A group of primarily agricultural transportation stakeholders is urging Congress to support a pilot program that would allow up to 10 states to opt-in to allow 91,000 pound, six-axle bridge formula-compliant trucks on federal Interstate Highways.
Under current law, the maximum gross vehicle weight permissible on the Interstate Highway System is 80,000 pounds on 5 axles. Thirty-one states currently permit trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds on Federal Interstate Highways under special permits or other exemptions. Further, 18 states currently allow trucks weighting more than 80,000 pounds on non-Interstate highways as a matter of right.
Noting that a recent U.S. Department of Transportation study indicated that more information was needed regarding the costs and benefits associated with increasing truck weight allowances, agriculture interests are framing their proposed pilot program as a method to allow policymakers to collect additional safety data and thus more information to develop a uniform national policy.
The coalition's letter was sent to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, indicating that the group is seeking to include the pilot program in the next major appropriations package that Congress will consider in September.
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