New weight limits for 1,000 Pa. bridges could mean longer travel times

    New or additional weight restrictions will be placed on about 1,000 bridges throughout Pennsylvania as a result of the Legislature’s failure to approve funding for infrastructure.

    The limits will be posted in the next four to five months, according to Department of Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch, who said the move could lead to higher costs for goods and services and longer waits for emergency response.

    “Over the next five months, new signs are going up at the designated bridges across the state – warning of the kind of weight limits that mean tractor-trailers, fire trucks, and school buses will have a find a different route to their destination,” Schoch said.

    He says if state lawmakers can’t approve new revenue for transportation this fall, additional weight restrictions are coming for hundreds more bridges.

    “If we don’t deal with it, I’ll be back again next spring with another list — 300 bridges age onto the system every year,” Schoch said. “This is not a problem that’s going to go away without resources.”

    In June, a proposal to generate money by raising motorist fees and a tax on gasoline stalled in the Legislature.

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