Road commissions implementing weight restrictions

Road commissions implementing weight restrictions

ISHPEMING — With temperatures in the 40s now upon us, the annual snow melt is starting up, but all that melting snow can still easily freeze up at night right now.

The Marquette County Road Commission will impose seasonal weight and speed restrictions later this week. They’ll apply to county roads that aren’t considered either state trunkline highways, like US-41, or all–season roads.

“We looked at the weather forecast for this upcoming week and we decided to put weight restrictions on Friday morning at 8 a.m.,” Marquette County Road Commission engineer/manager Jim Iwanicki said. “Weight restrictions are put on every year on roads that aren’t built to a standard good enough to handle the water.”

With a weight restriction in place, truckers can only haul 65% of their normal load. Moisture from the snow melt causes the soil underneath roads to be less stable.

“We’re going to try to protect the roads as best we can,” Iwanicki said. “But (flooding) is going to be an issue out there where a lot of the drainage areas have snow in the way, and until that snow is moved, it’s going to be hard for water to move through those areas.”

The restrictions typically last for about two months, long enough for the roads to dry up.

Many other U.P. county road commissions are implementing weight restrictions this week. Here’s a look at the counties that will do so, along with their effective dates and time:

Alger County — Friday, 8:00 a.m.
Baraga County — Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.
Delta County — Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.
Dickinson County — Tuesday, 12:00 noon Central
Gogebic County — Thursday, 7:00 a.m. Central
Houghton County — Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.
Iron County — Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. Central
Keweenaw County — Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.
Menominee County — Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. Central
Ontonagon County — Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.