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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
Posts: 419
Location: Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
Bob Davis wrote:
Every now and then, a non-ferrous metal thief tries to steal electric wires or equipment that's still energized. Ohm's law is much more rigidly enforced than the state penal code.


My uncle worked for Con Edison in New York City for many years and tells some disturbing stories about scrap thieves attempting to steal copper cable in poorer neighborhoods of the city in the 1960s-1980s. I don't think I need to elaborate.

-Philip Marshall


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
http://indiana105.com/region-news/inves ... on-bridge/

Quote:

The person responsible for dismantling the Monon Bridge in Hammond over the Grand Calumet River has been identified. Ronald Novak, Director of the Hammond Department of Environmental Management, told the Region News Team he was notified by Hammond Police late Saturday morning that they had located several individuals at the site. Novak says he went to the scene Saturday and spoke with Kenneth Morrison, of Whiting, who said he was doing the demolition utilizing the good will of the US Army Corps, and the US EPA, who wanted the bridge removed for sediment removal. Novak says Morrison could not produce any permits or documents granting him authorization to conduct the demolition.

Novak says an investigation continues and what is being looked at now is who has ownership of the bridge. He says there was a deed of some of the property, which may have included the bridge, to the city of Hammond and officials are pouring over documents to see if the city accepted or rejected ownership. He says another issue is looking into flooding concerns, as part of the bridge is in the river, and that any scrap salvaged from the river would need to be tested to determine if it is contaminated or not.


uh huh....

I think this is an improperly prepared demolition for all the circumstances around doing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
Quote:
HAMMOND | Hammond officials now know who is responsible for demolishing the Monon Bridge over the Grand Calumet River and are working with state and federal agencies to determine the next steps.

Ronald Novak, director of the Hammond Department of Environmental Management, said three Hammond police officers stopped Kenneth Morrison, of Whiting, at the bridge site late Saturday morning. Morrison allegedly identified himself as the person dismantling the bridge.

Morrison could not be reached for comment Monday.

Lt. Richard Hoyda, spokesman for the Hammond Police Department, said officers were at the site and made contact with Morrison, but no police report was filed.

Novak said Morrison was unable to produce any permits for the work and said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted the bridge removed.

Paul Leffler, Lake County project manager for for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said no permits have been issued for the bridge removal.

"A permit would be required for a bridge removal project over the Grand Calumet River," Leffler said. "We are treating this as unauthorized activity and we are looking into it."

Morrison allegedly told Novak and police he was taking the steel from the bridge and selling it to an East Chicago metals company.

"I told him I have concerns about contaminated sediments being transferred across the city streets or into the sewer system (from the transported steel)," Novak said. "He said he didn't know the sediments were contaminated."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with state and local partners, have invested millions in cleaning contaminated sediments from the river — once deemed one of the most degraded in the nation — section by section as funding becomes available. The area near the bridge has yet to be cleaned up.

Novak said he has health concerns for Morrison, anyone working with him to dismantle the bridge and those at the East Chicago metal company purchasing the steel from the site.

"If they are stirring up contaminants, it becomes waterborne and potentially flows into another state," Novak said. "The people handling it have no idea what they're being exposed to. This has many facets to it and we're just trying to get a handle on it with all of the authorities involved."

Novak said he was contacting the metal company on Monday to inform them of the source of the material and potential contamination risks.

The work is taking place in an area west of Hohman Avenue, east of State Line Avenue, south of Marble Street and north of Industrial Road.

Novak is also concerned about the potential for leaching creosote, a carcinogen derived in part from coal tar, from the wooden railroad ties in the river.

Kantar and Novak said a stop work order has been issued for the property barring any further activity that could possibly disrupt contaminated sediments in the river or damage the banks.

Morrison allegedly told Novak he spoke with railroad officials who said the bridge was owned by the city.

Kristina Kantar, attorney for the City of Hammond, said CSX railroad deeded the bridge to the city in 1987 as a donation, but the city did not file the donation agreement with the Lake County Recorder's office due to concerns about the property.

"There is nothing showing the City of Hammond ever accepted the agreement," Kantar said.

Kantar said Morrison approached the Hammond Board of Works in October asking the city to donate or sell the bridge to him so he could demolish it and sell it for scrap.

