City of Lower Burrell, PA
Westmoreland County
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[Adopted 5-9-1988 by Ord. No. 3-1988]
A. 
Statement of findings. The City Council of the City of Lower Burrell finds that inadequate regulation of highway weight restrictions, such as those authorized under § 4902 of the Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4902) by vehicles and combinations having a gross weight in excess of the posted weight limit results in increased consumption of public assets for restoration designed to support heavy truck loads. Consequently, many are being badly damaged. A comprehensive program of posting and bonding policies is needed to address this problem by requiring heavy haulers to be financially responsible for excessive maintenance on roads they use.
B. 
Purpose. The purpose of this article is to promote the public health, safety and welfare by minimizing the damages described in Subsection A of this section by provisions designed to:
(1) 
Control accelerated maintenance of roadways due to frequent or excessively heavy loads at their source by regulating the activities which cause such problems.
(2) 
Utilize and preserve existing roadway structures and bridges in such a way to reduce excessive maintenance.
(3) 
Cause heavy haulers to be financially responsible for excessive maintenance through posting and bonding policies.
(4) 
Maintaining existing roadways and drainage structures in a condition suitable to insure public health, safety and welfare.
(5) 
Preserve and restore carrying capacities to municipal roadways and thereby maintain such roads for simultaneous use by both passenger vehicles which are not subject to bonding and heavy haulers.
C. 
Statutory authority. The City of Lower Burrell is empowered to regulate these activities by the authority of §§ 4902 and 6103 of the Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 4902 and 6103).
(1) 
The provisions of this chapter apply to bridges located on posted roads but do not apply to bridges posted independently of these roads.
(2) 
The posting authority for municipal roads in the City of Lower Burrell is the City Council or their appointed representative.
D. 
Applicability.
(1) 
Exemptions. All local traffic as defined in § 256-24 is exempt unless it is determined by the posting authority they excessively damage the road.
(2) 
Bond haulers responsibility. The hauler must pay for all excess maintenance repair costs on the bonded section of road. The company can choose from one of two options to repair road. They include:
(a) 
The hauler or its contractor can make repairs to City specs.
(b) 
The posting authority or its contractor can repair the road and bill the hauler for the work. The option in Subsection D(2)(a) is preferred.
(c) 
If two or more haulers are using the same posted road, they should determine how the responsibility for the road should be split. One hauler should contact the other hauler and try to mutually agree on sharing responsibility for bonding and repairing of the road. If the haulers cannot come to a mutual agreement, the posting authority will determine the relative responsibility for each hauler. In either case, written agreements will then be executed between the bonding authority and each hauler.
(d) 
Recourse among haulers. One hauler should contact the other hauler and try to mutually agree on sharing responsibility for bonding and repairing of the road. If a hauler is unwilling to share the responsibility and continues to haul on the road, the City Engineer should be contacted. The City and the police are responsible for enforcing the program and they will contact any haulers committing possible violations.
(e) 
The hauler's truck may not exceed the established gross weight and actual limits on the bonded highway because the Vehicle Code authorizes the City to waive only the weight in excess of restrictions. The regular gross and actual weight laws must be observed.
(f) 
The regulations applies only to posted highways and to bridges on posted highways unless the bridge has a posted limit of its own. If a bridge has its own weight restrictions, a permit may be issued separately in accordance with Chapter 191 of the Department of Transportation Regulations. See Chapter 285, Article III, for listing of weight limits on various streets.
E. 
Compatibility with other permit ordinance requirements. Permits and approvals issued pursuant to this article do not relieve the applicant of the responsibility to secure required permits or approvals for activities regulated by any other applicable code, rule, act or ordinance. If more stringent requirements concerning regulation of weight limits are contained in another code, rule, act or ordinance, the more stringent regulation shall apply.
The following words and terms when used in this article shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
EXCESS MAINTENANCE
Maintenance or restoration or both, but not betterment of the posted highway in excess of normal maintenance caused by use of over-posted-weight vehicles. Excessive maintenance is maintenance required due to heavy hauling in excess of usual and routine activities. Normal maintenance activities include minor patching, cutting shoulders and repairing worn-out pipes. Excess maintenance activities include, but are not limited to, excessive patching and base repair, shaping of shoulders that are pushed and heaved due to heavy hauling, and replacement of crushed pipes. The existence of damage requiring excess maintenance and the scope of that excess maintenance will be handled in accordance with § 256-25B(3), Excessive maintenance agreement.
LOCAL TRAFFIC
The following shall be regarded as local traffic for the purpose of this article:
A. 
Fire and emergency vehicles.
B. 
School buses.
C. 
