WRIGHT TOWNSHIP – PennDOT officials said risk-based weight restrictions are being added to 1,000 deficient bridges across Pennsylvania, including a 28-foot-long bridge near an industrial park in the Mountain Top area.
By the end of the year, state transportation officials said the bridge that carries Route 309 over Bow Creek in Wright Township will be posted with signs, banning tractor-trailers over 40 tons and any other vehicles over 28 tons from crossing the bridge.
According to PennDOT, some loaded cement trucks, dump trucks, larger fire trucks and even some snow plows are heavier than 28 tons.
The posted detour for larger vehicles to avoid the deficient bridge is expected to be 14 miles long.
Wright Township Police Officer Mike Marshall said the fines for drivers of oversized vehicles who ignore posted weight restrictions can be costly.
“We get 300 to 500 trucks a day, coming in and out of the Mountain Top area. With any kinds of restrictions on the way they can come on to Route 309, it’s going to affect us greatly,” said Marshall. “Why they have (the fines) steep is because the damage they can do to the bridge is enormous and it costs millions to repair.”