Commissioners Set Snell Bridge Weight Limits

SANATOGA PA – The rising age and deteriorating condition of several decades-old bridges that carry Lower Pottsgrove roads over streams and creeks prompted the Board of Commissioners in 2019 to impose weight limits on vehicles using them. Commissioners continued the practice Thursday (May 21, 2020) by similarly restricting vehicles crossing the Snell Road bridge on the township’s east side.

The relatively short bridge spans Sanatoga Creek close to the intersection of Snell and North Sanatoga Road. The board, during its virtual meeting, voted to limit the maximum gross weight of traffic on the bridge, as well as on the length of Snell between Sanatoga and Pruss Hill roads, to no more than 33 tons per single vehicle or 40 tons in a combination of vehicles (a tractor-trailer, for example).

The maximum gross vehicle weight allowable on U.S. highways, such as an interstate, is 40 tons (80,000 pounds) depending on the tonnage carried by each of its axles, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

The limits were suggested by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation following its earlier inspection of the bridge. Now that they’ve been approved, signage warning drivers of the restrictions will be posted during July, township Solicitor Charles Garner said during the board’s May 4 meeting.

Limits were earlier placed on North Sunnybrook Road and its bridge over Sprogels Run; the North Adams Street bridge, also over Sprogels Run, near its intersection with Buchert Road; and the Pruss Hill Road bridge, also over Sanatoga Creek.

Photo by Alan Turkus via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license

Published legal advertisement

A legal advertisement announcing the commissioners’ intent to adopt a township law regarding vehicle weight restrictions on the bridge was published May 12 (Tuesday). Its content appears below:

LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Lower Pottsgrove Township Board of Commissioners intend to adopt and enact at its regular meeting of Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., held remotely, via Zoom platform, the following ordinance: ORDINANCE NO. AN ORDINANCE OF THE LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AMENDING § 228-27, VEHICLE WEIGHT LIMITS ESTABLISHED ON CERTAIN STREETS AND BRIDGES, OF ARTICLE III, RESTRICTIONS ON SIZE, WEIGHT AND TYPE OF VEHICLE AND LOAD, OF CHAPTER 228, VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, OF THE CODE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF LOWER POTTSGROVE, AS AMENDED, TO ESTABLISH A WEIGHT LIMIT ON THE SNELL ROAD BRIDGE (CROSSING THE SANATOGA CREEK). NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Lower Pottsgrove Township Board of Commissioners, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and it is hereby ENACTED and ORDAINED by the authority of same as follows: SECTION 1. § 228-27, Vehicle Weight Limits Established on Certain Streets and Bridges, of Article III, Restrictions on Size, Weight and Type of Vehicle and Load, of Chapter 228, Vehicles and Traffic, of the Code of the Township of Lower Pottsgrove, as amended, is hereby amended to add the following additional bridges under and subject to weight limitations: Street or Bridge Snell Road Bridge (Crossing the Sanatoga Creek) Between Sanatoga Road and Pruss Hill Road Maximum Gross Weight (Tons) 33 Tons/40 Tons Combination SECTION 2. Re-Enactment. SECTION 3. Effective Date LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Edward Wagner, Manager Charles D. Garner, Jr., Esquire Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. Solicitor MERC 5/12 a-1