Illinois legislature passes truck weight bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is getting to know the trucking industry a little better these days.

Last week, a bill calling for the elimination of split speeds on the state’s highways came across the governor’s desk, and recently a bill increasing truck weights also made its way to Quinn.

The bill that would provide uniform access on most Illinois roads to 80,000-pound trucks. The measure is part of a $29 billion capital projects bill.

According to the Mid-West Truckers Association, Illinois is the last remaining state in the U.S. that still retains the old blanket 73,280-pound weight limit on local roads not designated as truck routes.

"As a result, Illinois’ truck routes are a zig-zag collection of roads that restrict the reasonable flow of commerce and goods," says spokesman Don Schaefer. "A truck can travel over 2,000 miles across country, but can’t make it the final six blocks because the road is restricted to the ancient 73,280 pound law that’s found nowhere else."

As a trade-off, some truck overweight fines will increase, with the fine money going into the capital construction fund.

The 80,000-pound proposal does not restrict a local jurisdiction’s right to post a road because of freeze-thaw cycles or if a bridge or culvert has a restricted weight rating.

The bill would also end the diversion of road fund revenues going to the Illinois Secretary of State and the Illinois State Police, according to Schaefer.

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