Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Minnesota Winter Load Increase period.

Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Materials & Road Research 1400 Gervais Avenue Office phone: 651-366-5592 Maplewood, MN 55109-2044 Fax: 651-366-5461 An Equal Opportunity Employer


Date: January 17, 2012

Subject: Winter Load Increase date set for the CENTRAL FROST ZONE


Winter Load Increases will begin on unrestricted highways in the CENTRAL FROST ZONE at 12:01 AM on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Winter Load Increases are already in effect for the NORTH and NORTH-CENTRAL FROST ZONES.

Vehicles will be allowed to operate up to 10 percent over the standard legal maximum loads on unrestricted highways during the Winter Load Increase period. However, trucks must comply with current registration weight laws and not exceed registered gross weight tolerances. Please check with local agencies (cities, counties and townships) prior to increasing any weights on their routes. The sign erected on the roadway governs the load limit in effect. A Winter Weight Increase Permit is required to take advantage of the 10 percent weight increase on Interstate Highways.

For questions about legal weight/size trucking, call:

Minnesota Department of Public Safety - State Patrol - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

(651) 405-6171 (select Option 3, Option 3)

For questions about over legal weight/size "heavy haul" trucking, call:

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations - Oversize/Weight Permits

(651) 296-6000

Pavement structures achieve increased strength to carry heavier loads at a cumulative freezing index greater than 280-Fahrenheit degree-days based on three-day weather forecasts. Minnesota State law allows a 10 percent weight increase on unrestricted highways when the index is achieved for a given frost zone.

Recent temperature conditions in the remaining zones have been cold enough to accumulate freezing days, but not significant enough to begin Winter Load Increases. Conditions are monitored on a daily basis and notice of Winter Load Increases will be given when the accumulated Freezing Index (including the three-day forecast) exceeds 280-Fahrenheit degree-days, the point at which sufficient frost depth exists for increased strength to carry heavier loads. Please note that the Cumulative Freezing Index maps presented on the website include the seven-day forecast.
An Equal Opportunity Employer

Winter Load Increases starting and ending dates are based on how weather is affecting roadway strength. These dates are established by monitoring roadway strength as weather conditions change. Therefore, the ending date for Winter Load Increases is variable and drivers MUST check for updates throughout the year. Vehicle operators are required to check with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) for the exact start and end dates.

All changes are made with a minimum three calendar-day notice.

For the most current information, please go to Mn/DOT’s automated 24-hour message center at (800) 723-6543 for the USA and Canada, or locally at (651) 366-5400 for the Minneapolis/St Paul area. This information is also published on the Mn/DOT Seasonal Load Limits website at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/materials/

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