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Frozen road law takes effect in northern Wisconsin


Wisconsin’s frozen road law takes effect today(Thursday) for the northern part of the state.

It allows truckers carrying road salt, sand or logs to carry heavier loads.

The law is in effect now for Zone 1, which covers Highway 8 and state and federal highways north of Highway 8.

The law takes effect once the pavement is frozen to a depth of 18-inches.

It allows a maximum load of 98-thousand pounds for salt, sand or logs, up from the normal limit of 80-thousand pounds.

Vehicles must be licensed to handle the extra weight.

The declaration is issued once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a depth of at least 18-inches, allowing the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand for maintaining roads in winter to go up to 98,000 pounds on vehicles with a minimum of five axles (from the normal 80,000 pounds).

Special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required in Zone 1, however, vehicles must be legally licensed at 80,000 pounds to handle the increased weights.

The higher weight limits do not apply to county or local roads unless authorized by the local agency having maintenance authority. Also, higher weights may not be transported on any highways or bridges specifically posted for lower weight limits.

The “Motor carrier/trucker” section of the WisDOT website contains comprehensive information impacting commercial motor vehicle operators including weight restriction programs and frozen road declaration.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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