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Township of Unity, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Unity 12-9-2010 by Ord. No. O-04-2010[1]. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 115, Vehicle Weight Limits, which consisted of Art. I, Restricted Roadways, adopted 4-9-2009 by Ord. No. O-2-2009 and Art. II, Ten-Ton Weight Restrictions for Specific Roadways, adopted 4-9-2009 by Ord. No. O-3-2009.
The following words and terms when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
COMBINATION
A trailer, hitch, load or other material pulled by, carried by or transported within a vehicle which, either alone or in combination with the vehicle, exceeds the weight limit permitted on any road within the Township.
EXCESS MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR AGREEMENT
An agreement establishing responsibility for the maintenance, repair or restoration or both (but not betterment) of a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge in excess of the normal maintenance, caused by use of over-posted-weight vehicles;
GROSS WEIGHT
The total weight of either a vehicle, a combination or the combined weight of a vehicle and combination, with or without a load.
LOCAL TRAFFIC
The following shall be regarded as local traffic for the purposes of this chapter:
A. 
Emergency vehicles;
B. 
School buses;
C. 
Vehicles or combinations of governmental agencies and utilities or their contractors engaged in construction or maintenance on a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, or in a location which may be reached only via a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge; and
D. 
Vehicles and combinations going to or coming from a residence, commercial establishment or farm located on a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge which can be reached only via a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge and which have been declared exempt after inspection by the Township. Such an exemption is warranted when it is determined that the proposed vehicles and combinations would not cause undue damage to the highway, roadway, street or bridge.
NORMAL MAINTENANCE
The usual and typical activities necessary to maintain the highway, roadway, street or bridge, shoulders, and drainage facilities in the state of repair existing at the date of the inspection prescribed in § 115-3 herein (relating to the use under permit).
OVER-POSTED-WEIGHT VEHICLE
A vehicle or combination having a gross weight in excess of a posted weight limit.
POSTED BRIDGE
A bridge having a posted weight limit.
POSTED HIGHWAY, ROADWAY OR STREET
A highway, roadway, or street having a posted weight limit.
POSTED WEIGHT LIMIT
A restricted weight limit posted on a highway, street, roadway or bridge under authority of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4902 of the Vehicle Code.
POSTING AUTHORITY
The Department of Transportation, as to any state-designated highways, roadways, streets and/or bridges, the County of Westmoreland, as to any County highways, roadways, streets or bridges, and the Board of Supervisors of Unity Township as to other highways, streets, roadways and bridges.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania acting through its Board of Supervisors, or any of its duly appointed agents or employees.
A. 
By the authority granted under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4902(a) of the Vehicle Code, it shall be hereafter unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person or persons to drive any vehicle or combination having a gross weight in excess of 10 tons (20,000 pounds) on those highways, roadways, streets, bridges and parts thereof as set forth and described in "Weight-Restricted Roads" attached hereto, made a part hereof and marked Exhibit A.[1] It shall also be unlawful and a violation of this chapter for any person or persons to drive any vehicle or combination having a gross weight in excess of 10 tons (20,000 pounds) on those highways, roadways, streets, bridges and parts thereof previously determined by the Board of Supervisors of Unity Township to have a posted weight limit.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
The terms of this chapter notwithstanding, over-posted-weight vehicles or combinations determined to be "local traffic" as herein defined may exceed posted weight limits unless the Township determines that an over-posted-weight vehicle, vehicles or combination being driven to or from a particular destination or destinations are likely to damage the highway.
C. 
Proof of "local traffic" status. The Township may accept the following as evidence that a vehicle or combination is "local traffic" for purposes of this chapter:
(1) 
A bill of lading, shipping order, or similar document which shows a destination on the posted highway, roadway, street and/or bridge on the date the vehicle or combination is using the highway, roadway, street and/or bridge;
(2) 
Certification by the permittee or an official of a permittee company on company letterhead describing the local traffic nature of the activity which the vehicle is engaged in on the date the vehicle or combination is using the highway, roadway, street and/or bridge.
A. 
Permit required. No over-posted-weight vehicle, except local traffic, as authorized in this chapter, shall be driven on a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge having a gross weight in excess of the posted weight limit unless the posting authority has issued a permit for the vehicle, vehicles or combinations, in accordance with this section.
B. 
