COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONCERNING
THE POSTING AND BONDING OF WEIGHT-RESTRICTED HIGHWAYS

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has developed a uniform posting and bonding policy for local and state owned highways. These procedures were designed to benefit the hauling industry by providing uniform rules and regulations throughout the state.
This publication answers the most often asked questions about the uniform posting and bonding policy and is intended for general reference only. Since all laws and regulations are subject to change and judicial interpretation an attorney should address specific legal questions.
Q. What is a posted highway?
A. Any state or locally owned highway which has a weight restriction established under Section 4902(a) of the Vehicle Code.
Q. Why must highways be posted?
A. Many of the Commonwealth’s older secondary and rural highways were not designed to support the heavy truck loads they presently carry. Consequently, many of these highways are being badly damaged. The Department’s posting and bonding policies address this problem by requiring heavy haulers to be financially responsible for excess maintenance on the highways they use. In this way, the Department can maintain its rural highways for simultaneous use by both passenger vehicles (which are not subjected to bonding) and heavy haulers.
Q. How does the posting regulation apply to bridges?
A. The regulation applies to bridges on posted highways unless the bridge has a posted limit of its own. If the bridge has its own weight restriction, a permit may be issued under Chapter 191 of the Department’s regulations.
Q. Who determines if a highway must be posted?
A. The posting authority for state owned highways is the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Local governments are the posting authorities for locally owned highways.
Q. Will traffic routes and primary highways be posted?
A. Traffic routes and primary highways will generally not be posted. Secondary routes not designed or built to carry heavy hauling may require weight limit postings.
Q. How much notice will the hauler receive regarding the posing of highways?
A. The Department will advertise the planned posting of highways as far in advance as possible. In most cases, a five-day notice will be given. Only during emergency situations will posting be erected with fewer than five days notice. If the hauler has any questions concerning the possible posting of the highway, the hauler should contact the posting authority.
Q. What is bonding?
A. When a hauler bonds a highway, it agrees to be responsible for excess maintenance costs arising from its heavy hauling. Bonding can be provided by a performance bond issued by an insurance company, certified or cashier’s check, bank account, irrevocable letter of credit, or self-bonding provided the company meets certain qualifications and is found to be financially sound by the posting authority.
Q. What is excess maintenance?
A. Excess maintenance is that maintenance required in excess of normal routine maintenance due to over posted weight vehicles occupying the roadway. Excess maintenance activities include, but are not limited to, shaping shoulders that are pushed and heaved due to heavy hauling, repairing crushed pipes, patching a wheel depressed road surface, repairing extensive potholes, and performing base repairs.
Q. Why is it necessary for the hauler to execute an excess maintenance agreement?
A. The general taxpayer should not be required to pay for excess maintenance costs resulting from the effects of heavy hauling on secondary highways. The maintenance costs for highways subjected to heavy hauling should be the responsibility of those who cause the damage.
Q. What amount of security must be provided for bonding posted highways?
A. There are four different amounts of security depending on the type of highway and excess maintenance agreement. They include:
1. $6,000 per linear mile for unpaved highways,
2. $12,500 per linear mile for paved highways, and
3. $50,000 per linear mile for a paved highway which the posting authority allows to revert back to an unpaved highway.
4. The hauler that occasionally travels over many different posted highways in one county or municipality may provide $10,000 security for each county or municipality.
The hauler is responsible for restoration of damaged highways before the agreement can be terminated and the security released.
These amounts are established in Chapter 189 of Pennsylvania Code Title 67, Section 189.2
Q. Is self-bonding permitted?
A. Self-bonding is permitted if certain provisions are met. The posting authority must determine if it is likely to be able to collect a judgment rendered against a hauler. Under the self-bonding provisions, the hauler or its contractor must perform the excess maintenance work.
Q. Who determines the condition of the highway prior to the execution of an excess maintenance agreement?
A. The posting authority and the hauler conduct an on-site inspection of the posted highway prior to the execution of an excess maintenance agreement. The responsibilities and bonding requirements of the hauler will be determined at the conclusion of the inspection.
