Road damage caused by heavy vehicles during winter and spring thawing periods is a problem that affects all northern states. Unless a roadway has been designed and constructed for heavy vehicle loads year-round and designated to be an ALL-SEASON ROAD, a significant loss of strength occurs during a seasonal thaw period.
The damage to a road is directly related to the amount and frequency of the loading applied. Michigan law provides that the months of March, April and May are automatically reduced loading months, but the statute also allows the Michigan Department of Transportation and county road commissions to implement those restrictions earlier, or suspend reduced loading, depending upon the weather and road conditions.
Along with reduced loading provisions are reduced speeds. For vehicles over 10,000 pounds operated on seasonally restricted roads, the speed limit drops to a maximum of 35 mph, regardless of the posted limit. Speed, in conjunction with axle and wheel loading, contributes to road damage including the creation of potholes.
When seasonal weight restrictions are imposed, only seasonal transportation permits will be issued by WCRC. During this time frame, all other transportation permits are suspended. All permits must be submitted through oxcartpermits.com.
Most of the roadways in Washtenaw County are seasonally restricted. For further information, please refer to the current WCRC Truck Operator’s Map or contact the Permits Office at (734) 327-6642.