Weight restrictions placed on structurally deficient bridges throughout Pennsylvania in August will be re-evaluated now that Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a $2.4 billion transportation funding measure.
The state Department of Transportation applied the restriction when the Legislature failed to approve additional funds funding for road an bridge work over the summer.
“We’re going to be looking at all the bridges that have weight restrictions and looking at our system as a whole and seeing which of these we can either adjust the ratings on or maybe take the restrictions fully off,” said Erin Waters-Trasatt, a PennDOT spokeswoman. “But we will not take these off unless the bridge can safely handle that load.”
State and locally owned bridges that are scheduled for repairs within two years will have weight restrictions rescinded, she said.
“Weight restrictions will either come off or be lessened only if they have repairs scheduled within two years, and that’s if a safety review shows that they can handle a load for that two years,” Waters-Trasatt said.
About 1,000 bridges were scheduled to get new or additional weight restrictions.
Industry groups, including gas companies and farmers, complained that limiting some structures to lighter loads made their operating costs go up – since trucks were forced to take longer detours to make deliveries or carry less cargo to cross the bridges they couldn’t avoid.