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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Railroad says Wichita neighboring grain elevator poses safety hazard

By Dan Voorhis
The Wichita Eagle

Union Pacific Railroad contends in a lawsuit filed last week that debris is falling from a Wichita grain elevator and endangering its workers and causing a nuisance.

The railroad is suing Goodwin Properties, which purchased the unused elevator from DeBruce Grain last year for $10, according to the deed.

The elevator, at 1400 E. 25th St. North, is 100 feet tall, more than 100 feet wide and 1,500 feet long. Built in the 1950s and owned by several owners, the grain terminal hasn’t been used since 2002 and is not operational.

The elevator property, as it was marketed last year, also contained 7.5 acres of land.

Pat Hughes, an attorney with the Adams Jones Law Firm, said that thousands of chunks of concrete, pieces of metal and parts of windows have fallen from the elevator on to a service road that railroad maintenance workers must travel many times a day to service railcars.

“Some of the chunks are a foot long,” he said.

According to the suit, the defendant is aware of the problem, but has taken no action.

The office of attorney Mark Ayesh, who is listed as the resident agent for Goodwin Properties, said it does not comment on litigation.

Darren Bradburn, owner of Bradburn Wrecking, said in a story last year when the property was listed for sale, that he had estimated the cost of demolishing the structure at about $2 million.

Reach Dan Voorhis at 268-6577 or dvoorhis@wichitaeagle.com.

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