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City, CSX Close To “Deal” On West Side Bridges

August 2nd, 2018 by WCBC Radio

Cumberland city officials and representatives of CSX Transportation are close to signing a formal memorandum of understanding that will outline the process- financial and otherwise- to  address the West Side bridge issues. The two sides met for more than two hours Thursday afternoon at City Hall having come to an understanding that will ultimately see the city take ownership of the three bridges- while securing federal dollars and a financial commitment from CSX to cover the cost of repairs. The bridges — on Cumberland, Fayette and Washington streets — have been closed due to their deteriorated conditions. First priority, according to Mayor Brian Grim will be to begin a study that will provide for a permanent access bridge at Fayette Street, while pursuing options for the other two bridges as well. One issue of disagreement that remains, but apparently won’t hamper the process is the question of ownership of the bridges. The city has maintained that CSX owns the three bridges- while the company has never acknowledged ownership despite having provided maintenance and repairs at times over the years. WCBC News has obtained a copy of a letter from the Federal Railroad Administration which seems to support CSX claim- stating flatly that the bridges are not owned by CSX and therefore is not responsible for their maintenance. Grim said he does not anticipate the access bridge at Fayette Street to be completed by the end of the year.

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