"At that time, we said we can't donate it to you, we can't sell it to you," Kantar said, because they city never accepted the donation from CSX.

The Times' archives show Morrison made the same request to Hammond officials in 1991, when he offered to pay the city $500 to remove the bridge and sell it for scrap after deeming it a liability and hazard. City officials declined, saying they believed the bridge may be needed for potential South Shore commuter rail expansion.

Dr. Richard Barnes, board member of the Hammond Historical Society, said the bridge is also an important remnant of the city's history. The bridge, built in 1890, was the last remnant of the Hammond Meatpacking Co., one of the city's first industries, Barnes said.

The bridge carried finished beef for the company and is seen in early drawings of the business.

Barnes said the demolition of the bridge, which is more than half gone, means the loss of "more than just steel and rail."

"This was more than an old railroad bridge," Barnes said. "It was part of Hammond's history."


http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake ... 549f2.html

apparently this has been gurgling for a while....


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:56 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake ... ce955.html

Quote:
HAMMOND | The Whiting man responsible for dismantling the Monon Bridge over the Grand Calumet River without permits said he personally declared the structure abandoned and was doing officials a favor by tearing it down.

"I myself state that this property is abandoned," Kenneth Morrison of Whiting said Wednesday. "It's like a shipwreck. If a ship sinks, that's abandoned and it's fair game."

Local, state and federal officials disagree.

Indiana officials on Wednesday said the state is citing Morrison for violating state water quality standards when he sent creosote-soaked railroad ties into the waterway as he dismantled the structure.

"A letter of violation will be drafted," Dan Goldblatt, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said.

Morrison admits his work dismantling the bridge sent rail ties into the Grand Calumet River.

"We did, but we pulled them out," he said.

The ties officials found in the river, he said, fell into the river earlier due to age and neglect.

"The steel beams had 8 to 10-inch gaps between them before I took them out over the riverbed," Morrison said. "It was a hazard ... How many parents in Hammond want their kids wandering around that kind of place?"

Three Hammond police officers stopped Morrison at the bridge Saturday morning. Morrison allegedly told them he was responsible for dismantling the bridge.

City, state and federal officials began investigating the demolition of the bridge late last week after Ron Novak, director of the Hammond Department of Environmental Management, received a tip saying scrappers were taking it down in the remote industrial area near Marble Street.

City officials said Morrison was unable to provide any permits for the work. Morrison did not have any permits from Hammond or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which would be required for a project over the Grand Calumet River, officials said.

Morrison told Novak and Hammond officers he was removing steel from the bridge and selling it to an East Chicago metals company.

Records show Morrison approached city officials at least twice in the last 25 years asking to purchase the bridge so he could demolish it and sell if for scrap. Requests were made in 1991 and in October 2014.

The city declined both times.

Kristina Kantar, attorney for the City of Hammond, said earlier this week the ownership of the bridge is under review. CSX deeded the railroad to the City of Hammond in 1987 as a donation.

The city never filed the donation agreement with the Lake County Recorder's office due to concerns about the property.

Kantar said the city could not agree to sell or donate the bridge to Morrison because it is not clear who owns it.

Novak said Morrison came to his office on Tuesday trying to secure permits for the work. The city issued a stop work order at the site when the unauthorized work was discovered last week.

"Whatever the city of Hammond wants to do or requires of me, I'm trying to get taken care of," Morrison said. "I want to finish it. I'm not going to leave it like it is now."

He acknowledged on Wednesday he did not have permits for the work but maintains he did not need them because, by his account, the structure was abandoned.

Morrison insists he contacted all authorities before he began removing the bridge and that he told the Hammond Board of Works in November that he planned to remove the bridge within 60 days.

Morrison believes officials would want the structure removed by a private entity.

"It would save a lot of money if this structure was gone," Morrison said.

The bridge, built in 1890, was the last remaining structure of the Hammond Meatpacking Co., one of the city's first industries, Hammond Historical Society members said this week. The bridge carried beef for the company and can be seen in early renderings of the industrial landscape.

"A historic structure is nice, but who is there to take care of or protect it?" Morrison said.

