At Wednesday's Davenport Riverfront Improvement Commission meeting the commission and public were informed the Canadian Pacific Railway does not intend after the flood subsides to return the railroad track to its previous height and use as it was before it raised the track.
Temporary ramps at street crossings will be constructed for access to the riverfront park until a final plan is presented to the City for its approval.
As a Davenport attorney present at the request of River Action I was asked by the chair of the commission and other commissioners about the railroad raising the height of the track to the street crossings and its effect on access by the public to the riverfront.
The duty of the railroad to return the track to its prior use is accomplished by the City under delegation by the State to require the railroad to make such changes in its crossing at its own expense as the public safety and convenience may reasonably require. It is the responsibility of the railroad when restoring the crossing originally built that is now insufficient due to the increased height of the track to perform whatever public convenience and necessity may require in order to meet the previous conditions rather than what is required at the convenience of the railroad.
I am reminded of the song by Vaughn Monroe: “The railroad runs through the middle of the house; the trains all come through the middle of the house, since the railroad bought the land; they let us live in the front of the house and in the back but there ain’t no living in the middle of the house 'cause that’s the railroad track."
Ralph H. Heninger
Heninger and Heninger P.C.