Highway Transport Weight Restrictions in Michigan

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The Michigan Department of Transportation is continuing its annual spring weight restriction for certain areas in order to “protect roads.” Weight restrictions will now be imposed and enforced on all state highways within the following areas in Michigan:

Highways north of a line on M-43 in the city of South Haven, then east on M-43 to US-131 in Kalamazoo County, south on US-131 to I-94 in Kalamazoo County, east on I-94 to I-69 in Calhoun County, north on I-69 to I-96 in Lansing, east on I-96 to M-59 in Livingston County, and finally, east on M-59 ending at the I-94 interchange in Macomb County. Highways south of a line on M-55 from the US-31 intersection in Manistee County east to M-66 in Missaukee County, north on M-66 to M-55 in Missaukee County, and east on M-55 to the intersection of US-23 in Tawas in Iosco County.

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All state lines between these two designated lines will have weight restrictions imposed and enforced. On routes designated as “all-season,” there will be no reduction in legal axle weights. However, on routes designated as “seasonal,” there will be a posted weight reduction of 25% for concrete pavements and 35% for asphalt pavements.

When roads that have been frozen all winter begin to warm, melting snow and ice saturate the softened ground on roads and busy highways. This means that the pavement is more susceptible to damage, and contributes to pothole problems that are already an issue on U.S. roads.

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MDOT determines that weight restrictions begin by measuring frost depths along state highways, observing road conditions, and monitoring weather forecasts. Weight restrictions will remain in effect until the frost line is deep enough to allow moisture to escape, and roads to regain stability and dryness.

Country road commissions have put in place their own seasonal weight restrictions, which usually coincide with state highway weight restrictions, and for the same reasons.