Local, state and federal officials said Wednesday the work at the site remains under investigation



you didnt care or protect it, you scrapped it.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:51 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NJ
Wow! What an excuse.

Someone owned the bridge and it wasn't the scrapper.

I wonder if he goes around town tearing down abandoned buildings too?

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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:55 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:31 pm
Posts: 295
Location: TEXAS
There is no lower form of industrial life than the itinerant scrapmonger. I have never known one that was above theft and deception.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 1903
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
I think the unlawful HAZMAT dumping is what's going to nail him to the barn door, more so than the theft.
dinwitty wrote:
you didnt care or protect it, you scrapped it.

Sounds like the moron who kept riding their horse in my 'unfenced portion' backyard. When I confronted them the first couple of times, he declared, "Well, you're not using it," so therefore he had the right to ride his horses back there.
The third time he did it, I hopped in my WW2 Jeep and followed him to his place, and drove into his back yard. When he ran out and started yelling, I calmly said the same thing. Before he could react, I said, "Next time, you'll be explaining yourself to the cops."
He never came back.
The sense of entitlement among some people never ceases to amaze me.

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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:57 pm
Posts: 68
Two things have helped to tip the balance in the UK, just a little:

Smartwater chemical DNA. You paint it on and stick up a trademark poster saying the stuff is in use. Your tub of the stuff is unique to you. It won't wash off and it sticks to the metal, the clothes of anyone who meddles with it and the vehicle it is carried in. It can be detected by a simple portable UV scanner and identified to source by the police online, instantly.

No cash payments allowed. In practice all scrap yards now make all payments by bank transfer.

So, in a combined agencies raid, the guy gets caught with the metal or the trace of it, there is proof of payment and therefore proof that he is working if he is fraudulently claiming unemployment pay, proof that the metal is being carried in a particular vehicle - and that had better be insured for business use and licensed to carry industrial waste or else.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 212
The thing that I want to know is....just what does he expect to get out of this? Granted there's the money.....but the way he talks, it sounds as though he has something against that particular bridge.....perhaps he is looking to claim some property? Maybe he is involved with a developer?
As scrapping projects go, unless they have the tools and equipment, etc, for such a large job, such jobs are often money losers for such small time scrappers. I have seen situations where they spent so much to scrap the item, they would have saved money by simply moving it and giving it away....


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
He saw the unused bridge. He tried to get it but it didn't happen. So he just took it. Grand theft pure and simple. He's trying to set up a smoke screen that he somehow thought he was in the right which is bull. He knows that there would be reams of contractual boilerplate to do this legally with details about how he is to go about it and evidence of insurance, completion date, testing for hazmats, permits, how the site is to be left and on and on. I trust that won't fool the prosecutors.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
http://bridgehunter.com/in/lake/bh51551/

bridgehunter updated their info on the bridge

I see this guy getting any business license revoked, getting charges put on him, perhaps even jail time.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:16 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
http://www.demolitionnews.com/2015/02/0 ... unabashed/

the story is making its rounds, interesting it made it here.

the problem here is if this bridge might have been re-useable. South Shore had been looking at expansion, it would be cost saving to re-utilize it. You can blow that idea out of the water.
Thats the problem when some dumbicle does this. The bridge was meant to be a lift bridge should the need be needed but that concept never developed so it stuck in its near bascule state without the rest of the mechanics installed.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:43 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2075
a few more digs seems to show NICTD in the plans for the Valpo expansion building a flyover and using the old monon to connect to it, and that likely would include the trackage over the bridge.

NICTD owns the monon ROW. Actual bridge ownership in question but I think NICTD would have a gripe.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:27 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
Grand theft and the best they can do is cite him for pollution? Does that mean if he'd not let ties fall into the river there'd be no crime charged. Ridiculous. There better be more charges coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Never Mind Stealing Rail--Now They're Stealing BRIDGES!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:55 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1044
Location: Youngstown, OH
If the scrapper had an ounce of weed in his pocket the police would have seized the equipment, his trucks, his house, his bank accounts etc. The prosecutor would have drqwn up a list of charges a mile long. The authorities only know how to vigorously prosecute drug crimes any more.

Did anyone else catch the part about the scrap having to be tested for contamination if it had landed in the river?

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Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


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