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.
Trucking companies are being alerted to watch their load weights as weather conditions change over the next several days and weeks. Forecasts for warming weather throughout the state have prompted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to announce that the frozen road declaration will end in Zone 3, located in southwestern Wisconsin, roughly south of US 10 and west of I-94 and WIS 78, as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, February 16. The frozen road declaration in zones 1, 2, 4 and 5, 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 protracted 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. A determination for Zones 1 and 2 will be made at a later date 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.
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.