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Former F-M toll bridge owner loses appeal in lawsuit with Moorhead

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday sided with the city of Moorhead in its lawsuit against a company that operated a toll bridge between the north sides of Fargo and Moorhead.

The high court affirmed a lower court's decision which ordered Bridge Company to hand over the bridge to the city.

In February, the company gave up the bridge linking 12th Avenue North in Fargo and 15th Avenue North in Moorhead. City officials took over and had the toll booth removed and placed in storage pending the outcome of Bridge Co.'s appeal.

In its opinion, the state Supreme Court said Bridge Company's argument had "creativity" but failed to pass muster.

The company made several arguments, including that it should be paid over $100,000 by the cities of Fargo and Moorhead as a reimbursement for bridge maintenance costs.

The high court agreed with Cass County District Court Judge Frank Racek, who last fall ruled that an agreement between Fargo-Moorhead and Bridge Co. was over and it was time for the bridge to become publicly owned.

Bridge Co. had asked for more time to operate the toll bridge in order to pay off debt.

A contract signed in 1986 gave Bridge Company 25 years to construct, maintain and operate the bridge and make money from collecting tolls.

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