A. General rule. No public utility, engaged in the transportation of passengers or property, shall, without prior order of the Commission, construct its facilities across the facilities of any other such public utility or across any highway at grade or above or below grade, or at the same or different levels; and no highway at grade or above or below grade, or at the same or different levels; and no highway, without like order, shall be so constructed across the facilities of any such public utility, and, without like order, no such crossing heretofore or hereafter constructed shall be altered, relocated, suspended or abolished.
B. Acquisition of property and regulation of crossing. The Commission is hereby vested with exclusive power to appropriate property for any such crossing, except as to such property as has been or may hereafter be condemned by the Department of Transportation for projects financed entirely by the Commonwealth and for Federal Aid Projects under section 1004 of the act of June 1, 1945 (P.L.1242, No. 428), known as the "State Highway Law," in which case the provisions of that statute shall be in effect, and to determine and prescribe, by regulation or order, the points at which, and the manner in which, such crossing may be constructed, altered, relocated, suspended or abolished, and the manner and conditions in or under which such crossings shall be maintained, operated, and protected to effectuate the prevention of accidents and the promotion of the safety of the public. The Commission shall require every railroad the right-of-way of which crosses a public highway at grade to cut or otherwise control the growth of brush and weeds upon property owned by the railroad within 200 feet of such crossing on both sides and in both directions so as to insure proper visibility by motorists.
C. Mandatory relocation, alteration, or suspension. Upon its own motion or upon complaint, the Commission shall have exclusive power after hearing, upon notice to all parties in interest, including the owners of adjacent property, to order any such crossing heretofore or hereafter constructed to be relocated or altered, or to be suspended or abolished upon such reasonable terms and conditions as shall be prescribed by the Commission. In determining the plans and specifications for any such crossing, the Commission may lay out, establish, and open such new highways as, in its opinion, may be necessary to connect such crossing with and existing highway, or make such crossing more available to public use; and may abandon or vacate such highways or portions of highways as, in the opinion of the Commission, may be rendered unnecessary for public use by the construction, relocation, or abandonment of any such crossings. The Commission may order the work of construction, relocation, alteration, protection, suspension or abolition of any crossing aforesaid to be performed in whole or part by any public utility or municipal corporation concerned or by the Commonwealth or and established nonprofit organization with a recreational or conservation purpose.
D. Procedure for appropriation of property. When any real property is appropriated by the Commission under this section, each parcel of such property so appropriated, shall be accurately described by metes and bounds, and the record owner of each such parcel shall be named in the order of appropriation. Unless otherwise recorded, the Commission shall file with the recorder of deeds of the proper county, a copy of that portion of the order of the Commission which appropriates such property, and such plans and other detailed information as the Commission may deem necessary. Such portion of the Commission’s order dealing with the specific names of the record owners of such specific property at the expense of the governmental agency, including the Department of Transportation and Public Utility Commission, corporation or persons upon whose instigation, petition or complaint the said crossing was constructed, reconstructed, relocated, altered, suspended or abolished, as may be ordered, to bear such expense or recording by the Commission. When such appropriation of real property has been recorded under the provisions of any other statute, such recording shall not be duplicated under the terms of this subsection.
E. Reactivation. The Commission may, within its discretion upon petition by any railroad, the Commonwealth, a political subdivision or any other affected party by order reactivate any crossing suspended under this section.
F. Danger to safety. Upon the Commission’s finding of an immediate danger to the safety and welfare of the public at any such crossing, the Commission shall order the crossing to be immediately altered, improved, or suspended. Thereafter hearing shall be held and costs shall be allocated in the manner prescribed in this part.
G. Suspensions . Any order of suspension under this section shall require the following for the protection of the motoring public:
1. Removal or covering of crossing warning devices.
2. i. Paving over the tracks; or
ii. removal of the tracks and paving over of the area formerly occupied by said tracks; or
iii. barricading the crossing.
H. Assignment of crossing responsibilities to certain nonprofit organizations.
1. The Commission may order the work of abolition of an crossing, in whole or in part, including an future obligations, to be performed by a municipal authority created to advance recreation or conservation purposes or a nonprofit organizations with a recreation or conservation purpose, if:
i. The Municipal Authority or nonprofit organization provides adequate security for the work or demonstrates financial responsibility to the satisfaction of the Commission; and
ii. The Commission does not order any Commonwealth agency to bear ancillary responsibility for the work or abolition of any crossing, or the cost associated with the work, without the prior written consent of the head of the Commonwealth agency.
2. In accordance with the provisions of section 2704 (relating to compensation for damage occasioned by construction, relocation or abolition of crossings), the Commission may order the municipal authority or nonprofit organization assuming responsibility for the abolition of the crossing to bear all, or a portion, of the cost associated with the work. This section shall not apply to any proceeding wherein the Commission has issued a final order prior to the effective date of its enactment.