2014-03-06 / Community

Seasonal weight restrictions return to protect local roads

Website offers drivers specific county data

LANSING – The County Road Association of Michigan announced the return of seasonal weight restrictions this week. By Michigan law seasonal weight restrictions are in effect March, April and May of each year.

“State and local road agencies have the ability to implement weight restrictions earlier if conditions warrant, or to suspend restrictions if frost is not leaving the ground during the restricted period,” County Road Association of Michigan Director Denise Donohue said. “The extreme cold temperatures this year have pushed the timelines back. Typically restrictions are wide spread by this time of year.”

Seasonal weight restrictions protect Michigan’s local roads from excess weight at times when they are most susceptible to damage. Even with weight restrictions our roads take a big hit each year.

“We don’t think of concrete and asphalt being vulnerable to damage,” Donohue said. “But when retreating frost leaves an air pocket or water, a heavy vehicle can crack or pulverize that pavement.”

Eighty percent of the local road network is in poor or fair condition, according to the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council.

For those driving trucks, heavy equipment or farm apparatus, the County Road Association’s website lists all county seasonal weight restrictions as they become available. Visit http://www.micountyroads.org/weight. php. The website provides commercial truck operators all information needed to comply with these temporary restrictions.

Three Facts about Michigan’s “Frost Laws”:

• Most local agencies restriction period is significantly less than the 13 week period in Michigan law.

• During the weight restriction period trucks traveling on “posted/ restricted” roads must reduce speeds to 35 m.p.h. and carry lighter loads. Those using “all season” roads can haul normal legal loads.

• Most northern states and all Canadian Provinces also utilize road seasonal weight restrictions on their roads.

The County Road Association of Michigan represents the state’s 83 county road agencies that collectively maintain 75 percent of Michigan’s road system, representing more than 90,000 miles of roads and 5,700 bridges – the fourth largest local road system in the nation

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