State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 88 > 88.66


88.66 Construction and repair of drains crossing railroad right-of-way.


(1) If necessary for proper drainage, the board may lay out and construct drains across any railway right-of-way within a district. As soon as the drain has been constructed up to such right-of-way, the railway company shall open its right-of-way and permit such drain to cross the same.


(2) Every district whose drains cross the right-of-way of a railway company is liable to such company for the reasonable cost of opening its right-of-way and also for the cost of the culverts and bridges made necessary by such drain. The drainage board shall include such costs in its cost of construction, as set forth in its report of benefits and damages, and shall award them as damages to the railway company. The bridge or culvert shall be designed by the district's engineer and the design submitted to the railway company for approval. If a dispute arises as to the adequacy of the design, either party may submit the dispute to the office of the commissioner of railroads by filing with the office a statement as to the facts involved and the nature of the dispute. The office shall investigate and determine the matter in controversy in accordance with ch. 195, and any order it makes in such proceeding has the same effect as an order in any other proceeding properly brought under ch. 195.




(a) Whenever the cleaning out, deepening or reconstruction of a drain crossing a railway right-of-way requires the lowering of a culvert through such right-of-way in order to provide effective drainage, the drainage board shall proceed as provided in subs. (4) to (7). Except as provided in par. (b), the expenses involved in such lowering shall be borne by the drainage district or as provided by mutual agreement between the railway company and the drainage board.


(b) Whenever a railroad is being constructed or reconstructed across a drainage district's drain, or a culvert in such drain is being replaced, the railway company shall consult with the drainage board having jurisdiction of such district for the purpose of determining the depth at which such drain was laid out. If any culvert or similar opening in a railway right-of-way is installed at a grade higher than the depth at which such drain was laid out, the expenses involved in any future lowering of the culvert pursuant to par. (a) shall be borne by the railway company unless the company was misled by the drainage board as to the proper grade at which to install the culvert. This paragraph applies only to work done after June 13, 1964.


(4) Whenever it becomes necessary to open a railway right-of-way in order to permit cleaning out or repairing any district drain, the board shall ascertain the reasonable cost thereof and, except as otherwise provided in sub. (3), shall award such cost as damages to the railway company in the board's report when assessing the cost of repairs.


(5) Upon receiving 30 days' notice in writing, any railway company across whose right-of-way any drainage district drain is laid out shall open its right-of-way to permit the board and its contractors, agents or employees to construct, clean out or repair such drain.


(6) If the railway company fails to open its right-of-way as required by this section, the board may at any time after the expiration of 30 days from the giving of the notice specified in sub. (5) open such right-of-way along the lines of such drains and construct, clean out or repair the same and may recover from the railway company the reasonable expense of opening the right-of-way.


(7) The district constructing, cleaning out or repairing a drain across the right-of-way of a railway company shall so prosecute the work as not to delay traffic upon such railway for longer than is absolutely necessary.

88.66 - ANNOT.

History: 1977 c. 29 s. 1654 (9) (f); 1981 c. 347; 1993 a. 16, 123, 490.