New bridge guidelines worry first responders

("Old Fire Truck at MOTAT" by Sam Glover, CC BY-ND 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): New rules on the amount of weight certain area bridges can hold will have an impact on emergency response times.

According to our Partners in News at ABC 21 new federal guidelines have lowered the weight classifications of many area structures. In Huntertown’s case, that means “5 or 6” bridges that can no longer be used by the fire department’s trucks, which Chief Robert Boren says causes them to now have to drive several miles out of their way to respond to some calls.

The Allen County Highway Department says fire trucks, certain school buses, dump trucks, and concrete trucks will have to avoid about 60 additional bridges throughout the county.

Signs are being put up to warn drivers of large vehicles about the change within the next month. The county plans on spending $57-million for bridge repairs and upgrades over the next few years.

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