheny County, should be altered, repaired, or reconstructed to effectuate the prevention of accidents and to promote the safety of the public and if so, what corrective measures and facilities are necessary at said crossing and what, if any, changes should be effectuated and for the purpose of determining the cost of ...


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