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Bridge Restrictions To Linger Despite New State Money

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Despite the fact that Pennsylvania will soon get a major infusion of cash for transportation needs, it could be awhile before weight restrictions on bridges are eased.

This past summer, PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch ordered that new or additional weight restrictions be posted for 1,000 bridges in the state. But with 11,000 bridges considered weak, he says he could have done a lot more:

“If I’d have gone to the national average, I’d have restricted 6,000 bridges. If I’d have done just the average of what other states do, I’d have weight restricted 6,000. Not 1,000, 6,000.”

But even with the new funding, Schoch says there’s a lot of work to be done, and weight restrictions won’t come off a bridge until two years before the start of construction.

And not only will it be awhile before some weight restrictions are lifted, it seems PennDOT is still making signs for some of the thousand bridges designated for restrictions last summer.

A spokesman says PennDOT is looking for ways to avoid it, but the restrictions could still be posted on those bridges.

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