New York Railroad Law
Maintenance and Removal of Highway-railroad Separation Structures
93-b. Maintenance and removal of highway-railroad separation structures. The responsibility of a railroad corporation to maintain and keep in repair highway-railroad separation structures as provided by law shall not terminate upon the abandonment of the railroad or a portion thereof, but such responsibility, with respect to state highways, shall continue unless otherwise agreed upon by the railroad corporation and the state, and shall continue with respect to highways other than state highways unless otherwise agreed upon by the governing body or its designee, of the municipality having jurisdiction over the highway, until the separation structure is removed as hereinafter provided. When a structure remains which separates a highway and an abandoned railroad, the railroad, or the transferee of the abandoned railroad right-of-way when the transfer of such responsibility has been approved by the commissioner, and the state, or the municipal corporation having jurisdiction over the highway, may mutually agree as to their allocations of the expenses of removal of the structures and its supports and restoration of the highway. If such approval is not obtained, the responsibility for maintenance and removal continue with the railroad. In the event that the interested parties are unable to agree as to the necessity to remove a grade separation structure, the manner of removal or the division of cost or the division of performance of the removal work within one year after the date of the abandonment by the railroad corporation, either such railroad or such transferee of the railroad rights-of-way or the municipality having jurisdiction over the highway may petition the commissioner to hold a hearing in order to consider such matter. The commissioner upon receipt of such a petition, or on his own motion with respect to state highways, shall designate a time and place for a hearing to consider the matter. After such a hearing has been held, the commissioner shall determine by order whether it is in the public interest to require either removal of or the retention of the structure and its supports, in whole or in part, and shall direct the manner of accomplishing any such removal and the manner that the cost and expenses of any such removal or the performance of any such removal work shall be divided. The division of cost to the railroad or transferee shall be limited to the cost of structure removal only, including superstructure and substructure elements. Material so removed shall become the property of the railroad, or the value gained from the salvage disposition of such material shall be returned to the railroad. The cost of any embankment removal or placement, or highway restoration, shall be borne by the state, or the municipal corporation having jurisdiction over the highway. The decision of the commissioner rendered in any proceeding under this section shall be communicated after final hearing, to the petitioner, the railroad corporation or transferee, the municipal corporation and all other parties who appeared at said hearing by counsel or in person. Any person aggrieved by such decision, and who was a party to said proceeding, may within sixty days after the service of such decision appeal therefrom to the appellate division of the supreme court in the department in which such separation structure is located, and to the court of appeals, in the same manner and with like effect as is provided in the case of appeals from an order of the supreme court.