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Plans For Heavier Trucks In Ohio Hit Bump

March 13, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Legislation being considered by Ohio lawmakers to increase the maximum truck weight on the state’s non-interstate routes from 80,000 pounds to 90,000 pounds has been removed from a larger bill.

A Senate transportation committee has removed it from a transportation budget measure. It was added earlier in the House by state representative and Republican Lynn Watchmann, who was later criticized by some who said he came up with the plan to help a business he owns that delivers bottled water. Watchmann later told The Plain Dealer newspaper in Cleveland that his business would indeed benefit.

There has been a suggestion that stand-alone legislation be introduced to increase truck weights.

During a Senate committee hearing, opponents of the hike expressed concern about safety and the effect of heavier trucks on roadway surfaces. Supporters, including the head of the state DOT, said allowing heavier trucks, which would special permitting, would bring in extra revenue for the state.

In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch newspaper, Larry Davis, president of the Ohio Trucking Association, said his group has not taken a position on increasing the state’s maximum truck weight due to deep disagreement over the proposal among members.

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