Bridge weight limit signage change advanced

A bill requiring that the weight limitations of county bridges be posted only in certain situations advanced Jan. 22.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist34' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Curt Friesen'>Sen. Curt Friesen</a>
Sen. Curt Friesen

Currently, each bridge maintained by a county must post a sign indicating its carrying capacity. Under LB310, introduced by Henderson Sen. Curt Friesen, a sign would be required on a bridge only if its carrying capacity is less than the limit prescribed in state statute.

A person who drives an overweight vehicle over a bridge or culvert could not recover damages from the county for any resulting injury or accident.

“This would address concerns brought to us about when weight limit signs should be posted on county bridges,” Friesen said.

A Friesen amendment, adopted 36-0, would limit the bill to culverts wider than 60 inches. He said larger culverts are more susceptible to damage under the weight of an overweight vehicle.

Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher raised a concern about the bill’s liability provisions. He said the language was too vague and could exempt the county from paying damages for other accidents and injuries not related to an overweight vehicle. Schumacher and Friesen agreed to work on an amendment to address this concern before select file debate.

Senators then advanced the bill to select file on a 33-0 vote.

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