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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (12/30/83)

decided: December 30, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. BOROUGH OF HOMEWOOD AND BOROUGH OF BIG BEAVER, PETITIONERS V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. COUNTY OF BEAVER, PETITIONER V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in case Borough of Homewood and Borough of Big Beaver v. Penn Central Transportation Company, Department of Highways of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, County of Beaver and Consolidated Rail Corporation, No. C-00018925, dated March 17, 1982.

COUNSEL

Stephen Dittman, Assistant Counsel, with him Herbert G. Zahn, Assistant Counsel, Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for petitioner, Department of Transportation.

David L. Gropp, for petitioners, Borough of Homewood and Borough of Big Beaver.

Eugene Morris, County Solicitor, with him Daniel M. D'Antonio, Assistant County Solicitor, for petitioner, County of Beaver.

Richard S. Herskovitz, Assistant Counsel, with him John B. Wilson, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 268]

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT), Borough of Homewood, Borough of Big Beaver and County of Beaver appeal a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission order assessing costs of reconstruction and future maintenance of the Homewood Viaduct. We affirm.

The Commission determined that the rail-highway crossing was to be demolished and reconstructed, with the cost of said reconstruction to be assessed as follows: 50% against Conrail; 40% against DOT; 10% against Beaver County;*fn1 minor construction costs assessed to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission;

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 269]

    and $15,000 each assessed to Homewood and Big Beaver Boroughs.*fn2 Homewood, Big Beaver and the County were to share one-third of all future maintenance costs.

On May 6, 1970, Homewood Borough, joined by Big Beaver Borough, initiated these proceedings by complaint, alleging that a rail-highway crossing*fn3 carrying an un-numbered public highway over and above three tracks of Penn Central Transportation Company (predecessor of Conrail) posed hazardous conditions to the safety of the traveling public.*fn4 The two boroughs relied on a 1921 Commission order directing the Pennsylvania Company (forerunner of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company) to construct at its own cost and expense the aforesaid above-grade viaduct to carry former State Highway Route 77 over and above said tracks and to provide a ramp to the then-active Pennsylvania station. Attendant costs of the Highway-approach relocation were allocated to the Pennsylvania Highway Department, with ...


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