BISMARCK, ND – The non-profit group, Friends of the Rail Bridge, appeared before the North Dakota Supreme Court on November 16th to argue against tearing down the 140-year old structure.
RT&S has reported on the Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge and the non-profit group, Friends of the Rail Bridge (FORB), for several months. The non-profit group appeared before the North Dakota Supreme Court on November 16th to argue against tearing down the 140-year old structure.
According to KXNews, FORB’s arguments were “tied down in statutes, proper procedures, and the difference between adjudicative and administrative hearings.” The main argument boiled down to the question of whether or not a district court was wrong in turning down an appeal made by FORB that challenged “the way in which the permits were issued to BNSF?” FORB argued that the North Dakota Department of Water Resource did not notify the North Dakota Historical Society Board to review the matter before issuing permits. As RT&S reported previously, the non-profit group asserts that the rail bridge is owned by the state of North Dakota instead of BNSF.
The report states that Attorney William Delmore for FORB argued that the bridge has historical value, and as such, it should not be torn down. The non-profit group asked that the North Dakota Supreme Court “issue a directive sending the permits back to the ND Water Resources to properly hold hearings and submit the process to the North Dakota Historical Society Board.” Now, attorneys for BNSF and the Department of Water Resources argued that both parties followed all proper processes and “it was Friends of the Railroad Bridge who failed to follow the process and file the paperwork necessary to challenge the permits.” The court took the case under advisement and “typically issues a decision in about two weeks after oral arguments.”