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Politics & Government

With Funding Plan in Place, PennDOT Reconsidering Weight Restrictions for Bridges

PennDOT is reconsidering the weight restrictions placed on structurally deficient bridges in August.

The restrictions came as a result of the Legislature’s failure to approve additional transportation funding over the summer.

But with a funding plan now in place for road and bridge work, PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt says the department can start re-evaluating bridge postings.

"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, but we will not take these off unless the bridge can safely handle that load," she said.

Waters-Trasatt says state and locally-owned bridges that are scheduled for repairs within two years will have weight restrictions rescinded.

Industry groups, including gas companies and farmers, complained about how 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.