Farmer talks about bridge weight limit restrictions

UNDATED — The impasse on the state’s transportation bill continues to have trickle-down effects in our area.

With lowered weight limits on bridges, retired Snyder County farmer Charlie Benner says it can effect agriculture.  “These days when you haul milk, you see a trailer-truck and there are actually some dairy farmers in this area who were going to switch to another milk company, but were not allowed to because the roads and the bridges in that area were not able to carry the weight of the newer vehicles.  That has been a big issue.”

The weight restrictions are part of a statewide initiative to save money and increase the longevity of deteriorating bridges throughout the state.  Benner says, as it is for many industries, the bill’s impasse can be frustrating.  “We realize that many legislators say they do not want to raise taxes.  They know that if they do, they may not get reelected.  But, we also know that we have to update these bridges.  It’s not an easy solution, but we need to get more funding or we will suffer.”

There are a total of eight bridges throughout Snyder, Union and Northumberland Counties whose weight restriction is between 18 and 40 tons.  State legislators failed to pass a $2.5 billion transportation plan, but with the fall session underway, there have been what lawmakers say are encouraging talks of progress regarding transportation. (Sara Bartlett)

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