A recent gathering of local labor leaders and businesses to press state legislatures to spend more money on transportation was held near a bridge over the Lehigh River. The location was significant as well the purpose, because the funding plan for transportation was one the larger items left unaddressed when Harrisburg lawmakers adjourned in July.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PADoT) would use a portion of the money to repair local bridges, that have updated weight limits imposed to reduce the wear and tear on their aging infrastructure. The concern is greater in the Lehigh Valley due to the fact with about a 1,000 PA bridges affected, over 200 reside locally or in nearby counties.
Lower weight limits imposed may increase the useful life of a bridge until it can be repaired or rebuilt, but it cost local businesses money be ensuring that more trips have to be made when transporting bulk raw material. More trips increase fuel costs, maintenance needed on vehicles, money spent on man-hours to drivers, and time to complete finished products.
In addition the reduced spending on roadway projects means a real loss of jobs and income for local companies that would be used to do short-term bridge repair or even longer rebuilding assignments.