Vehicles and combinations of governmental agencies and utilities or other contractors engaged in construction or maintenance on a posted roadway or in a location which can be reached only by a posted roadway.
D. 
Vehicles and combinations going to or coming from a residence, commercial establishment or farm located on a posted roadway or which can be reached only by a posted roadway.
NORMAL MAINTENANCE
Usual and typical activities necessary to maintain a roadway, shoulders and drainage facilities in the state of repair existing at the date of inspection prescribed in § 256-14B(6).
OVER-POSTED-WEIGHT VEHICLE
A vehicle or combination having a gross weight in excess of the posted weight limit.
POSTED HIGHWAY
A roadway having a posted weight limit.
POSTED WEIGHT LIMIT
A restricted weight limit posted on a roadway under authority of § 256-23.
POSTING AUTHORITY
The Mayor and Council of the City of Lower Burrell or their designee.
A. 
General requirements; local traffic.
(1) 
General rule. Over-posted-weight local traffic may exceed posted weight limits unless the posting authority determines that an over-posted-weight vehicle or vehicles being driven to or from a particular destination or destinations are likely to damage the highway.
(2) 
Vehicles determined likely to damage highway. If the posting authority determines that one or more over-posted-weight vehicles are likely to damage the highway, the posting authority will so notify the registrants of the over-posted-weight vehicles or owners of the destination or destinations, or both, and will also notify state and/or local police, as applicable. After two business days following delivery of the notice, or after five days following mailing of notice, such over-posted-weight vehicles shall not exceed the posted weight limits except in accordance with the provisions of Subsection B of this section (relating to use under permit).
(3) 
Proof of local traffic status. The following types of documents will constitute evidence that a vehicle is local traffic:
(a) 
A bill of lading, shipping order, or similar document which shows a destination on the posted highway.
(b) 
Certification by the permittee or an official of a permittee company on the company letterhead describing the local traffic nature of the activity which the vehicle is engaged in.
B. 
Use under permit.
(1) 
General rule. No over-posted-weight vehicle, except local traffic authorized under Subsection A(1) of this section (relating to local traffic), shall be driven on a posted highway with a gross weight in excess of the posted weight limit unless the posting authority has issued a permit for the vehicle or vehicles in accordance with this section.
(2) 
Type of permits. Types of permits shall include the following:
(a) 
A Type 1 permit authorizes use of a particular posted highway or portion thereof by an over-posted-weight vehicle. It is valid only when carried in the over-posted-weight vehicle.
(b) 
A Type 2 permit authorizes use of a particular posted highway or portion thereof by any number of over-posted-weight vehicles being driven to or from a common destination.
[1] 
Documents of the type set forth in Subsection A(3) of this section (relating to local traffic) will constitute evidence of a vehicle's destination.
[2] 
A Type 2 permit will be issued only upon request of the permittee and, if the posting authority determines that it is not feasible to issue a Type 1 permit for each vehicle, for example, most over-posted-weight vehicles hauling to and from the place of business of the permittee belong to or are hauling under contract with customers or suppliers of the permittee.
(c) 
A Type 3 permit authorizes use of a number of specified posted highways or portions thereof by an over-posted-weight vehicle.
[1] 
A Type 3 permit is valid only when carried in the over-posted-weight vehicle.
[2] 
A Type 3 permit is issued only if the posting authority determines that damage to the posted highway covered by the permit will be minimal because of the limited number of moves by over-posted-weight vehicles and short-term use of the highways anticipated by the permittee.
(3) 
Excess maintenance agreement. Issuance of a permit to exceed a posted weight limit or limits will be conditioned on the agreement by the permittee to accept financial responsibility for excess maintenance of the posted highway or portion thereof to be used by the permittee. The agreement may provide for the work to be performed by the posting authority or its contractor or by the permittee or its contractor, except that in the case of self-bonded agreement, the City will require that all work be performed by the permittee or its contractor. The bonding agreement shall be executed after the posting authority and the hauler conduct an on-site inspection of the posted roadway. During this inspection, municipal officials and representatives from the hauling company will complete a detailed report documenting the exact condition of the road. In many cases, photographs will also be taken to substantiate the report. Copies of the inspection report and photographs will be made available to the hauler. A similar inspection will be made following the hauling activity. In the event of a disagreement between haulers and the City relative to scope and extent of damages requiring excess maintenance or the quality of repair work, the decision of the posting authority will govern. The City will continue to be responsible for normal maintenance work.
(4) 
Security. Except as provided in Subsection B(4)(d) of this section, the permittee shall be required to provide security in favor of the posting authority to assure compliance with the maintenance construction agreement.
