In the event an existing overpass or crossing over a railroad is destroyed or rendered unusable or otherwise becomes necessary to alter, rebuild, or replace, which overpass or crossing is maintained by a railroad company, such company shall immediately notify the Commissioner of Highways, or the public road authority of its intent to formulate plans for such alteration, rebuilding, or replacement. The Commissioner or the public road authority shall, as soon as practicable after receipt of such notice, determine if, in consideration of the needs of the state systems of highways, the work to be done on such existing separation structure should encompass any upgrading of such overpass. Upon reaching such decision, the Commissioner or the public road authority shall forthwith notify the company thereof.If the Commissioner or representative of the public road authority determines that upgrading is not necessary, the company, within six months of notice thereof, shall, in consultation with the Commissioner or representative of the public road authority, formulate and submit plans to the Commissioner or representative of the public road authority for the necessary work. As soon as the plans are submitted the Commissioner or representative of the public road authority shall review the same and after determining the plans are satisfactory, shall notify the railroad to begin construction by a specified date and to complete such construction within a specified time limit after considering public safety, convenience and necessity and the amount, nature and extent of the planned construction. All costs of necessary work, including formulation of plans, where upgrading is not necessary, shall be borne by the company. In the event there is a disagreement as to the design, method of construction and date of completion, such dispute shall be resolved under the procedural provisions of § 56-366.1.If the Commissioner or public road authority determines that upgrading is necessary or desirable, the same procedure for coordination with the company shall apply except that the parties may agree that the Commissioner or representative of the public road authority formulate, and execute plans for such work, in consultation with such company. Disputes as to matters in this regard, including allocation of cost, shall also be resolved by petition to the State Corporation Commission and any new overpass shall be maintained in accordance with § 56-368.1.When it is necessary only to repair any overpass, maintained by such railroad, the railroad shall perform all work and bear all costs in connection therewith.All duties under this section shall be performed as expeditiously as possible. Nothing herein shall be construed in any way to limit the authority of the Commissioner or representative of the public road authority over public highways and overpasses.
1977, c. 443; 1996, cc. 114, 157.