3 former DNR directors oppose Katy Bridge giveaway

According to a Kansas City Star article:
Three former agency directors sided with Attorney General Jay Nixon in legal filings Tuesday in his dispute with Gov. Matt Blunt's administration over an old railroad bridge. . . .

Union Pacific wants to dismantle the bridge and use the steel elsewhere, a plan the department supports. But Nixon and bridge backers say the agency cannot give up the state's interest in the bridge. Historic preservationists want to refurbish the bridge for potential use as part of Katy Trail State Park.

Three former DNR directors - Frederick Brunner and Tracy Mehan, who served under Republican Gov. John Ashcroft, and Steve Mahfood, who worked for Democrat Govs. Mel Carnahan and Bob Holden - asked Tuesday to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, agreeing with Nixon. . . .

Brunner, who led the department when the purchase agreement was reached, and an MKT Railroad executive understood the deal to mean the bridge was part of the trail corridor, and thus must remain available for future rail use, according to a court filing by the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center.

"As MKT's successor in interest to the 1987 agreement, Union Pacific is obligated to leave the bridge in place," the court filing said. "Union Pacific is unlawfully taking steps to remove the bridge, and profit from the removal."

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