2013-08-29 / Local & State

W. Pa. Farmers Worry About Bridges, Liability

WILMORE, Pa. (AP) – Farmers in western Pennsylvania are worried that weight restrictions on the state’s overloaded bridges could cause problems for the industry.

Farmers at a Cambria County Farm Bureau Legislative tour said dependable highways and bridges are vital to the state’s agricultural industry, The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reported.

“Every day we have a 20- ton milk truck in here,’’ said David Myers, a Summerhill Township dairy farmer who milks 300 Holsteins daily. “We are very concerned, especially if they come in and start posting weight limits,’’ said Myers, a third-generation farmer.

PennDOT has announced new weight restrictions on more than 1,000 bridges statewide. State Sen. John Wozniak, D-Westmont, said the bridges are not necessarily in danger of collapsing, but the restrictions are needed to prolong their working life.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau director Martin Yahner said the need for increased revenue to fund infrastructure struck a chord with dairy, meat and grain producers. Yahner said dependable highways and bridges are vital to the state’s agricultural industry.

“The weight restrictions will result in detours, and it will be very expensive,’’ Yahner said. “As an organization, Farm Bureau understands there has to be new revenue.’’

The Farm Bureau says it also wants legislation to prevent prosecution of landowners for incidents involving hunters, and recognition that people who take part in hay rides and corn mazes do so at their own risk.

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