Bridge restrictions.

(1) What is the difference between posted bridges and restricted bridges, and how do they apply to legal and extra-legal vehicles?
(a) Posted bridges: The department performs periodic inspections and evaluates the capacity to carry loads on all bridges on state highways. Bridges that are identified as unable to safely carry vehicles with legal weight, per RCW 46.44.041, must be posted (signed) with the maximum weight limits. Applications for extra-legal weight moves that exceed a posted bridge limit on the requested route will be returned to the applicant by the department. The applicant may change the vehicle configuration to comply with the posted limit or change the proposed route. Vehicles that exceed the posted load limit must not cross the bridge.
(b) Restricted bridges: Most bridges on state highways can safely carry legal vehicle weights, per RCW 46.44.041; however, some bridges may not be capable of carrying extra-legal weights, provided for in RCW 46.44.091. The department, based on periodic inspections and evaluations, may determine that a vehicle cannot safely cross a bridge at extra-legal weights. As a result, the department must restrict axle weights on the identified bridges. These restrictions are not posted on the bridge, but are disclosed to the special permit applicant during the permitting process. Applications that exceed a bridge restriction on the requested route are returned to the applicant by the department. The applicant may change the vehicle configuration to comply with the restriction or change the proposed route. Vehicles with extra-legal weight authorized by special permit must comply with any bridge restriction noted on the permit. A violation of any restriction will cause the special permit to become null and void.
(2) Is there a published list of posted and restricted bridges? Yes. The department publishes and maintains both lists on the department's web site. A hard copy is also available upon request, but has limited value due to the frequency of changes.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.44.090. WSR 05-04-053, § 468-38-420, filed 1/28/05, effective 2/28/05; WSR 82-18-010 (Order 31, Resolution No. 156), § 468-38-420, filed 8/20/82. Statutory Authority: 1977 ex.s. c 151. WSR 79-01-033 (DOT Order 10 and Comm. Order 1, Resolution No. 13), § 468-38-420, filed 12/20/78. Formerly WAC 252-24-381.]
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