Maine nixes heavier truck pilot extension

AUGUSTA, Ma. – A funding bill passed by Maine’s House of Representatives omitted a provision to extend a one-year pilot program allowing heavier trucks on Interstate highways.

As expected, there was no last-minute attempt to save the the program

According to local media, the program permitting 100,000-pound heavy trucks in Maine and Vermont expires Dec. 18.

Supporters had been pushing to make the provision permanent, but to their disappointment, it appears it won’t even be continued through 2011.

The pilot had backers as high up as President Obama, but also, not surprisingly, influential opponents such as highway safety special interests, unions, and senators as far away as California’s Barbara Boxer.

They claimed that increasing the weight limit from 80,000 lbs to 100,000 in New England would catch on in the rest of the country.

"I am so disappointed that the House has passed a continuing resolution that does not include either a permanent fix or an extension of the current pilot program," said Sen. Susan Collins in a statement.

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