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Frozen Road Law Takes Effect Saturday, Earlier Than Ever

Wis. Dept. of Transporation

Colder than normal weather will enable log and forest product haulers to move heavier loads sooner.

Wisconsin's frozen road law takes effect Saturday in the northern part of Wisconsin.  That area includes Highway 8 along with numbered state and federal highways north of US 8.

Department of Transportation Permit Chief Kathleen Nichols says the declaration is happening much earlier than usual. 

“In each year for over 40 years, the state has declared the roads in frozen conditions, which authorizes heavier loads of logs and salt for winter roads. And this year will be the earliest year that I know of personally, which is 24 years and I believe in the history of the program.”

Typically it’s late December before the DOT declares frozen roads.  A warming period later this winter could mean a temporary suspension of the rule. 

The frozen road law allows heavier loads for trucks carrying peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise (not including woodchips), as well as salt and sand for winter maintenance.

The law usually ends in early March.

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