Frozen road law implemented

Wisconsin's frozen road law went into effect in northern Wisconsin Sunday in a region designated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as zones 1 and 2 — roughly on and north of US 10.

The determination for zones 3, 4, and 5 in the southern half of the state will be made once conditions warrant. A map of affected highways in each of the 5 zones is available online.

The frozen road law, which permits trucks carrying peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise, not including wood-chips, or salt and sand for winter maintenance to carry heavier loads, will be in effect on all state and U.S.-marked highways, and a section of I-39, until approxi-mately early March, unless thawing necessitates an earlier cancellation of the provision or continued cold weather allows for an extension of the declaration period.

The declaration is issued once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a significant depth. That allows the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand for maintaining roads in winter to go up to 98,000 pounds from the normal 80,000 pounds.

The declaration applies only to those roads marked with state or U.S. numbers, but does not include the Interstate highway system, with the exception of I-39 from Portage to Wausau.

Special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required. However, the vehicles must be legally licensed to handle the increased weights.

The higher weight limits are not in effect on county or local roads unless authorized by the local agency having maintenance authority. The higher weights may not be transported on any highways or bridges that are posted for lower limits.

Further information on the Frozen Road declaration is available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Web site, or by contacting the Bureau of Highway Operations, 4802 Sheboygan Ave., P.O. Box 7986, Madison 53707-7986, or by calling (608) 266-3745.

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