Frozen road declaration ending statewide as spring thaw restrictions implemented

Weight restrictions to be imposed on trucks statewide to preserve roads 


Forecasts for warming weather throughout the state have prompted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to declare that spring thaw requirements will be in effect on all state highways effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 24, 2008.  They have been in effect on and south of WIS 64 since Monday, March 17, 2008.


State-maintained highways were declared frozen statewide on December 24, 2007 allowing trucks hauling logs, salt or sand to carry heavier loads.


A map depicting where and when the frozen road and spring thaw declarations are effective and where state highways are posted is available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Web site at:  Information on overweight permits can be found at


Up-to-date information on the spring thaw period is also available by calling (608) 266-8417.


Normally, the maximum gross weight for trucks is 80,000 pounds on highways with state or U.S. designations in Wisconsin.  When the frozen road declaration is in effect, logging trucks and vehicles hauling salt and sand for winter maintenance can have a gross vehicle weight up to 98,000 pounds.


The transition period when roadbeds change from a frozen condition until the time when sub-grades under the roadway dry out and firm up is when heavy loads pose the greatest threat to highways.  The spring thaw weight restriction means divisible load permits, such as for pulpwood hauling or garbage transport, are suspended on all state highways.  Use of other state-issued, non-divisible, single trip permits is restricted on Class II state highway sections.


In addition, some sections of Class II state highways will be posted for less than the legal weight limit during this same period.  Refer to the WisDOT Web site for current information on state posted roads.


Local county highways, town roads, and city and village streets may also be posted or limited to legal load limits or less.  Decisions to place or lift weight restrictions on those roads are up to local units of government.



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