Pima County puts weight restrictions on three bridges

Pima County puts weight restrictions on three bridges

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima County will put up signs at three bridges in September warning truck drivers of new weight limits.

That's because the bridges have shown signs of deterioration. The bridges are in Madera Canyon, Soldier Trail on the Mount Lemon short road and on North Soledad Avenue near Ina and Oldfather.

Each has a specific weight, ranging from 14 tons to 34 tons, and a specific target.

The concerns on Madera Canyon Road are repair, service and delivery trucks. On Soldier trail its UPS delivery and Waste Management vehicles. And for Soledad Avenue its for FedEx, garbage and utility vehicles.

The weight limit signs are a result of state and federal regulations which require them.

"We do annual bridge inspections and we have to monitor our bridges for condition," said County Transportation Priscilla Cornelio. "We report our findings to the Arizona Department of Transportation and US Department of Transportation and they said, you have to post the signs."

The county says the condition of the bridges should not be a concern to motorists because cars and smaller vehicles don't approach the weight limits.

"We saw a little bit of deterioration," Cornelio said.

An inspection of the Madera Canyon bridge shows small cracks running from one end to the other but no signs of serious degradation.

"We don't know how a truck would get up there," she said. "Much less turn around."

But the county is still required to post signs.

The Soledad bridge shows more damage. Parts of the concrete underneath have pulled away showing re-bar. The entry to the short bridge shows pavement and bridge separation.

Neighbors say when cars or trucks hit it at 40 mph, it makes enough noise to cause nearby houses to vibrate.

The county will send post cards next month to all residents who live within a mile of the bridges to let them know of the changes.

Officials acknowledge there will be some inconvenience for deliveries and services.

The Pima County Supervisors will vote on the changes August 2, 2016. But solving the problem is the bigger issue for the time being.

"We don't have enough money for transportation," said Cornelio. "When I say us, i mean the city,the county the state, all of us."

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