DYSART, Pa. - The state will review the inspection records of 216 bridges with designs similar to a 116-year-old single-lane bridge that collapsed after a snowplow truck drove over it.
The 103-foot-long steel truss bridge failed Thursday night and state transportation officials were trying to determine yesterday if the truck had been too heavy for the decaying Cambria County span.
The bridge, which had significant deterioration, had a 12-ton weight limit, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation records. The plow truck weighs eight tons empty, but could weigh up to 19 tons when fully loaded with salt, PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said.
The bridge, 15 feet above Clearfield Creek, was last inspected in July and "no unusual problems were found," PennDot said in a statement.
State inspectors had labeled the bridge structurally deficient - meaning various components had significant deterioration - and functionally obsolete, meaning its design was outdated.
"That's not surprising, given the bridge was built in 1891," Kirkpatrick said.
The state-owned bridge was scheduled to be replaced in 2009, PennDot said. Almost a quarter of Pennsylvania's 25,000 state-owned bridges that measure eight feet or longer are considered structurally deficient, according to department records. About 800 have weight or lane restrictions because of those deficiencies.
The bridge carried State Route 1012 over the creek at the border of Clearfield and Dean Townships in Cambria County, about 75 miles east of Pittsburgh.