Attorney general appeals bridge decision

Saturday, April 29, 2006

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Attorney General Jay Nixon has appealed a judge's decision that found that the state has no property right to an old railroad bridge.

Earlier this week, a judge ruled for Gov. Matt Blunt's administration in a dispute with Nixon. Nixon sued the Department of Natural Resources last year over its decision to give up the state's interest in using the old bridge as part of the Katy Trail State Park. Union Pacific Railroad Co. wants to dismantle the bridge and use the steel elsewhere.

A 1987 purchase agreement for the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad line allowed DNR to eventually use the Missouri River bridge as part of the bicycle and pedestrian trail -- so long as DNR assumed liability for the bridge on terms acceptable to the railroad.

That step never happened, and Cole County Senior Judge Byron Kinder ruled that without it, the state had no right to the bridge.

Nixon, however, claimed that potential use amounts to a property right that only the legislature can give up and raised that issue again in filing his appeal Thursday. A hearing has not been set yet, Nixon's office said Friday afternoon.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: