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PennDOT imposes more weight limits on Allegheny bridges

| Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, 2:41 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Heavy trucks are restricted from using the bridge carrying Route 51 over the Monongahela River between West Elizabeth and Elizabeth. This view may show some of the steel deterioration that prompted the posting of a 32-ton weight limit (40 for combinations).

PennDOT officials in Bridgeville-based District 11 said on Wednesday weight limits will be posted on 24 Allegheny County bridges.

Signs are to go up beginning on Thursday on a list that includes spans in Lincoln, Elizabeth, West Elizabeth, White Oak, Baldwin and Jefferson Hills.

PennDOT's Uniontown-based District 12 announced postings last week that include spans in Carroll, Hempfield, Penn and Union townships, West Newton and Manor.

Often, the limit is 32 or 33 tons with 40 for combinations where the weight is spread out such as for tractor-trailers.

The Elizabeth Bridge carrying Route 51 over Route 837 in West Elizabeth and the Monongahela River into Elizabeth will be posted for 32 tons, except for combinations where 40 will be tolerated.

The state transportation department said it took this step because of legislative inaction on transportation funding.

PennDOT said lower weight limits will help extend the service life of the bridges.

The change has fueled opposition in Elizabeth, where limits on the Route 51 bridge will bring trucks through its downtown.

In Lincoln near the Elizabeth Township line, a span carrying Route 48 (Boston Hollow Road) over a branch of Wylie Run will be posted for 32 tons, while a nearby span carrying Lovedale Road over Wylie Run has a 28-ton limit.

In White Oak, a 33-ton limit was placed on a bridge carrying Lincoln Way over Long Run, except for combinations where 40 tons are allowed.

Also in White Oak, a 25-ton limit was placed except for combinations where 31 will be allowed on a span carrying Ripple Road over Long Run. PennDOT lists the bridge as being on Center Street but gives a location 500 feet southeast of Long Run Road, which still is on Ripple.

In Jefferson Hills, a Walton Road span over Lobbs Run gets a 32-ton limit.

In Baldwin, not far from the West Mifflin borough line, there is a 32-ton limit except for combinations where 40 tons are allowed on a bridge carrying Streets Run Road over Streets Run.

Seventeen other bridges were posted in Allegheny County, including the Liberty Bridge carrying traffic from Interstate 376 and Second Avenue to Route 837 in Pittsburgh. The Liberty Bridge was posted for 30 tons, except for 40 in combinations.

In District 12, 49 state-maintained bridges are being posted, 12 in Westmoreland County including the West Newton Bridge carrying Route 136 over the Youghiogheny River, which gets a 36-ton limit.

In Hempfield Township, a span carrying Bobcock Lane over Little Sewickley Creek between Route 136 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is posted for 33 tons except for 40 tons in combinations.

Along the Hempfield-Manor borough line, a span carrying Brush Creek Road over Brush Creek east of the Turnpike has a 32-ton limit except for 39 in combinations.

A bridge north of Route 993 in Penn Township that carries Watt Road over Brush Run is limited to 33 tons except for 40 in combinations.

Twenty-one bridges were posted in Washington County.

One carries Stone Church Road over Peters Creek west of Turnpike 43 (Mon/Fayette Expressway) in Union Township (34 tons; 40 in combinations). Another carries Van Voorhis Road over Pigeon Creek south of Turnpike 43 in Carroll Township (33 tons; 40 in combinations).

Other bridges in District 11 include 16 that will be posted in Lawrence County and six in Beaver County. In District 12, seven spans will be posted in Fayette County and nine in Greene County.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or