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Over 700 bridges in Georgia can’t withstand the increased weight limits allowed by new law, officials say

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Greater than 700 bridges throughout Georgia cannot deal with the elevated weight limits accepted earlier this 12 months by lawmakers, officers say.

Deputy Chief Engineer Andrew Heath informed the State Transportation Board on Wednesday that the Georgia Division of Transportation and native governments will submit indicators with weight restrictions on the extra bridges by Sept. 2, reported The Atlanta Journal-Structure.

The tally contains 306 state-owned bridges and 427 native bridges.

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Gov. Brian Kemp signed a legislation this 12 months that enables a weight restrict of 88,000 kilos for vans hauling some commodities, together with logs and farm merchandise.

The earlier restrict on state roads was 80,000 kilos, however vans have been allowed a variance of as much as 84,000 kilos.

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Transportation officers warned that greater than 700 bridges in Georgia received’t have the ability to face up to the heavier vans allowed by a brand new legislation.

Even earlier than the upper weight restrict, the newspaper reported that transportation officers mentioned 1,363 of Georgia’s almost 15,000 bridges couldn’t safely face up to most weights

The heavier vans can solely journey on native roads and state highways, not interstates. They’re additionally supposed to remain out of 13 core counties in metro Atlanta and keep inside 150 miles of their dwelling base.

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The upper weight limits expire on July 1, 2025, a part of a compromise that emerged from one of many legislative session’s most intense fights. The controversy pitted logging, farming and trucking teams towards metropolis and county governments and the state Division of Transportation, which fiercely opposed boosting truck weights. Some lawmakers say they need to give you extra money to fund statewide transportation enhancements by then.

Teams searching for the rise mentioned they might lower your expenses by hauling extra freight per journey. Loggers argued the change might make the distinction between revenue and loss of their low-margin business.

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However opponents warned that heavier vans will trigger extra injury to roads and bridges, requiring costly repairs, and presumably trigger extra crashes due to elevated stopping distance.

Kemp had been permitting heavy vans that get particular permits to haul as much as 95,000 kilos, below a provide chain emergency order that he repeatedly renewed. However that order lastly expired on March 11, lowering the restrict to 84,000 kilos.

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