Here’s a recent situation we dealt with involving the Stone Arch Bridge that our fellow “title geeks” may appreciate.
The property we were dealing with was the Stone Arch Bridge, which was owned by a railway. That railroad company conveyed the bridge itself to the Park District, but the land we were examining was the land below the Stone Arch Bridge. There had been a conveyance from the railway for the land north of the bridge and a conveyance for the land south of the bridge, but no idea who owned the land underneath the bridge.
We had our examiner go back and do more research, but we could never find that the United States had ever conveyed the land under the bridge to the railway company. So the question was who owned the land underneath the bridge? The stone arch bridge is pretty wide and there is quite a bit of land that lies underneath the bridge. The examiner wasn’t able to find any conveyance out from the United States (no Act of Congress or anything) for that piece of land. As a result, the ultimate conclusion was that the United States still owns that land underneath the railroad.