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IN Man Scraps Bridge for Metal

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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The ownership of a railroad bridge in Hammond, Indiana, is up a federal jury debate in an unusual case in which a nearby resident dismantled the decommissioned bridge and sold it across state lines for scrap.

Kenneth Morrison, owner of T&K Metals, allegedly took the metal from the Hammond railroad bridge and sold it to a scrap dealer in Illinois for $18,000, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Bridge Theft Case History

The drawbridge, known as the Monon Bridge, was commissioned in 1910, spanning the Grand Calumet River. In 1987, the bridge was decommissioned and deeded to the city of Hammond.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Morrison first approached the city in November of 1991, requesting to purchase the bridge and scrapping the metal to sell it later. Hammond denied the request, however. In September 2014, Morrison again asked to purchase the bridge, adding this time that the structure was on CSX Railroad land and that he was in talks with the company to acquire the structure.

Michal Chodyra / Getty Images

The ownership of a railroad bridge in Hammond, Indiana, is up for debate in an unusual case in which a nearby resident dismantled the decommissioned bridge and sold it across state lines for scrap. Determining ownership of the structure is now up to a federal jury.

Between December 2014 and January 2015, Morrison allegedly started dismantling the bridge. Morrison was cited by the city, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Department of Environmental for a lack of permits and leaving potentially contaminated material in the river.

In early November, a federal judge refused to hear Morrison’s request to dismiss the charges. In the case, Morrison alleged that Hammond did not have clear ownership of the bridge. At the time, federal investigators told the jury that Hammond “conclusively” owned the bridge. Correspondence between the city and the railroad company could not show for certain which entity had the deed. Morrison was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2017 for transportation of stolen property across state borders.

Federal Court Trial

Defense attorney Sheldon Nagelberg more recently noted that the bridge was no longer part of the railroad company’s transportation network, and that the company had donated the property to the city.

“The City of Hammond never recorded that deed,” Nagelberg noted. “They just kept it.”

The defense attorney also added that he intends to demonstrate that the bridge could be considered abandoned property.

Morrison’s federal trial started Monday (Dec. 10).

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Infrastructure; Lawsuits; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Rail

Comment from Jeffrey Smith, (12/12/2018, 7:10 AM)

Doesn't the gov't have something better to do?


Comment from Scott Youngs, (12/12/2018, 2:06 PM)

How many hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent for the 18k in scrap?


Comment from john schultz, (12/13/2018, 8:44 AM)

They should be happy to be rid of a potentially dangerous structure and return the environs to its "natural" state


Comment from Michael Halliwell, (12/14/2018, 11:11 AM)

Morrison should send them a bill $35,000 minus the salvage amount for "dismantling and recycling of a derelict structure" and "site restoration." You can bet if the City of Hammond put the removal of the bridge out for tender, Morrison's bill would be a steal of a deal.


Comment from Robert Pazol, (12/15/2018, 12:58 PM)

Mr.Halliwell(above commentor) is most generous in suggesting that the $35,000 should additionally be awarded to the City. They, in fact, had no skin in the game as they never recorded the property's deed. Give the City bill for his costs plus a "reasonable" profit.


Comment from Robert Pazol, (12/15/2018, 12:58 PM)

Mr.Halliwell(above commentor) is most generous in suggesting that the $35,000 should additionally be awarded to the City. They, in fact, had no skin in the game as they never recorded the property's deed. Give the City bill for his costs plus a "reasonable" profit.


Comment from Robert Pazol, (12/15/2018, 1:08 PM)

I stand corrected:. Mr Halliwell's suggested that they bill the $35,000 Minus Morrison's costs. Sorry for my error.


Comment from Robert Pazol, (12/15/2018, 1:08 PM)

I stand corrected:. Mr Halliwell's suggested that they bill the $35,000 Minus Morrison's costs. Sorry for my error.


Comment from Robert Pazol, (12/15/2018, 1:08 PM)

I stand corrected:. Mr Halliwell's suggested that they bill the $35,000 Minus Morrison's costs. Sorry for my error.


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