PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch authorized his department to add or increase weight restrictions to about 1,000 structurally deficient bridges statewide to ensure bridge safety.
PennDOT must take this step because of legislative inaction this past June on transportation funding, leaving the department's future resources in question.
Reducing the weight traveling on these bridges will slow down their deterioration and preserve safety while funding for their repairs remains uncertain.
"For months I've been explaining to Pennsylvanians and to lawmakers that there are very real consequences to not enacting a transportation funding plan," Schoch said in a statement. "Without additional revenues anticipated in the future, I have to make the safe and responsible decision to reduce how much weight is crossing these deteriorating bridges."
As PennDOT has regulatory oversight over all bridges in the state, Schoch's authorization applies weight restrictions to 530 state-owned and about 470 locally owned bridges. Pennsylvania currently has 567 state bridges and 1,685 local bridges posted with weight restrictions.
Pennsylvania currently leads the nation in the number of structurally bridges with 4,479. Pennsylvania ranks 35th in the nation with the percent of structurally deficient bridges that are posted or closed—and after these new restrictions are put in place, Pennsylvania will rank 27th in the nation.
"In the past we've been able to hold off on restricting bridges, but now we have to be more conservative," Schoch said. "We have some of the oldest bridges in the nation and many of them need major repairs."
For the most part, the new weight restrictions will not impact motorists with cars. Large trucks, school buses, and emergency vehicles could be affected, however.
PennDOT began posting bridges with weight limits as soon as Aug. 29. Notifications to school-bus operators, emergency-service providers and other local officials is also underway. Posting on local bridges will take place at a later date after PennDOT discusses these changes with local bridge owners.
The following bridges in Chester County are included on the list with new weight restrictions:
~ U.S. Route 1 Guernsey Road in Lower Oxford Township
~ U.S. Route 30 Coatesville-Downtown at Bondsville Road in Caln
~ Route 82 Creek Road, the East Branch of the Red Clay Creek in Kennett Township
~ Route 82 Doe Run Road and Buck Run East in East Fallowfield Township
~ Route 282 Creek Road, East Brandywine Creek in Wallace Township
~ Route 282 Creek Road, Branch of Brandywine Creek in East Brandywine Township
~ Route 322 Lincoln Highway East Branch of Brandywine Creek in Downingtown
~ Route 401 Conestoga Road Branch Pickering Creek, west Pikeland State
~ Route 841 Lewisville-Chester, West Branch White Clay Creek, Franklin Township
~ Route 926 Street Road and Radley Run in Thornbury Township
~ Ship Road at Valley Creek West Whiteland Township
~ Barnsley-Chrome Road at Northeast Creek in East Nottingham Township
~ Culbertson Run Road over Culbertson Run in West Brandywine Township
~ Pickering Dam Road over Pickering Creek in Charlestown.
~ Art School Road over Pickering Creek in West Pikeland
~ State Road over Little Elk Creek in Elk Township
~ Burnt Mill Road over Red Clay Creek in Kennett.
~ Ewing Road over White Clay Creek in London Grove Township
~ State Street over Red Clay Creek in Kennett Township
~ Lincoln Highway over Buck Run in Sadsbury Township
~ Indian Run Drive over Indian Run in Wallace Township
~ Swinehart Road over Beavery Creek in West Brandywine
~ Springton Road over Indian Run Creek in Wallace Township
~ North Reeds road over Brandywine Creek in East Brandywine Township
~ Denton Hollow Road over Pocopson Creek in Pocopson Township
~ Mill Road over Valley Creek in Tredyffrin Township
~ Creek Road over Pickering Creek, Schuylkill
~ Spring City Road over Stoney Run in East Pikeland Township
~ Kulp Road over Pigeon Creek in East Coventry Township
~ Ellis Woods Road over Pigeon Creek in East Coventry Township
~ East Boot Road over Ridley Creek in East Goshen Township
~ Hess Mill Road over White Clay Creek in Franklin Township
~ Octorara Road over Buck Run in Sadsbury Township
~ Dowlin Forge Road at Shamona Creek in Uwchlan Township
~ Icedale Road over Brandywine Creek in West Brandywine Township
~ Bryson Road at Knights Run in West Fallowfield Township