Frozen road law expands to include all but southeast WisconsinEffective today, Wisconsin's frozen road law has been expanded to include most of the state – with the exception of Zone 5 in the southeast portion of state.
Effective today, Wisconsin's frozen road law has been expanded to include most of the state – with the exception of Zone 5 in the southeast portion of state. The frozen road law applies to state and US numbered highways and has been in effect for Zone 1 in far northern Wisconsin since January 4,. Colder weather has now allowed expansion of the law to Zones 2, 3 and 4, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Conditions in Zones 5 do not meet criteria for frozen roads at this time.
The frozen road law allows heavier loads for trucks carrying peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise (not including woodchips), or salt, sand and other abrasives for winter maintenance until approximately 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 and 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 on vehicles with a minimum of five axles (from the normal 80,000 pounds). Special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required in Zones 1 - 4; however, vehicles must be legally licensed at 80,000 pounds to handle the increased weights.
The higher weight limits do not apply to county or local roads unless authorized by the local agency having maintenance authority. Also, higher weights may not be transported on any highways or bridges that are specifically posted for lower weight limits.
Further information on weight restrictions, zone boundaries, and the Frozen Road declaration, can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation web site at www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/truck/weightrestrictions.htm. Haulers with specific questions can contact WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at (608) 266-7320.