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CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (12/23/80)

decided: December 23, 1980.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of Investigation upon the Commission's own motion into matters relating to the structural adequacy and load-carrying capacity of the bridge carrying the Byberry Road over and above the grade of tracks of New York Short Line Branch of Consolidated Rail Corporation in the City of Philadelphia, as pertains to the proper service, accommodation, convenience, and safety of the traveling public utilizing the same, Docket No. I-78020294.

COUNSEL

Joel E. Mazor, for petitioner.

John J. Gallagher, Assistant Counsel, with him George D. Wenick, Assistant Attorney General, Alfred N. Lowenstein, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Joseph J. Malatesta, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Judith N. Dean, Deputy City Solicitor, with her Barry J. Grossman, Assistant City Solicitor, Alan J. Davis, City Solicitor, and Herbert Smolen, Deputy City Solicitor, for respondent, City of Philadelphia.

Judges MacPhail, Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. President Judge Crumlish did not participate in the decision of this case.

Author: Macphail

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 577]

This is an appeal by Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) from an order adopted on October 4,

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 5781979]

, by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) directing Conrail to bear the costs incurred for repair of the bridge carrying Byberry Road over and above the grade of Conrail tracks in the City of Philadelphia (City), to reimburse the City for the costs it expended in emergency work, and to maintain the bridge in the future.

This case arose as a result of a PUC order adopted on its own motion on February 24, 1978, to investigate the structural adequacy and load bearing capacity of the Byberry Road Bridge. Conrail, the City, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Trustees of the Reading Railroad (Reading) were designated as parties and were directed to answer interrogatories concerning the bridge and its condition and maintenance responsibility. The City was required to close the bridge to vehicular traffic and Conrail was ordered to repair the deck sufficiently to maintain passenger automobile traffic after which the bridge would be reopened. A formal hearing to apportion the costs and future maintenance responsibility was held on July 18, 1978, before Administrative Law Judge F. Ross Crumlish (ALJ).

The background of the instant case is as follows:

Byberry Road was opened by jury in 1720. By an ordinance dated April 4, 1904, the City authorized the New York Short Line Railroad Company (Short Line) to construct a bridge carrying Byberry Road over its tracks at its sole cost and expense and to forever maintain the structure. Subsequently the Short Line was made part of Reading. Reading went into reorganization ...


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