156-89. Drainage across railroads; procedure.

Whenever the engineer and the viewers in charge shall make a survey for the purpose of locating a public levee or drainage district or changing a natural watercourse, and the same would cross the right-of-way of any railroad company, it shall be the duty of the owner in charge of the work to notify the railroad company, by serving written notice upon the agent of such company or its lessee or receiver, that they will meet the company at the place where the proposed ditch, drain, or watercourse crosses the right-of-way of such company, the notice fixing the time of such meeting, which shall not be less than 10 days after the service of the same, for the purpose of conferring with the railroad company with relation to the place where and the manner in which such improvement shall cross such right-of-way. When the time fixed for such conference shall arrive, unless for good cause more time is agreed upon, it shall be the duty of the viewers in charge and the railroad company to agree, if possible, upon the place where and the manner and method in which such improvement shall cross such right-of-way. If the viewers in charge and the railroad company cannot agree, or if the railroad company shall fail, neglect, or refuse to confer with the viewers, they shall determine the place and manner of crossing the right-of-way of the railroad company, and shall specify the number and size of openings required, and the damages, if any, to the railroad company, and so specify in their report. The fact that the railroad company is required by the construction of the improvement to build a new bridge or culvert or to enlarge or strengthen an old one shall not be considered as damages to the railroad company. The engineer and viewers shall also assess the benefits that will accrue to the right-of-way, roadbed, and other property of the company by affording better drainage or a better outlet for drainage, but no benefits shall be assessed because of the increase in business that may come to the road because of the construction of the improvement. The benefits shall be assessed as a fixed sum, determined solely by the physical benefit that its property will receive by the construction of the improvement, and it shall be reported by the viewers as a special assessment, due personally from the railroad company as a special assessment; it may be collected in the manner of an ordinary debt in any court having jurisdiction. (1909, c. 442, s. 26; C.S., s. 5346.)