Starting August 26, 2013 there will be additions/increases to weight restrictions to around 1,000 structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania. The authorization came from Pennsylvania DOT Secretary Barry Schoch, who stated the changes must be made because of legislative inaction this past June on transportation funding that left the department’s future resources in question. By reducing the weight traveling on the bridges the department hopes to slow down the deterioration of the bridges and preserve safety. There will be approximately 530 state-owned and 470 locally-owned bridges that will have changes to their weight restrictions.
Pennsylvania has the third largest number of bridges in the nation, 25,000 state-owned, but leads the nation in the number of bridges classified as “structurally deficient”. The average age of bridges in Pennsylvania is over 50 years old. The state ranks 35th in the nation with the percent of bridges that are posted or closed, but after the new weight restrictions are put in place it will rank 27th in the nation.
To learn more about Pennsylvania bridges and for a list of changes to bridge restriction visit the PennDOT website, http://www.dot.state.pa.us/.