WisDOT: End of frozen road declaration extended to central 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 Saturday in zones 3, 4, and 5.

Forecasts for warming weather throughout the state have prompted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to extend the end of the frozen road declaration to zone 4, on Friday, February 18. This is in addition to the end of the frozen road declaration in zones 3 and 5, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, February 16 and Thursday February 17, respectively. This extends the area where roads are no longer declared “frozen” to an area roughly south of US 10 as well as portions south of WIS 53 and WIS 73 in Portage, Wood, and Clark counties. The frozen road declaration in zones 1 and 2 may be changed over the next several days, should conditions warrant. A map of affected highways in each of the five zones is available at: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm. WisDOT officials noted the frozen road declaration may be reinstated if a long period of cold weather returns.

Additionally, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, February 19, permits for divisible loads, except those exempted by statute, will be temporarily suspended under spring thaw rules in zones 3, 4 and 5, roughly that portion of the state south of US 10. Class II roadway restrictions in zones 3, 4, and 5 also go into effect on Saturday, February 19 at 12:01 a.m. Non-divisible overweight multiple trip and overweight single trip permits must stay off all Class II roadways in zones 3, 4, and 5. Determinations for zones 1 and 2 will be made at a later date if and when conditions warrant.

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: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm. Information on overweight permits can be found at http://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.