Pennsylvania Transportation Chief: Bridges To Get Weight Limits

In the weeks leading up to the state budget deadline, Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch threatened to put weight limits on 1,120 bridges if Gov. Tom Corbett’s plans to raise new revenue for road and bridge repair were not approved.

But on Sunday, the Legislature did what Schoch feared.  It approved a 2013-14 budget that left Corbett’s proposal in the dust.

As a result, the transportation chief plans to make good on his threat, according to PennDOT officials.

Twenty-six of the identified spans are in Lehigh or Northampton counties, including the Route 22 bridge over the Lehigh River in Whitehall Township.

Weight limits can preclude heavy trucks, fire engines and even school buses from using bridges, depending on bridge size and capacity.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-bridge-weight-restrictons-20130705,0,7683963.story#ixzz2YHLsv9iS
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Area Truckers Not Troubled By I-81/Route 322 Shutdown After Tanker Fire

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just like Harrisburg area commuters, the local trucking industry is being inconvenienced by the shutdown of I-81 and Route 322, but it hasn’t been hamstrung by the subsequent delays.

Trucking executives say they’ve been able to comfortably plot new routes for their fleets of 18-wheelers around the area affected by Thursday’s explosive truck accident, and haven’t experienced anything more than a couple hours delay.

“It somewhat limits our ability to conduct business as usual,” said Jim Germak, president of Jagtrux in Marietta. “The gridlock in Harrisburg is something we have to deal with just like everybody else.  But it’s not a total panic.”

Germak, who oversees a fleet of 40 trucks that transport materials for a range of customers such as Armstrong ceiling tile in Lancaster, said his drivers suffer from the shutdown most during the day, and particularly during the morning and evening rush hours when traffic jams can extend truck trips up to two hours.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/area_truckers_not_troubled_by.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Road Repairs Could Take At Least Two Months After Tanker Fire On Interstate 81

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Damage from a fuel tanker explosion near the interchange of Interstate 81 and Route 22/322 will cost tens of millions and shut down a small section of road for two months or more, state officials said Thursday afternoon.

Earlier Thursday morning, a fuel tanker exploded and rolled over on the highway, causing what Gov. Tom Corbett believes is the worst damage to a Pennsylvania highway since a tire fire off I-95 near Philadelphia in 1996.

Both directions of I-81 from Route 581 in Cumberland County to I-81/83 split in Dauphin County are closed.  Officials said they expect it to reopen in time for the Monday morning commute.

The ramp from northbound I-81 to westbound Route 22/322 remains closed.  Eastbound Route 22 through the interchange toward the City of Harrisburg remains closed.

Read more and see pictures:   http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/harrisburg_bridges_shut_throug.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Four Bridges Remain Closed In Wilkes-Barre Area

Market Street Bridge

Image via Wikipedia

Four major bridges remain closed after last week’s heavy flooding in the Wyoming Valley.  The Market Street Bridge, Eighth Street Bridge, Water Street Bridge and the Stone Bridge are all closed to traffic.  This has created congestion problems on the North Cross Valley Expressway.  If you are traveling in the Wilkes-Barre area, you may want to allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.