Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: Condemnation of 1315 to 1391 Washington Boulevard, City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Commerce Land Corporation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, No. GD 75-9368.
Marvin Schreiber, with him Brian C. Schreiber, and Schreiber & Schreiber, for appellant.
Benjamin B. Wechsler, II, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 562]
Commerce Land Corporation (Appellant) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas sustaining the preliminary objections of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to Appellant's petition for appointment of viewers brought pursuant
[ 25 Pa. Commw. Page 563]
to Section 612 of the Eminent Domain Code, Act of June 22, 1964, Spec. Sess., P.L. 84, as amended, 26 P.S. § 1-612, which states:
"All condemnors, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall be liable for damages to property abutting the area of an improvement resulting from change of grade of a road or highway, permanent interference with access thereto, or injury to surface support, whether or not any property is taken." (Emphasis added.)
The facts as briefed by the parties can be summarized as follows.
Commerce Land Corporation has been the owner since 1951 of a stretch of property along Washington Boulevard on which stands a motor freight terminal building. The building is occupied by several companies which use various sizes of vehicles, including fifty-five foot tractor trailers. In 1974, PennDOT constructed a medial strip barrier along the center of Washington Boulevard. It begins at a point slightly south of Appellant's southerly property line and extends northward several thousand feet to the intersection of Washington Boulevard with Negley Run Boulevard, and then continues along Washington Boulevard. This barrier obviously prevents direct access to Appellant's property by vehicles traveling north on Washington Boulevard. It also prevents vehicles egressing from the property from going in a northerly direction in that they are unable to turn left upon exiting.
The law with respect to denial of ingress and egress has been extensively developed in this Commonwealth. The most concise and accurate description of an abutting landowner's right was given in Hession Condemnation Case, 430 Pa. 273, 280, 242 A.2d 432, 435-6 ...