Michigan to start annual spring weight restrictions Friday to protect roads

LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Department of Transportation and local agencies are beginning its annual spring weight restrictions in order to protect roads.

It will begin at 6 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 2. and it will be enforced on all state trunkline highways in the entire state of Michigan. State routes typically show M, I, or US designations.

The restrictions will be put in place because when frozen roads begin to thaw, the melting snow and ice saturate the softened ground and during the spring thaw, the roadbed softened by trapped moisture leaves the pavement more susceptible to damage.

More damage will exacerbate existing pothole problems, which have worsened due to multiple freeze-thaw cycles this winter.

In the restricted areas, the following will apply:

  • On routes designated as "all-season", which are designated in green and gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map, there will be no reduction in legal axle weights.
  • All extended permits will be valid for oversize loads in the weight-restricted area on the restricted routes. Single-trip permits will not be issued for any overweight loads or loads exceeding 14 feet in width, 11 axles, and 150 feet in overall length on the restricted routes.
  • On routes designated as "seasonal". which are designated in solid or dashed red on the MDOT Truck Operators Map, there will be a posted weight reduction of 25 percent for rigid (concrete) pavements and 35 percent for flexible (asphalt) pavements, and maximum speed of 35 mph for some vehicles.

Drivers must follow these speed limits on weight-restricted roads.

County road commission and city public work departments also establish their own weight restrictions, which may coincide with the state highway weight restrictions.

They will remain in place until the frost line is deep enough to allow the moisture to escape and roadbeds regain stability.

For weight restriction information and updates, you can call 800-787-8960, or you can access this information on MDOT's website, under "Restrictions."

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