Forty-five members of Congress have urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to carefully consider the impacts that changes to truck size-and-weight limits would have on local roads and bridges.
In a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, the Congressmen expressed concern that longer and heavier trucks would divert significant amounts of freight to highways, resulting in an increase of heavy truck traffic and increased costs to state and localities.
Current federal law restricts tractor trailers of 80,000 pounds to the 47,000-mile interstate system. However, DOT is studying truck size and weight as directed under the current highway bill, MAP-21.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is gathering data on safety, the impact heavy trucks have on pavement and bridges, compliance, and the possible model shifts that could occur with freight.
In early June, NATSO representatives attended the FHWA's first public session of its truck size-and-weight study.
This letter, coupled with recent legislation passed in the House (H.R. 2353), make it increasingly likely that truck size and weight will be a hotly debated issue when Congress begins working to reauthorize surface transportation programs next year.
This article originally ran in NATSO News, NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NATSO News is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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