Wisconsin’s frozen road law will expand to include Zone 5 in southeast Wisconsin at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 2 making the frozen road law in effect statewide.

The frozen road law allows heavier loads for trucks carrying peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise (not including woodchips), and salt and sand for winter maintenance for a period of time determined by weather conditions, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The law goes into effect once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a depth of at least 18-inches, allowing the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand for maintaining roads in winter to go from the typical 80,000 pounds up to 98,000 pounds on vehicles with a minimum of five axles.

Effective Feb. 2, special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required, 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 specifically posted for lower weight limits.

The “Motor carrier/trucker” section of the WisDOT website contains comprehensive information for commercial motor vehicle operators, including weight restriction programs. Customers can also call the Frozen Road Hotline at 608/266-8417. Haulers with specific questions can call WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at 608-266-7320.

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