Code of the District of Columbia

§ 9–1201.14. Streets to be under or over railroad tracks.

(a) Any and all streets or highways within the District of Columbia now or hereafter planned or projected to cross any line of railroad, other than a street railway, in the District of Columbia, which may be hereafter opened to public use, shall be located, constructed, and maintained either beneath such railroad by a suitable subway, or above the same by a suitable viaduct bridge at such altitude as will not interfere with the free and safe operation thereof; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall require the location, construction, or maintenance of any such street or highway under or above any spur, industrial, switching or sidetrack, or branch line of any railroad unless the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall find the same is necessary in the public safety.

(b) The cost and expense of any project for opening any such street or highway within the limits of such railroad company’s right-of-way, including the cost of constructing the portion of any viaduct bridge, within said limits, shall be borne and paid as follows:

(1) The District of Columbia shall apply to the payment of such cost and expense all federal-aid highway-railway grade separation funds available for use by the District of Columbia at the time any such project is programmed and all such funds which become available for use on such projects by the District of Columbia during the construction of such project;

(2) If such federal-aid highway-railway grade separation funds are insufficient to pay the cost and expense of any such project, the portion not so covered shall be paid one-half by the railroad company, its successors and assigns, whose tracks are crossed and one-half by the District of Columbia; provided, that in no case shall the obligation of the railroad company affected exceed 10 per centum of the total cost and expense of such project;

(3) After construction, the cost of maintenance shall be wholly borne and paid in the case of highway overpasses by the District of Columbia, and in the case of highway underpasses by the railroad company, its successors and assigns, whose tracks are crossed; and

(4) The portions of such streets planned or projected as above which lie within a right-of-way belonging to such railroad company shall be dedicated by such company as a public thoroughfare when the portions of such street adjoining such right-of-way have been similarly dedicated or otherwise acquired.


(Feb. 28, 1903, 32 Stat. 918, ch. 856, § 10; May 9, 1941, 55 Stat. 182, ch. 93, § 1; July 25, 1956, 70 Stat. 638, ch. 720, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1414.

1973 Ed., § 7-1214.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.