Types of permits. Types of permits shall include the following:
(1) 
Type 1 permit (Single Vehicle - Single Highway). A permit which authorizes use of a particular posted highway or portion thereof by an over-posted-weight vehicle, valid only when carried in the over posted weight vehicle;
(2) 
Type 2 permit (Multiple Vehicles - Single Highway). A permit which authorizes use of a particular posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, or portion thereof by any number of over posted weight vehicles being driven to or from a common destination for one or more purposes. A Type 2 permit will be issued only if the permittee requests and the posting authority determines it is not feasible to issue a Type 1 permit for each vehicle. (Example: over-posted-weight vehicles hauling to and from the place of business of the permittee which belong to or are hauling under a contract with customers or suppliers of the permittee);
(3) 
Type 3 permit (Multiple Highway). A permit which authorizes the use of more than one specified posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, or portions thereof by an over-posted-weight vehicle. A Type 3 permit is valid only when carried in the overweight vehicle. (Example: A Type 3 Permit would be issued only if the posting authority determines that damage to the posted highway, roadway, street or bridge covered by the permit will be minimal due to the limited number of moves by the over posted weight vehicles and short-term use of the highway, roadway, street or bridge anticipated by the permittee).
C. 
Excess maintenance and repair agreement. The issuance of a permit to exceed a posted weight limit or limits will be conditioned on the entry of an agreement with the permittee to accept financial responsibility for excess maintenance and repair of the posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, or portion thereof to be used by the permittee. The agreement may require any repair or maintenance work to be performed by the posting authority or its contractor, or by the permittee or its contractor, except that in the case of individual guarantees, the Township will require that all work be performed by the permittee or its contractor. No permit shall be issued to operate an over-posted-weight vehicle or combination on any posted roadway within the Township unless an Excess Maintenance and Repair Agreement has been issued and received.
D. 
Security. The permittee shall be required to provide the security in the following amounts in favor of the posting authority to ensure compliance with the Excess Maintenance and Repair Agreement.
(1) 
Type 1 and 2 permits:
(a) 
$6,000 per linear mile for unpaved highways to be maintained at a level consistent with the Pennsylvania State Minimum Construction Requirements for such type of highway, roadway, street or bridge or construction requirements lawfully imposed by the Township, whichever is greater;
(b) 
$12,500 per linear mile for paved highways to be maintained at a level consistent with the Pennsylvania State Minimum Construction Requirements for such type of highway, roadway, street or bridge or construction requirements lawfully imposed by the Township, whichever is greater;
(c) 
$50,000 per linear mile for any highway which the posting authority allows to be maintained below a level consistent with the construction standards required for the type of highway, roadway, street or bridge at issue.
(2) 
Type 3 permits. $10,000 for each county or Township road subject to the permit.
(3) 
Schedule of bonding amounts. The Township may from time to time, but not more often than annually, furnish a revised schedule of bonding amounts based on increased or decreased maintenance costs.
(4) 
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 of Pennsylvania, or at the option of the permittee, in the form of a certified or cashier's check, bank account, or irrevocable letter of credit in favor of the Township, or in some other form of security acceptable to the Township.
(5) 
Additional security. When the projected costs of damage in excess of normal maintenance to a posted highway, roadway, street or bridge is estimated by the Township to constitute 75% or more of the amount of the security, the Township may give notice to the permittee to cease and desist any further use of any highway, roadway, street or bridge until additional security is posted. In the event additional security is not posted, the Township may require the permittee to maintain or reconstruct such highway, roadway, street or bridge to passable conditions before any further use by permittee is permitted.
(6) 
Individual guarantees. The Township may demand individual guarantees if it determines it is unlikely it will be able to collect a judgment rendered against the Permittee for failure to comply with any maintenance agreement.
(a) 
The Township may require corporate officers and stockholders and their spouses to individually guarantee the permittee's performance if the financial ability of a corporation is insufficient to meet its obligations under any excess maintenance agreement.
(b) 
The Township may require the permittee to execute liens on real or personal property or both, as part of an individual guarantee.
(7) 
Multiple permittees. In addition to the foregoing, when more than one permittee is using a posted road at the same time, the Township may require each permittee to bear a proportionate share of the cost of excess maintenance, repair or restoration. In the event such occurs, the allocation of costs shall be determined as follows:
(a) 
Agreement to share excess maintenance responsibility. If two or more applicants wish to obtain Type 1 or Type 2 permits to operate over-posted-weight vehicles on the same posted highway, roadway, street or bridge or portion thereof, they may reach an agreement among themselves allocating the cost of excess maintenance or repair. Any such agreement must be approved by the Township and the Township may thereafter enter into separate agreements with each permittee and accept security on the basis of their agreed shares. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed or construed to require the Township to accept all or any portion of any agreement reached between multiple applicants.
