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READING COMPANY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (03/06/75)

decided: March 6, 1975.

READING COMPANY, DEBTOR, APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, APPELLEE, AND TOWNSHIP OF SWATARA, INTERVENING APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case of Walter J. Sosnowski and H. E. Beaver v. Reading Company, Department of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, County of Dauphin and Township of Swatara, No. 18181.

COUNSEL

Joel E. Mazor, for appellant.

Edward Munce, Counsel, with him Philip H. Mann, Assistant Counsel, for appellee.

Christian V. Graf, with him James W. Reynolds, and Reynolds, Bihl, & Schaffner, for intervening appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judges Kramer and Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 547]

The instant appeal is from an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Appellee, (PUC), dated April 17, 1974, imposing on the Reading Company, Appellant herein, the sole cost of preparing and submitting to the PUC preliminary plans and cost estimates for construction of a pedestrian crossing on the 63rd Street bridge in Swatara Township, Intervening Appellee, (Township).

This Court is no stranger to the intricate litigation which has been generated by the 63rd Street bridge. In Township of Swatara v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 11 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 196, 312 A.2d 809 (1973), we were called upon to determine whether or not there was ample evidence to sustain a finding by the P.U.C. that the 63rd Street bridge did not carry a public highway. We there held that review of a 1953 proceeding in which it was alleged that Reading Company represented that the bridge carried a public road did not estop the contra contention in the later proceeding because the legal status of the bridge was not there in issue. Subsequent to our decision in that case, and following withdrawal of a petition for allocatur to the Supreme

[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 548]

Court, Township petitioned P.U.C. to reopen the proceeding for purposes of offering after-discovered evidence. P.U.C. permitted reopening and, following hearing and deliberation, issued the order which becomes the subject of this appeal.

Appellants pose three issues for our consideration:

1) Did the P.U.C. abuse its discretion in reopening the record and receiving evidence of a 1900 docket entry of the Court of ...


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