PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download the FREE Equipment and Rental Resource Guide

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


PA Limits Weight on 1,000 Bridges

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Struggling to manage the third-largest number of structurally deficient bridges in the nation, Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation has announced plans to impose new "risk-based weight restrictions" on 1,000 bridges statewide.

PennDOT said the new limits were needed "to preserve bridge safety" on its "aging, heavily used system" of 25,000 state-owned and 6,000 locally owned bridges. Some of the weight limits are new; others are further reductions of existing limits.

Weight restrictions are already in effect for 567 state-owned and 1,600 locally owned bridges in Pennsylvania, and 242 bridges (42 state owned; 200 locally owned) have been closed, according to a PennDOT presentation on the problem.

Liberty Bridge
Wikimedia Commons / Scillystuff

The Liberty Bridge (second from foreground) in Pittsburgh is one of 1,000 bridges across Pennsylvania with new weight restrictions. The bridge is nearly 90 years old.

The average age of the state-owned bridges is 51 years, and the state has the eighth most heavily traveled interstates in the nation, PennDOT said.

Deficiency and Safety

PennDOT notes that a rating of structural deficiency "does not mean that a bridge is unsafe," but does reflect "deterioration to one or more of its major components."

Safety is our number-one priority and if a bridge is found to be unsafe, it's closed," the agency said in announcing the limits. "If a bridge can only carry certain loads, it's restricted."

The restrictions follow criteria established by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO). PennDot notes that "bridges are designed to carry loads above the weights of fully loaded tractor trailers (80,000) pounds."

AASHTO's criteria assigns weight limits ranging from where that so-called factor of safety begins to decline down to where the structure has lost about half of its factor of safety.

PennDOT Chart
PennDOT

If Pennsylvania followed more stringent load criteria used by other states, thousands more bridges would be restricted, PennDOT said.

If Pennsylvania followed more stringent criteria used by other states, including Delaware and Connecticut, the state would have restrictions on thousands more bridges, PennDOT said.

Funding Cited

PennDOT blamed lack of financial resources for the weight restrictions, although it also released figures showing that the percentage of structurally deficient state-owned bridges was at its lowest point in a decade.

In 2003, 22 percent of state-owned bridges were classified as structurally deficient; in 2008, nearly 24 percent. Currently, about 17.5 percent of Pennsylvania's bridges carry that label, but the figure is projected to climb.

Without additional funding for maintenance, PennDOT says, about 300 additional bridges each year will become structurally deficient.

PennDOT chart
PennDOT

PennDOT said the new and additional weight restrictions were required by cutbacks in funding.

Meanwhile, the agency says, about 24 percent of the state's highway miles are considered in poor condition—a figure expected to top 35 percent within 10 years.

Bridges Listed

The bridges affected by the new restrictions range from small creek crossings to large structures that span rivers. Most of the bridges on the list are less than 100 feet long.

Larger bridges include the Liberty Bridge, which crosses the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh; and a span that carries State Route 62 over the Allegheny River in Forest County.

The Liberty Bridge was completed in 1928. The National Bridge Inventory reports that the deck, superstructure and substructure of the SR 62 Bridge are all considered Poor (each rating a 4 on a scale of 1 to 9).

A full list of bridges affected by load restrictions is available here. Approximate vehicle weights are available here.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Government; Health and safety; Infrastructure; Maintenance programs

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

RPB Respiratory
SAVE TIME AND MONEY!

With 5 tear off lenses and an outer lens in place, RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System has been specifically designed to save you time and money.


Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments

Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Truss bridge treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 1995. This highway & rail truss bridge is still stable and there still is no active corrosion.


Armorthane
Polyurethane and Polyurea Sprayed-On Protection

Buy POLYURETHANE or POLYUREA coatings and spray equipment for years of proven chemical resistance, water- and weather-proofing, and structural improvements.


Minerals Research & Recovery

HIGH PERFORMANCE ABRASIVES


“Made in the USA!”

Why recycle waste from other countries? Go FASTER, CLEANER, at 1/3 THE COST with MR&R “All-American” Sharpshot®HP!!

WATCH THE VIDEO


U.S. Zinc
Historic Reliability. Innovative Performance.

As an industry leader with an established global footprint, we provide the products that prolong the life your paints and coatings. U.S. Zinc – Helping the world work™


WINOA Group
W Abrasives - Surf Prep Pack

Experts in surface preparation are not working only on greens. To discover the SURF PREP PACK dedicated to experts, come to visit us during the GIFA (Hall15 - D14).

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com