Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, in case of In Re: Coon Creek Bridge No. 1 in Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, No. 45 of 1974.
C. Richard Morton, for appellants.
John B. Rengier, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
This is an appeal by Warren K. Samples and Mitzi M. Samples (hereinafter referred to as appellants) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County approving a petition and accompanying plans submitted by the Commissioners of Lancaster County (Commissioners) for the laying out and opening of Coon Creek Bridge No. 1 and its approaches in Little Britain Township.
On February 15, 1974, the Commissioners presented their petition to the lower court, averring that the County of Lancaster owned and maintained a single-span pony truss bridge over Coon Creek which, by reason of age and deterioration, was not suitable for present-day traffic. The Commissioners further averred that the bridge could accommodate only a single lane of traffic and, in the opinion of the Commissioners, should be replaced by a new bridge constructed according to plans attached to the petition. Also attached to the petition were exhibits
showing that the plans had received the approval of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER), the Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and the Lancaster County Planning Commission (Commission).
On the same day, the lower court entered a preliminary decree, fixing a hearing date on the petition and directing that the appropriate notices be given. The appellants, who are the owners of a large tract of land which surrounds the bridge site, then filed exceptions and objections to the proposed plans. A hearing was held on November 1, 1974, after which the lower court signed a decree approving the Commissioners' petition and plans, subject to the approval of the plans by DER, PennDOT, and the Commission. Appellants have now appealed to us. We affirm.
The outcome of this case is governed by Sections 2604 and 2605 of The County Code.*fn1 These sections read as follows:
"Section 2604. Plans and Surveys for Bridges and Viaducts; Petition to [Common Pleas]. -- Whenever the commissioners of any county resolve to provide a bridge or viaduct, pursuant to this article, they shall cause to be prepared plans and surveys showing the location of the proposed structure, its approaches and the property or rights of property affected thereby, together with any roads in any city, borough, incorporated town or township proposed to be used in connection therewith. They shall present the same, together with their petition, to the court of [common pleas], praying for an order approving their exercise of the said authority to locate, lay out, ...