• Reopen my bridge

    From micky@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jul 7 20:17:04 2023
    A bridge into my small n'hood has been disabled and closed, but I have
    access through a one block row of other townhouses. The bridge is owned
    by a neighboring 10-story apartment building. What standing do I have
    to force the owners of the bridge to be more diligent in submitting
    their paperwork, or to force the county to approve it?

    How much would a lawyer charge for something like this.

    I live in a townhouse community of about 105 houses, built 45 years ago.
    I've lived her for 40. When I moved in there were two entrances, one a
    very short road over a bridge over a stream, and the other about a block
    long through another very small townhouse community, maybe 20 houses on
    each side of the street.

    30 or 20 years ago, the other set of townhouses got sick of us driving
    down their street and got permission to put a gate up, which I think
    they opened twice a week for the garbage collectors to drive through, so
    they would not have to change their route. Other than that, it was
    opened almost never.

    25 years ago the bridge and the little street got a new layer of
    blacktop, which lessened the bump when getting on or off the bridge.

    20 years ago, the apartment building next to our n'hood, which owns the
    street and the bridge I referred to redid the area below the bridge,
    formal riprap, repaired the railings on the bridge.

    Maybe 5 years ago the apartment building was sold, and various things
    have been done to spruce of the place a little. It didn't need much but
    a sidewalk was built from the apartment building to the street on the
    other side of the bridge, curbs were put in, more bushes planted.

    A little over 2 years ago a crane was brought in, aiui placed on top of
    the bridge to do something in the stream below, and the crane was too
    heavy and a chunk of bridge roadway fell out. A steel plate was placed
    over the hole and the road was blocked at both ends.

    The gate blocking the other townhouse street was opened, so that we and
    the residents of the 10-story apartment building could enter that way
    again. A month or two later 8 little speed bumps were nailed to the
    pavement there and in a short road leading to the townhouses. It takes
    about 2 or 2.5 minutes longer to use this alternate route if one is
    coming from the south or east. 45 seconds if coming from the north or
    west (which is less common). If one in the first group goes out 6 days
    a week, that's 27 minutes a week x so far, 117 weeks, about 55 hours for
    every person in the n'hood, about 240 people, about 13,000 hours total.
    Plus wear on the shock absorbers from the speed bumps.

    The apartment owns the bridge, has paid for its maintenance in the past,
    was paying this time, hired aiui the crane company that brought in too
    heavy a crane. Now they are working on repairing the bridge.

    The apartment spokeswoman originally said 6 months iirc, then a year,
    then two years. Now it's about 27 months.

    The new bridge has been fabricated and delivered 6 or 10 months ago, and
    is sitting wrapped in clear vinyl on the short road leading to the

    So why is there no bridge? The county has said for the last year that
    forms were not filled out, or filled out incompletely. The apartment
    says they are filled out or were amended and filed "last week". Starting
    3 months ago they blamed the silt permit form.

    (The bridge passed all its requirements when built, and they've already fabricated the new bridge, which implies they have decided what is
    needed to hold it up, perhaps the same abutments that hold up the
    current one. I presume the silt issue relates to the sort of obstruction
    the bridge creates in the stream.)

    Our president or another HOA officer has called the county, the
    apartment manager, its owner in the next state, the county councilman,
    county executive. etc. iirc including the Congressman.

    None of this bothers me that much except that there is no end in sight.

    It bothers some of my neighbors more.

    Don't I and the residents of my little n'hood have a cause of action to
    force completion of the bridge and for damages for lack of use of it?

    A mandatory injunction, or what? Say I get a mandatory injunction...
    Will that really speed things up?

    I think you can tell, but just to be sure:
    I am not a lawyer.

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