(a) 
Amount of security. Amount of security shall be as follows:
[1] 
Type 1 and 2 permits. Type 1 and Type 2 permits shall include:
[a] 
Six thousand dollars per linear mile for unpaved highways to be maintained at a level consistent with the type of highway.
[b] 
Twelve thousand five hundred dollars per linear mile for paved highways to be maintained at a level consistent with the type of highway.
[c] 
Fifty thousand dollars per linear mile for any highway which the posting authority allows to be maintained below a level consistent with the type of highway.
[2] 
Schedule of bonding amounts. The City will from time to time, but not more often than annually, publish a revised schedule of bonding amounts based on increased or decreased maintenance costs.
(b) 
Form of security. The security may be in the form of a performance bond with surety by a company authorized to do business in the commonwealth; or, at the option of the permittee, in the form of a certified or cashier's check, or irrevocable letter of credit in favor of the posting authority; or in some other form of security acceptable to the posting authority.
(c) 
Additional security. When the amount of damage in excess of normal maintenance to a posted highway is estimated by the posting authority to constitute 75% or more of the amount of the security, the posting authority may require the highway to be maintained or reconstructed within 30 days unless the permittee agrees to provide such additional security as the posting authority shall determine.
(d) 
Self-bonding. The posting authority may authorize self-bonding if it determines, on the basis of the financial ability of the permittee, that it is unlikely that the posting authority will be unable to collect a judgement rendered against the permittee for failure to comply with the maintenance agreement.
[1] 
The posting authority may require corporate officers and stockholders and their spouses to execute a self-bond, if the financial ability of a corporation is insufficient in itself to justify self-bonding.
[2] 
The posting authority may require the permittee to execute liens on real or personal property, or both, as a condition for authorizing self-bonding.
[3] 
In order to be considered for self-bonding by the posting authority, a permittee shall file a contractor's financial statement. The financial statement shall be updated annually, and within 30 days of any request for an update.
(5) 
Multiple permittees. Multiple permittees shall conform with the following:
(a) 
Agreement to share excess maintenance responsibility. If two or more persons wish to obtain Type 1 or Type 2 permits to operate over-posted-weight vehicles on the same posted highway or portion thereof, they may agree among themselves as to their relative responsibility for the cost of themselves as to their relative responsibility for the cost of excess maintenance and the posting authority will enter into agreements and accept security on the basis of the agreed shares.
(b) 
Determination by posting authority. If multiple applicants for Type 1 and Type 2 permits cannot agree on their relative responsibility, the posting authority will determine their relative shares, and will enter into agreements with and accept security from any person agreeing to such determination.
(c) 
Subsequent permit applicants. Subsection B(5)(a) and (b) of this subsection shall apply even if one or more persons have already entered into a Type 1 or Type 2 permit agreement and posted security when another person expresses the desire to obtain a Type 1 or Type 2 permit to operate over-posted-weight vehicles on the same posted highway.
(6) 
Determination of highway condition. Determination of highway condition shall consist of the following:
(a) 
Inspection. Representatives of the posting authority and of the permittee or permittees will make an on-site inspection of the posted highway immediately before issuance of each permit in order to determine its condition.
(b) 
Reinspection. The posted highway will be reinspected:
[1] 
Upon issuance of any new permit.
[2] 
From time to time and the posting authority determines repairs may be required.
[3] 
Upon termination of any permit, in order to determine the amount of damage for which the permittee or permittees are responsible.
(c) 
Type 3 permits. Before and after using a Type 3 permit on any posted highway specified in the permit, the representatives of the permittee and the posting authority will make an on-site inspection to determine the relative condition of the highway before and after the use and to assess any excess maintenance caused by the permittee.
(d) 
Notification of inspections and reinspections. All Type 1 and Type 2 permittees on a posted highway or portion thereof will be notified of all inspections and reinspections on the highway or portion, any may participate in the inspections and reinspections.
(e) 
Inspection costs. The inspection costs of the posting authority shall be paid by the permittee or permittees. Inspection costs related to a Citywide Type 3 permit will be paid solely by the Type 3 permittee.
(7) 
Administrative fees. The posting authority will charge a fee as established from time to time by resolution of City Council for issuance of each permit.
[Amended 12-12-2016 by Ord. No. 6-2016]
[Amended 12-12-2016 by Ord. No. 6-2016; 5-6-2019 by Ord. No. 2-2019]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article or fails to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, plus costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the City, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment to the extent permitted by law for the punishment of summary offenses. A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this article is found to exist and for each section of this article found to have been violated. All fines and penalties collected for violations of this article shall be paid to the City Treasurer.