Traffic could be restricted on thousands of aging bridges in Pa.

    Weight restrictions could be placed on more Pennsylvania-owned bridges if state lawmakers aren’t able to find a way to fund transportation infrastructure projects this year.

    Pennsylvania’s bridges are so old, the state Department of Transportation may have to take steps to limit what type of vehicles travel over them.

    “We are the most liberal state in the country when it comes to posting bridges — liberal meaning we wait until the latest possible moment,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch.

    “If we’re not going to see action and if we don’t see action this time, I would say it’s pretty clear were not going to see action for at least two more years. With the aging state of our system, I think I need to look at whether we want to be the most liberal state — because of the age,” he continued.

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    Weight restrictions now are posted for 567 bridges out of the state’s roughly 25,000 bridges, Schoch said Wednesday during a legislative budget hearing.

    If he applied restrictions according to the recommendations of national transportation experts, he said, that number would jump by up to 5,000 bridges.

    Such a move could affect the trucking industry.

    A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association says getting around restricted bridges could lead to increased costs, which could ultimately be passed along to consumers.

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