§ 212.117. Weight, size and load restrictions.
(a) Weight restriction based on condition of bridge. Traffic on a bridge may be prohibited or restricted by weight of vehicle, number of vehicles, or kinds or classes of vehicles when an engineering evaluation conducted by a professional engineer establishes the need. Engineering evaluation of a bridge or bridge component may be based on structural analysis and rating computations, testing, engineering judgment or a combination thereof. Restriction is warranted when one or more of the following conditions are present:
(1) The safe load capacity of the bridge is exceeded by the load effect of any of the legal load configurations. The capacity and load effects are to be determined in accordance with the Bridge Safety Inspection Manual (Department Publication 238).
(2) Engineering judgment indicates that the condition or material of construction of one or more portions or components of a bridge is such that further use by heavy vehicles may damage the bridge because of severe impact, fatigue or other reasons.
(3) The bridge is damaged due to fire, a vehicle crash or environmental deterioration, and engineering judgment indicates that a vehicle weight restriction is necessary to ensure an adequate level of safety.
(b) Weight restriction based on condition of highway. Traffic on a highway may be prohibited or restricted by weight of vehicle, or kinds or classes of vehicles when warranted by an engineering evaluation. Engineering evaluation may be based on structural analysis, testing, engineering judgment or a combination thereof. A restriction is warranted when one or more of the following conditions are present:
(1) The highway pavement or shoulders have inadequate structural capacity or have been weakened due to deterioration, high traffic volumes or climatic condition, and may be seriously damaged unless a restriction is imposed.
(2) An engineering evaluation of previous similar climatic conditions on the highway or on similar highways indicates that vehicles over a certain weight should have been prohibited.
(c) Size restriction based on condition of bridge or highway. Traffic on a bridge or highway may be restricted by size of vehicle or kinds or classes of vehicles when, after an engineering evaluation, one or more of the following conditions are found to be present:
(1) A bridge has poor alignment, substandard horizontal or vertical clearance, or creates problems for vehicles with low ground clearance, or the restriction is otherwise necessary to protect the bridge from vehicle crashes or damage.
(2) A highway has inadequate turning radii, horizontal width or creates concerns for vehicles with low ground clearance at one or more locations.
(d) Weight and size restrictions based on traffic conditions. Traffic on a highway or bridge may be prohibited or restricted by weight or size of vehicle, or kinds or classes of vehicles when, an engineering evaluation of the horizontal and vertical alignment, prevailing traffic speeds, compatibility of the various types of traffic, history of vehicle crashes or vehicular characteristics, indicates that the movement of certain vehicles constitutes a safety hazard. Restrictions may include weight; height, width or length of vehicles or their loads; types of cargo; speed or gearing; stopping requirements; specified travel lanes; and hours of operation.
(e) Erection of signs. Appropriate signs shall be erected within 25 feet of each end of a restricted portion of a highway or bridge whenever vehicles are prohibited under subsection (a), (b), (c) or (d). In the case of a restriction on a highway or bridge which does not begin or end at an intersection with an unrestricted highway, an advance information sign shall also be erected at the intersection nearest each end of the restricted highway or bridge to allow drivers to avoid the restricted highway or bridge.
(f) Alternate routes. An alternate route shall be established whenever vehicles are prohibited under subsection (a) or (b) on either a numbered traffic route or a State-designated highway on the National Highway System, as established by the Federal Highway Administration, when the following apply:
(1) A reasonable alternate route exists which is not readily perceived by drivers.
(2) The alternate route can legally, safely, structurally and physically accommodate the weight and size of vehicles and their loads that are being detoured.
(3) Five or more vehicles per day are estimated to be prohibited from using the original route.
This section cited in 67 Pa. Code § 212.4 (relating to application).
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