(b) 
Determination by posting authority. If multiple applicants for Type 1 or Type 2 permits cannot agree on an allocation of the costs of excess maintenance or repair, the Township will determine such allocation and enter into agreements with each applicant separately.
(c) 
Subsequent permit applicants. In the event one or more applicants have already entered into a Type 1 or Type 2 permit excess maintenance and repair agreement and posted security for same, and another applicant makes application to obtain a Type 1 or Type 2 permit to operate over-posted-weight vehicles on the same posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, then the cost and expense of excess maintenance and repair shall be allocated between all Permittees pursuant to Subsection D(7)(a) and (b) above.
E. 
Determination of highway, roadway, street or bridge conditions. The Township shall determine the conditions of any highway, roadway, street or bridge for which an excess weight permit is sought or upon which vehicles or combinations are operated.
(1) 
Pre-use inspection. Representatives of the Township will make an on-site inspection of the posted highway, roadway, street or bridge immediately before issuance of each permit in order to determine its condition. The permittee will be contacted not less than 48 hours in advance of such inspection by the Township representative and be advised of the time, date and place at which such inspection will occur. The permittee, or the permittee's designated representative may be present when such inspection occurs. In the alternative, any permittee may agree to accept the results of the Township representative's report of the condition of such posted highway, roadway, street or bridge. Such acceptance shall be communicated by the permittee to the Township in writing. No permit for the use of such road shall be issued until the pre-use inspection contemplated in this subsection occurs.
(2) 
Re-inspection. The posted highway, roadway, street or bridge will be re-inspected:
(a) 
Upon issuance of any new permit;
(b) 
From time to time thereafter as the Township deems necessary to determine the condition of the posted highway, roadway, street or bridge and whether repairs may be required; and
(c) 
Upon expiration of any permit or the cessation of the permittee's operations or use of the posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, in order to determine the amount of damage for which the permittee or permittees are responsible, if any.
(3) 
Notification of inspections and re-inspections. All permittees on a posted highway or portion thereof will be notified of the time, date and place of all inspections and reinspections on any highway, roadway, street or bridge or portion thereof subject to a permit, and may participate in the inspections and re-inspections of same.
(4) 
Inspection costs. The inspection costs of the posting authority shall be paid by the permittee or permittees. Inspection costs related to a county wide or municipality wide Type 3 permit will be paid solely by the Type 3 permittee.
(5) 
Administration fee. The Township will charge an administrative fee of $_____ for each Type 1 and Type 2 permit and $15 for issuing each Type 3 permit. All permits may be obtained by application to the Township Secretary at the Township Municipal Building during regular business hours. The Township may modify the fee set forth in this subsection by resolution hereafter.
(6) 
Engineer's certification of disrepair. Notwithstanding any of the provisions above, if the Engineer for Unity Township, after inspection, determines that conditions exist on any posted highway, roadway, street or bridge, or right-of-way for same, to the extent that same cannot support the excess weight proposed, then the Engineer shall certify the same to the Township and the applicant or permittee, in writing. Following receipt of such certification, the applicant or permittee, as the case may be, shall be required to take immediate steps to repair those conditions so that the right-of-way, highway, roadway, street or bridge can sustain the proposed excess weight prior to its use by the permittee. Such repairs shall be completed under the inspection and direction of the Township Engineer.
Any person who violates any provision of § 115-2 or 115-3 of this chapter shall be prosecuted under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4902(a) and § 4902(g)(1) of the Vehicle Code, and upon conviction, shall 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 limits. In addition, the Township may, at its discretion, pursue any other action or remedy available, at law or in equity, against the violating party to compel compliance with the terms of the chapter and/or seek damages, including court costs and attorneys' fees, incurred in the prosecution of same.
This chapter shall repeal any other ordinance or part of ordinances which are inconsistent herewith. Provided, however, that any highway, roadway, street or bridge, or right-of-way for same, previously posted with a weight limit or approved for posting with a weight limit, shall continue to be subject to such weight limit notwithstanding the passage of this chapter. The intent of this chapter is to add those highways, roadways, streets or bridges, or rights-of-way for same, described in the attached Exhibit A[1] to the list of the weight-restricted roads within the Township and establish procedures for the inspection, permitting and repair of all posted roads.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
The terms of this chapter are severable. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this chapter is for any reason determined to be void, invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of this chapter shall continue in full force and effect.