CHARLOTTETOWN, PE — Spring means a breath of fresh air and renewal of… weight restrictions in Prince Edward Island. That’s why Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey advises commercial haulers to transport their heavier-than-normal loads now before spring weight restrictions are placed on Island roadways.
“Our highways will begin to soften once pavement temperatures climb above freezing for several days in a row,” Vessey said. “At that point, weight restrictions will be put into place to protect Islanders’ investment in our roadways from being damaged from heavy vehicles.”
While weight restrictions are in effect, no over-weight vehicles are allowed on the province’s all-weather highways (such as routes 1, 1A, 2, and 3). On all other roads, the weight of the vehicle and its load must total no more than 75 percent of the vehicle’s maximum allowable weight.
Seasonal weight restrictions
Roads are more vulnerable to damage from heavy vehicles in late winter and early spring because water from melted ice and snow seeps into cracks in the thawing pavement and into the gravel underneath – then it re-freezes and expands, breaking the pavement and causing potholes.
“Frost heaving” – or washboarding – happens when ice continues to form under the pavement from a steady supply of water, pushing the road surface upward and making it uneven. Prince Edward Island’s salty clay soil collects and holds more water beneath road surfaces, making Island roads more susceptible to frost heaving and potholes despite any drainage measures put into place.
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