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Exemption by Summit Twp. helps companies deal with new bridge restrictions

| Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
John Steighner stands a top one of his cranes in Butler Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. His company, Steighner Crane, has been effected after new weight limits were put into effect on nearby roads.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
John Steighner stands a top one of his cranes in Butler Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. His company, Steighner Crane, has been effected after new weight limits were put into effect on nearby roads.

Summit Township is exempting two companies from observing a weight limit on Bonniebrook Road so that they can use detours made necessary by PennDOT-imposed restrictions on a nearby bridge.

“It is an exemption. They are local contractors. Our solicitors decided those companies could use that road,” said Daniel Hay, Summit's roadmaster.

The Herman Road bridge over Coal Run in Butler Township now has a 33-ton limit or 40 tons for combination loads.

Companies like Steighner Crane Service Inc. of Summit and Bauer Excavating Inc. in Butler Township can't use the bridge and must detour onto Bonniebrook Road, which has a weight limit of 25 tons. That's well below what their vehicles carry.

The companies had been hoping for an exemption so they could use the road legally.

The Herman Road bridge is one of 1,000 bridges in the state and 18 in Butler County on which PennDOT has placed weight restrictions because the Legislature has failed to adopt a transportation funding package.

Pennsylvania has more structurally deficient bridges than any other state, according to PennDOT.

The lower weight limits are expected to help extend the service life of the bridges.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

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