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General Laws

Section 74. If in an order of abolition under section seventy it is determined that the location of the railroad or of the public or private way shall be changed, such order when a copy thereof is filed with the department of telecommunications and energy shall establish the location as thus changed, and if it is necessary to take land or an easement therein to provide such new location, the department of highways shall take the same by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine, and in such case the order of taking shall be included in said order of abolition under section seventy. Said taking shall be on behalf of the commonwealth if the land or easement is to be used for or in connection with a state highway or on behalf of the city or town if the land or easement is to be used for or in connection with any other public way, or on behalf of the railroad corporation if the land or easement is to be used for or in connection with a private way or by the railroad corporation.

If in an order of abolition under section seventy it is determined that the location of a street railway shall be changed, such order when a copy thereof is filed with the department of telecommunications and energy shall establish the location as thus changed.

The department of highways may in any order entered under said section seventy, or from time to time thereafter with the approval of the department of telecommunications and energy, order the removal or relocation of any surface street railway tracks, and of any conduits, pipes, wires, poles or other property located in public ways or places which it deems to interfere with any such grade crossing abolition or the work or works required therefor, and may grant new locations for any such structures so removed or relocated. Such orders, to the extent specified therein, shall be deemed a revocation of the right or license to maintain such tracks, conduits, pipes, wires, poles or other property in such public ways or places, and the owner of any such structures shall comply with said orders without expense to the commonwealth or any party which said department of highways has determined shall do the whole or any part of the work. If any such owner shall fail to comply with the order of the department of highways within a reasonable time, to be fixed in the order, said department may discontinue and remove such tracks, conduits, pipes, wires, poles or other property or may relocate the same, and the cost of such discontinuance, removal or relocation shall be repaid by the owner, and if not repaid may be recovered by the commonwealth in an action of contract. No such discontinuance, removal or relocation shall entitle the owner of the property thus affected to any damages on account thereof. Any structures in or upon private lands may be removed and relocated by the department of highways as a part of the cost of the abolition, or if removed and relocated by the owner thereof the reasonable expense shall be paid to him by the commonwealth as a part of the cost of the abolition. If in any order hereunder or under said section seventy any location shall be changed, such order when a copy thereof is filed with the department of telecommunications and energy shall establish the location as thus changed. In this section and in sections seventy-five, seventy-seven, seventy-eight and eighty, the words “state highway” shall include any public way and part thereof in direct continuation of a state highway and not more than one hundred feet from the end thereof.

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