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Bridge Overload Permits

Baltimore County may at times post a bridge at reduced weights for three different standard Maryland vehicles. The maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) for these vehicles are:



Maximum GVW

2 axle


15 tons = 30,000 pounds

3 axle

T3 (dump truck)

33 tons = 66,000 pounds

5 axle

T3S2 (18 wheels)

40 tons = 80,000 pounds

For a bridge to be posted, at least one or more of the three vehicles described above will be displayed on a highway sign at less than its maximum GVW in tons, such as:

A request for a temporary bridge permit (PDF) must be submitted in writing to cross a bridge at a GVW greater than that posted for any vehicle. If granted, the permit is free, normally valid for a year, normally with unlimited crossings, but may contain other restrictions. Reductions in GVW less than the non-loaded (empty) weight will preclude any crossing of that bridge. Some bridges are already near their maximums and cannot tolerate any additional weight. Failure to obtain proper permits will result in tickets, fines or court action.

To obtain a temporary bridge permit, a letter must be written to:

Steven A. Walsh, Chief
Bureau of Engineering and Construction
111 West Chesapeake Avenue, Room 219
Towson, Maryland 21204

It must contain a sketch of the vehicle or vehicles, showing axle spacing in feet or inches, along with the maximum axle weights in pounds. Additionally, it must contain an accurate description of the location of the bridge or bridges to be crossed, which will be referenced on the permit.

Renewals of permits must contain this same information submitted every time. As bridges age, a reduction in GVW may be required.

A permit will still be required to cross a non-posted bridge, at a GVW greater than standard. Baltimore County is not unique in this regard, and a need for a permit in other states and counties will probably indicate a similar need here. Vehicles such as heavy cranes and lowboys with many axles will fall into this category.

Call the Structure Design Section at 410-887-3774 for questions related to vehicle types or postings on a County bridge.

Standard Posted Vehicles 

Below are diagrams for standard posted vehicles. Please note that "k" equals 1,000 pounds.


Revised February 4, 2019         


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