Pittsburgh's Bridges Deteriorating: Weight Restrictions Posted as a Quick Fix

Old Bridge

Pittsburgh, known as the "City of Bridges," now faces a growing problem with the very structures that are its claim to fame. Hundreds of bridges within the city and throughout Western Pennsylvania are structurally deficient and crumbling, and PennDOT is desperate to slow the deterioration.

PennDOT is posting new restrictions on the amount of weight allowed on hundreds of bridges throughout the area. This includes 46 bridges in Allegheny, Lawrence, and Beaver counties alone, such as the Liberty Bridge, the Elizabeth Bridge, and many others.

The overall goal is to preserve the bridges' safety until the state legislature passes funding to repair Pennsylvania's mass transit system, which includes bridges. However, recent proposals to increase taxes and fees to raise money for this cause have stalled in Harrisburg.

The weight restrictions will most likely only prevent certain trucks from traveling over the bridges, which could alter routes and send trucks into local neighborhoods. This could present a new set of problems as trucks meant for highways cruise through residential streets.

Source: "PennDOT Puts New Weight Restrictions on Many Bridges." WTAENews. September 16, 2013.