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Detroit St. Bridge

Detroit St. Bridge image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Some time ago Edson D. Wetberbee, of this oity, was injured by an aocident to bis vebiole while crossing the bigb bridge on Beakes st. over the Michigan Central railroad, the bridge then being in a poor state of repair. He sned the company in the Wayne circuit oonrt to recover damages. The case was tried Wednesday of last week before Judge Carpenter, who directed the jury to find a verdict for the defendants. He took the saine view of the case as the attorneys of the company that the contraot made between the city of Ann Arbor and the railroad company in 1896, under whioh the bridge was constructed was valid, and held that the railroad company having been under no legal obligation to build the bridge in the flrst place, was not now bound to maintain it fnrther than it had agreed to do in the contraot. The oontraot in question in express terms obligated the city to take care of the bridge af ter it was constructed, and it looks as if the oity authorities of that day in their eageruess to secure the building of the new depot, rnay have obligated the city to do wbat the stata law would otherwise require the railroad to do. The decisión of the judge ruerely shifts the suit brongbt by Wetherbee frorn the Micihgan Central to the city and eau have no other effect than to brine the niuch talked of matter of who is responsible for the repair of this cluinsy old Duisance oL a bridge to a focus. If the snpreme conrt npholds .Tudge Carpenter's deoision it would be iu order for the Miohigan Central to bring suit against the city to recover the $1,400 it has already expended in repairing the bridge. The bridge bas been the raeans of saving a large ainountof expense to the ailroad company dnring these past 11 ears, as if the crossings ovei the tracks at Detroit and N. State sts. had been [lowed to remain level witb the tracks, nstead of bridging the one and olosing p the other, two flagmen wonld have ïad to be employed night and day by ie company to guard against accident nd at $1 a day d 12 hours for each man that would bave amounted to over 8,000, a snm more than graat enongh o baild two first olass new iion (ridges. At the meetiDg of the common oounil Monday evening the following resontion was introdoced by Aid. Brown nd adopted by the conncil unanimousy : "Whereas, Judge Carpentir, of tne Wayne circuit court, bas held in the aee of Witherbee vs. the Michigan Central Railroad Co. tbat it is the dnty of the city to maintain the bridge over the railroad on Beakes st., Therefore be it, "Resolved, That the oity attorney be requeated to make a thorongh investigation of the matter and report to this : oonncil the proper steps to take in the premises. ;" City Attorney Kearney when asked bis opinión of the case said that he believed the contract between the city and the Michigan Central was ultra vires and voW. He further added that the oity could open up N. State st, and said that the property between the company's right of way and Beakes st. was ruined by vacating State st. It was an injury and an injustice to every:man owniug a dollar's worth of real estáte oi) the Northside, which would be a desirable resideuce portion of the oity if State st. weie opened. Said he "With the assistanoe of tbe oommon oouncil I shall open State st. before rny term as oity attorney expires."


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News