Manitoba truckers to see shorter period for spring road restrictions
February 16, 2012
WINNIPEG, Man. -- Heavy truck operators in Manitoba will see a shorter period of spring road restrictions this year as a result of changes to provincial policy, according to an announcement from Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve...
WINNIPEG, Man. — Heavy truck operators in Manitoba will see a shorter period of spring road restrictions this year as a result of changes to provincial policy, according to an announcement from Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton.
“Manitoba is a major trade route and our recent upgrades to highways and bridges are now helping trucking firms, industries and farmers reduce hauling costs so they can operate more efficiently,” said Ashton. “This latest improvement, prepared in consultation with stakeholders and heavy truck operators, will also benefit other truckers and farmers using our roads and highways.”
The new policy will take changing weather conditions into account in determining when spring road restrictions must be put in place, instead of using pre-set start and end dates, according to the announcement. The minister said the policy represents a “proactive approach to adapting to climate change.”
A new formula to calculate thawing of the roads has been determined and if weather conditions allow this spring, road restrictions could be in place as early as March 11, but will not last more than 56 days, according to officials. This maximum total of days the roads may be restricted is down from 70 days. Also, to allow trucking operators to better plan, they will be provided three days notice of the start and end of the restrictions, up from the current practice of two days notice.
“Year after year, Manitoba municipalities see a marked increase in heavy truck traffic on municipal roads during the spring weight restriction period,” said Doug Dobrowolski, president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM). “The AMM supports the use of weather conditions as well as the reduction in the number of days the restrictions may be in place on provincial roads. Both these measures should help to reduce both damage to municipal roads and expense for municipalities.”
As part of Manitoba’s highway and bridge renewal strategy, increased funding has been directed toward highway and bridge upgrades, which now mean greater weights can be allowed on a number of roads, Ashton said.
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