Dept. of Transportation: End of frozen road declaration extended to northern Wisconsin

For more information, contact:

Michael Sproul, WisDOT
(608) 266-8680, [email protected]

Kathleen Nichols, WisDOT DMV
(608/) 261-2574, [email protected]

Spring thaw and Class II restrictions will also begin Monday in Zones 1 and 2.

Forecasts for warming weather throughout northern Wisconsin have prompted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to extend the end of the frozen road declaration to Zones 1 and 2 on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. This extends the end of the frozen road declaration to all of Wisconsin. The frozen road declaration ended in Zones 3, 4 and 5 in February. A map of affected highways in each of the five zones is available at: www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm.

Additionally, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 14, permits for divisible loads, except those exempted by statute, will be temporarily suspended under spring thaw rules statewide. The Raw Forest Permit authorizing a maximum gross vehicle weight of 98,000 pounds on six axles and the Potato Seed Permit are the only divisible load permits that remain valid during spring thaw.

Class II roadway restrictions also go into effect statewide on Monday, March 14 at 12:01 a.m. Non-divisible overweight multiple trip and overweight single trip permits must stay off all Class II roadways. The Raw Forest Permit for 98,000 pounds gross vehicle weight permit may operate on Class II highways. Roadway postings will also begin on Monday, March 14, 2011 in several counties.

State-maintained highways were declared in December to be ‘so frozen’ that no damage would result from increased load limits, thereby allowing higher weights for trucks hauling specific types of forest products (peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise, not including woodchips), or salt and/or sand for winter highway maintenance.

Maps depicting where and when the frozen road, Class II, and spring thaw declarations are effective and where state highways are posted are available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Web site at: www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm. Information on overweight permits can be found at www.dot.wisconsin.gov/business/carriers/osowgeneral.htm.

Up-to-date information on the frozen road declaration, Class II restrictions, and the spring thaw period is also available by calling (608) 266-8417.

It is during the transition period from roadbeds being frozen to when they have dried out and firmed up that heavy loads pose the greatest threat to highways. The spring thaw weight restriction means overweight permits for divisible loads, such as for hauling raw forest products or garbage, are suspended on all state highways.

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. The Raw Forest Permit for 98,000 lbs on six axles is not valid on local, county, town or municipal roadway during spring thaw.