Q. What is the responsibility of the hauler under the excess maintenance agreement?
A. The hauler must pay for all excess maintenance repair costs. The hauler may choose from one of two options to repair the highway. They include:
1. The hauler or its contractor can make the repairs, or
2. The posting authority or its contractor can repair the highway and bill the hauler for the work.
The Department encourages the hauler to either repair the highway itself or hire a private contractor because the hauler may have better control of the repair costs.
Q. How can the hauler be certain that it will be responsible for only excess maintenance repairs?
A. Before the excess maintenance agreement is executed, an on-site inspection of the posted highway will be conducted. During this inspection, Department officials and representatives from the hauling company will complete a detailed report documenting the exact condition of the highway. In many cases, photographs may also be taken to substantiate the report. Copies of the inspection report and photographs will be made available to the hauler. The Department will continue to be responsible for normal maintenance work.
Q. What happens if more than one hauler uses the same posted highway?
A. If two or more haulers are using the same posted highway, they should determine how the responsibility for the highway should be divided. If the haulers cannot come to a mutual agreement, the posting authority will determine the relative responsibility for each hauler. Agreements will be executed for each hauler.
Q. What recourse does a hauler have if another heavy hauler is traveling over a highway the hauler has under agreement?
A. The Department and the State Police are responsible for administering and enforcing the program, and they will contact any hauler committing possible violations. In addition, the first hauler may also contact the second hauler and try to mutually agree on responsibility for bonding and repairing the highway.
Q. Is a hauler exempt from the Department’s truck weighing program when its trucks are traveling on highways it has under agreement?
A. The hauler’s trucks cannot exceed the established gross weight limit. However, the axle weight limits will be waived for those haulers traveling on highways they have under agreement. Obviously, all gross weight and axle weight limits must be obeyed by the hauler when not traveling on highways it has under agreement.
Q. Who may be exempt from the Commonwealth’s bonding weight limits?
A. All emergency vehicles and school buses may be exempt. Government-owned and utility-owned vehicles and any vehicles owned by their contractors may be exempt only when constructing or maintaining a posted highway or when traveling over a posted highway to a destination reachable only by a posted route. In addition, vehicles, including farm trucks and implements of husbandry, traveling to or from a residence, commercial establishment or farm located on a posted highway or on a route which can only be reached by using a posted highway may be exempt unless they cause excess damage to the highway.
Q. Who is responsible for enforcement on municipal roadways?
A. The Municipality.
Q. Can a municipality request help from PSP or PENNDOT?
Yes. The Pennsylvania State Police and/or PENNDOT’s Motor Carrier Enforcement Teams will assist a municipality with enforcement dependant on their work schedules, however, they will require a copy of the local ordinance authorizing the weight restriction, a copy f the traffic and engineering study and assurance the roadway has the proper weight limit signs posted before any enforcement can be performed.
Q. Who determines how much of a penalty can be charged?
A. PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUES - § 4902. Restrictions on use of highways and bridges.
(g) Penalty.--
(1) Any person operating a vehicle or combination upon a highway or bridge in violation of a prohibition or restriction imposed under subsection (a) is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $75, except that any person convicted of operating a vehicle with a gross weight in excess of a posted weight shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $150 plus $150 for each 500 pounds, or part thereof, in excess of 3,000 pounds over the maximum allowable weight.
(2) Any person operating a vehicle or combination in violation of a prohibition or restriction imposed under subsection (b) is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $100.

This Publication was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations. Any questions or concerns may be addressed by calling the Posted and Bonded Highway Coordinator at 717-787-6522.

This publication answers the most often asked questions about the uniform posting and bonding policy and is intended for general reference only. Since all laws and regulations are subject to change and judicial interpretation an attorney should address specific legal questions.