MDOT: Annual Spring Weight Restrictions Extending to Parts of U.P. Friday

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and local agencies announced Thursday that they are enacting additional annual spring weight restrictions to protect roads.

Beginning Friday at 6 a.m., weight restrictions will be imposed and enforced on all state truckline highways from the Michigan/Indiana and Michigan/Ohio state lines north to US-2/US-141 at the Menominee River bridge west of Iron Mountain, and then east on US-2 to St. Ignace.

According to MDOT, when roads that have been frozen all winter begin to thaw from the surface down, melting snow and ice saturate the softened ground.

During spring thaw, the roadbed softened by trapped moisture beneath the pavement makes it more susceptible to damage, and also contributes to pothole issues already happening due to this winter’s numerous freeze-thaw cycles.

MDOT states the following will apply in restricted areas:

  • On routes designated as “all-season” (designated in green and gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map), there will be no reduction in legal axle weights.
  • On routes designated as “seasonal” (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.
  • 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.

According to MDOT, they determine when weight restrictions begin each spring by measuring frost depths along state highways, observing road conditions and monitoring weather forecasts.

Weight restrictions remain in effect until the frost line is deep enough to allow moisture to escape and roadbeds regain stability.

Furthermore, they say county road commissions and city public works departments put in place their own seasonal weight restrictions, which usually but not always coincide with state highway weight restrictions.

Signage is posted to indicate which routes have weight restrictions in effect, according to MDOT.

For weight restriction information and updates, click here.