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Commercial vehicles ignore weight limit on bridge when closure forces detour

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Commercial vehicles were spotted crossing a bridge in Pennsylvania as an alternate route during a closure, despite a weight limit technically banning its usage by large vehicles. 

A serious crash occurred on Route 30 near Columbia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, June 4th, forcing the closure of Route 30. Traffic was then diverted onto the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge as an alternate route, but a weight limit was placed on the bridge after an inspection by PennDOT in 2023. 

A ten ton weight limit was placed on the bridge until it gets a renovation in 2027, but tractor trailers were spotted using the bridge on Tuesday anyway, because very few alternatives exist for them when Route 30 is closed. 

“Oh, yes, there were trucks across that bridge during the thing. This is what happens. This is what happens when there’s not alternates,” said Eric White, a Wrightsville borough council member, to WGAL 8. “Every time there’s a crash on Route 30, it becomes a snarled mess here.”

“The weight restriction is to prevent further degradation on the bridge,” said Dave Thompson, with PennDOT. “We’re inspecting the hot spots that we identified, areas of concern. We’re inspecting them on a regular basis and the structure itself every six months.”

PennDOT is working on congestion improvement on Route 30 to help facilitate the flow of traffic when the bridge is shut down to even motorists during construction. 

The current detour in place for commercial vehicles takes truckers north to Interstate 83 or south to the Norman Wood Bridge.

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