Action News Investigates: Railroad to nowhere financed by taxpayers
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Action News Investigates: Railroad to nowhere financed by taxpayers

August 14, 2019


IT’S A RAILROAD TO NOWHERE FINANCED BY YOU, THE TAXPAYER. WE ARE LEARNING THEY ARE REPLACEING A RAILROAD TRACK THAT’S NOT BEING USED IN THREE DECADES AND WASN’T SEE TRAFFIC ANY TIME SOON. PAUL VAN OSDOL IS HERE NOW WITH THIS STORY. WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS? IT MAKES NO SENSE. THERE’S SOMETHING TO THIS. ALLEGHENY COUNTY HAD TO TEAR OUT THE OLD TRACK TO BUILD A A NEW BRIDGE. COUNTY OFFICIALS WANTED TO AVOID REBUILDING THE RAILROAD, BUT THEY TOLD ME THEY HAD NO CHOICE. INTERNAL CREEKS, THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON A RAILROAD. NOT THIS RAILROAD WHERE TRAINS RUN ALL THE TIME, BUT THIS ONE ACROSS THE CREEK WHERE THE OLD RAILROAD TIES ARE BARELY VISIBLE AND THE UNUSED TRACKS ARE COVERED BY WEEDS AND BUSHES. THE NEW TRACK WILL RUN A QUARTER MILE BETWEEN TWO SECTIONS OF UNUSED TRACK. A LOCAL HISTORIAN SAYS NO TRAINS HAVE RUN ON THIS LINE SINCE THE 1980s WHEN THE NEARBY WESTINGHOUSE PLANT WAS STILL ACTIVE. EVEN WITH A NEW TRACK, NO RAILWAY IS EXPECTED HERE ANY TIME SOON. IT KIND OF SEEMS LIKE A WASTE OF MONEY PUTTING IN A TRACK TO GO NOWHERE. Reporter: MIKE HAS BEEN WATCHING THE CONSTRUCTION FROM HIS NEARBY RESTAURANT. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE TO YOU? NOT AT ALL. I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT’S GOING TO. Reporter: ONE END OF THE RAIL LINE GOES INTO THE KEYSTONE COMMONS INDUSTRIAL PARK OWNED BY THE REGIONAL INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. THEY ALSO OWN THE OLD TRACK. ALLEGHENY COUNTY NEEDED TO MOVE THE TRACK TO BUILD A NEW BRIDGE BETWEEN TURTLE CREEK. THAT REQUIRED THE BLESSING OF THE RIDC AND THE STATE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. WHY IS THE COUNTY REBUILDING A RAILROAD LINE THAT HASN’T BEEN USED IN THREE DECADES. WE SHOULD REPLACE A TRACK AS PART OF THE PROPERTY THERE BECAUSE THEY USE THAT FOR FUTURE ACCESS TO THEIR PROPERTIES. Reporter: THE COUNTY DID NOT WANT TO REPLACE THIS OLD TRACK, BUT THE RIDC DID AND IT HAD THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION ON ITS SIDE. NOW AS BAD AS THIS OLD TRACK LOOKS, THE RIDC TELLS ME THEY HOPE TO USE IT AGAIN SOME DAY. SO THE TAXPAYER FUNDED RIDC FORCED THE COUNTY TO SPEND TAXPAYER MONEY REBUILDING THIS UNUSED TRACK. TOTAL COST, $365,000. DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO HAVE TO REBUILD A TRACK BETWEEN TWO SECTIONS BASICALLY ABANDONED? IF I WAS THE PROPERTY OWNER, IT WOULD MAKE SENSE. Reporter: BUT IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO THE COUNCIL. HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THE RAILROAD TO NOWHERE UNTIL WE TOLD HIM. EVEN THOUGH IT’S IN HIS DISTRICT. COULD THAT MONEY HAVE BEEN PUT TO BETTER USE? YEAH, IT COULD BE. Reporter: THE RAILROAD WORK WAS ALSO A MYSTERY TO THIS AUTO REPAIRSHOP OWNER WHOSE BUSINESS. HAS BEEN CRIPPLED BY THE BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION. I’M STRUGGLING TO PAY BILLS. I HAVE LOST SO MANY CUSTOMERS IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF WASTED TIME AND MONEY AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED. Reporter: THE NEW BRIDGE IS EXPECTED TO OPEN BY THE END OF THE MONTH. WHEN IN THE FUTURE, IF EVER, THE

1 Comment

  • Reply evets sdoow January 4, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    common knowledge, if you alter the area X to do work on area Y, you put area X back to its original orientation once work on area Y is complete.typical white collar wtae.

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