Manitoba Truckers to See Shorter Period of Spring Road Restrictions

WINNIPEG —Springtime road restrictions in Manitoba will now take into account changing weather conditions instead of relying solely on pre-set start and end dates, the Government of Manitoba announced yesterday.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said that truckers will see a shorter period of spring road restrictions as a result of the policy changes.

“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 province said that 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 — bringing it down from 70 days.

The province is also giving three days notice on the start and end of restrictions — up from the previous two day notice — to give truckers more time to plan routes, they said in a press release.

Various municipalities are behind the changes, as well. “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).

"Both these measures should help to reduce both damage to municipal roads and expense for municipalities,” he said.

Ashton also noted that the province is directing more funding to upgrading highways and bridges, allowing for greater weights on a number of different arteries.

Major routes such as the Trans-Canada Highway and PTHs 2, 6, 16 and 75 continue to be able to accommodate the heaviest truck loads, year round.

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