Lehigh Valley

State bridges get new weight restrictions

Bridges impacted in several counties

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Several state-owned bridges have been posted with weight restrictions as part of a statewide effort to ensure bridge safety and preserve Pennsylvania's aging bridge system.

Below is the list of state-owned bridges in the six-county PennDOT District 5 region that have been posted with new weight restrictions. The most recent postings have been marked as such:

Northampton County

* Newburg Road over a tributary to Monocacy Creek in Lower Nazareth Township, 26 tons or 33 tons for combination loads (new);

* Newburg Road over the East Branch of Monocacy Creek in Upper Nazareth Township, 25 tons or 29 tons for combination loads (new).

Berks County

* Bellevue Avenue over Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Rail Road in Muhlenberg Township, 29 tons or 36 tons for combination loads (new);

* West Wyomissing Avenue over Wyomissing Creek in Cumru Township, 15 tons or 23 tons for combination loads (new);

Monroe County

* Bush Road over Forest Hills Run in Paradise Township, 33 tons or 40 tons for combination loads;

* Business Route 209 over Kettle Creek in Hamilton Township, 18 tons or 27 tons for combination loads;

* Rimrock Drive over Pocono Creek in Hamilton Township, 27 tons or 31 tons for combination loads;

* Route 191 over Cherry Creek in Stroud Township, 35 tons or 40 tons for combination loads (new);

* Route  209 over Middle Creek in Polk Township, 25 tons or 38 tons for combination loads (new);

* Business Route 209 over Pocono Creek in Stroudsburg Borough, 34 tons (new);

* Bridge Street over Pocono Creek in Stroud Township, 18 tons or 23 tons for combinations (new);

* Manor Drive over McMichael Creek in Hamilton Township, 28 tons or 32 tons for combination loads (new);

* Merwinsburg Road over Pohopoco Creek in Chestnuthill Township, 11 tons or 18 tons for combination loads (new).

Schuylkill County

* West Main Street over Mahanoy Creek in Butler Township, 31 tons or 34 tons for combination loads.

Sixty-six more state bridges and 91 locally-owned bridges in PennDOT District 5 will be posted with new or lower weight limits in the coming months.

Reducing the weight traveling on these bridges will slow their deterioration and preserve safety while funding for their repairs remains uncertain.

Previously, PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch authorized the department to add or increase weight restrictions to about 1,000 structurally deficient bridges statewide.

PennDOT must take this step because of legislative inaction on transportation funding this past June, leaving the department's future resources in question.

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