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68-414. Improvement of railroad crossings on state highway system; division of cost; safety devices or signals. The secretary of transportation, in the construction, improvement, reconstruction or maintenance of the state highway system, shall have the power and authority to compel all railroad companies operating steam or electric railroads in this state to construct, improve, reconstruct or maintain in a manner to be approved by the secretary of transportation, viaducts, tunnels, underpasses, bridges or grade crossings where the lines of said railroad companies intersect state highways, when in the judgment of the secretary such viaducts, tunnels, underpasses, bridges or grade crossings are necessary for the proper construction of the state highway system, for the safety of the general public, or for the elimination of a dangerous grade crossing. The expense of such construction, improvement, reconstruction or maintenance may be divided between the railroad company and the secretary of transportation in a fair and equitable proportion to be determined by the secretary of transportation, said secretary, however, to pay not to exceed fifty percent (50%) of the cost of any construction, improvement, reconstruction or maintenance of viaducts, tunnels, underpasses or bridges, but such fifty percent (50%) limitation shall not apply to express highways or freeways established pursuant to K.S.A. 68-2301. Otherwise, grade crossings shall be constructed and maintained at the expense of the railroad company.

If after due notice to said railroad company that in the judgment of the secretary of transportation the construction, improvement, reconstruction or maintenance of such viaduct, tunnel, underpass, bridge or grade crossing is necessary, said railroad company fails to comply with the secretary's order as provided by this section, said secretary is empowered and authorized to forthwith construct, improve, reconstruct or maintain such viaduct, tunnel, underpass, bridge or grade crossing and the amount so expended for such construction, improvement, reconstruction or maintenance shall comprise a charge against such railroad company and the secretary shall render a bill to such railroad company stating the amount expended and for what purpose, and upon the failure or refusal of such railroad company to make payment of the amount due the state the secretary shall forward all data and information to the attorney general of this state, who shall immediately institute a suit in the name of the secretary of transportation for the recovery of the amount reported by the secretary of transportation as due from the railroad company for its proportion of the cost of the construction, improvement, reconstruction or maintenance of such viaduct, tunnel, underpass, bridge or grade crossing. Upon the recovery of such fund said secretary shall deposit same with the state treasurer and said sum shall be apportioned to the different funds in the amounts expenditures from such funds were made.

When the secretary of transportation deems it advisable, said railroad company may be required by order of the secretary, to install and maintain suitable safety devices or warning signals at dangerous or obscure crossings to indicate the approach of trains.

History: L. 1929, ch. 225, § 15; L. 1975, ch. 427, § 99; L. 1976, ch. 294, § 1; July 1.


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