WisDOT: Frozen road declaration ending in north central Wisconsin – spring thaw beginning south of US 8

For more information, contact:
Michael Sproul, WisDOT Bureau of Highway Maintenance
(608) 266-8680, [email protected]

End of frozen road declaration on Friday, March 2 affects log haulers and transporters of salt or abrasives for roads in Zone 2. Declaration of Spring Thaw will take effect on all state and US highways south of US 8 on Wednesday, March 7.

Earlier this year, WisDOT declared state trunk highways frozen only in Zones 1 and 2 – the northern third of Wisconsin. Due to thawing conditions, Wisconsin’s frozen road law has been suspended in Zone 2 (effective Friday, March 2 at 12:01 a.m.). Zone 2 is the region designated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) across north-central Wisconsin that generally falls between US 8 and US 10. The southern border of Zone 2 includes US 10, south on WIS 73 at Neillsville, east on WIS 54, north on I-39, and east on US 10. The frozen road declaration remains in effect for Zone 1 – north of US 8. The frozen road law allows trucks carrying loads of peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise (not including woodchips), or salt and sand for winter maintenance to operate at heavier than legal weights, without a special permit, until approximately early March, unless thawing requires cancellation of the provision or continued cold weather allows the declaration to be extended.

The higher weight limits authorized by WisDOT’s frozen roads declaration 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 that are specifically posted for lower weight limits. Further information on weight restrictions and the Frozen Road declaration can be found on the WisDOT web site at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm. Zone descriptions including a map can be found at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/docs/whenisitfrozen.pdf.

Spring Thaw restrictions and Class II roadway restrictions will be imposed on Wednesday, March 7 on State Trunk Highways in Zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 (all of Wisconsin south of US 8). Some counties will begin posting county roads on Monday, March 5. Declaration of Spring Thaw means suspension of most multiple trip permits for overweight loads that can be reduced in weight, and a reduction of allowable vehicle weight on specified state and US highways. Haulers with specific questions about truck permits can contact WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at (608) 266-7320.