Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tue September 15, 2009
Road Weight Limits Increasing
Macomb, IL – McDonough County's Engineer is concerned about the state's decision to increase weight limits on roads.
The current weight limit varies from 73,000 pounds up to 80,000 pounds. But Tom Hickman says it will be 80,000 pounds for all roads beginning January First. "A class three truck route is already 80,000 pounds," says Hickman.
He does not think all county roads will be able to handle that much weight. "A lot of people think it's not going to hurt them that much," says Hickman. "I still think that the continued weight on these roads, they're not designed for so that could be a problem."
"It would take a lot of money to upgrade the roads to an 80,000 pound road," Hickman says. "It would cost $200,000 to $300,000 per mile to do that. That becomes prohibitive to us. We don't have enough money right now to actually maintain the roads like we should be."
Hickman realizes that some people already haul more than the current weight limit. He's concerned some truck drivers will haul much more than 80,000 pounds when the limit rises. "They are taking their chance on getting caught," Hickman says.
Hickman says seasonal weight limits will still be enforced January through March. "Even though the 80,000 pound max will kick in we will still go through our 90 day seasonal weight limits," says Hickman. "It starts January 15 and runs for three months. I permit roads when the roads are frozen and it won't hurt them to run."