Weight limits coming to about 1,000 Pennsylvania bridges, senators told

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Published: Jul 31 2013 03:37:05 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 31 2013 04:13:19 PM EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. -

Gov. Tom Corbett's top transportation adviser is warning that about 1,000 bridges in Pennsylvania will be slapped with additional weight restrictions in the coming months as a consequence of declining funding for repairs.

Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch told the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday that the policy is particularly necessary given the Legislature's failure to approve higher gas taxes and motorist fees.

Schoch said the rising cost to fund the state police and rising vehicle fuel efficiency is hurting revenue from motor vehicles.

Schoch said 2,200 state- and locally-owned bridges are candidates for new weight restrictions and about half will start seeing new weight restrictions in August, which means potentially longer routes and commutes for haulers, school buses and emergency vehicles.

Just 567 state-owned bridges are already weight restricted.

Pa. Sen. John Rafferty, who represents parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties, serves as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Legislation to fund transportation in Pennsylvania, which Rafferty sponsored, passed the Senate in June. It awaits action in the House of Representatives.