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ODOT says it will strictly enforce weight limit on Van Buren bridge

Van Buren bridge
Chris Lehman
ODOT said it would enforce a posted 12-ton weight limit on the Van Buren Bridge in Corvallis. File photo.

The Oregon Department of Transportation says it’s starting to enforce a weight limit on the Van Buren bridge in Corvallis.

The Van Buren bridge is the main route out of downtown Corvallis for drivers heading east to connect with Interstate 5. ODOT is planning to replace the span, with construction starting next year. Until then, it’s put a weight limit of 12 tons on the more than century-old structure.

That limit was put in place last year but the agency says overweight vehicles are still using the bridge on a regular basis. ODOT says it’s kicked off an enforcement effort targeted at drivers who violate the posted limit. Fines can be hundreds of dollars.

Generally speaking, passenger vehicles and small trucks are well under 12 tons. But larger vehicles, including semi-trucks, buses, garbage trucks, even fire engines, are typically over the limit and will have to use a detour.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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