The U.S. House has passed a measure that would allow Wisconsin to continue its practice of allowing trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds along a section of U.S. 41 when the route is designated as an Interstate roadway, most likely next year.
The bill now heads to Senate for consideration, where a separate bi-partisan measure has also been introduced for the stretch between Green Bay and Milwaukee.
Currently trucks hauling grain, coal or ore can weigh up to 88,000 pounds, while those transporting pulp or timber can weigh up to 98,000 pounds along U.S. 41. When the route is designated as interstate, and if there is no exemption for the heavier trucks, they would be forced to take secondary routes.
A final environmental report from the Wisconsin Transportation Department on converting the route is expected in the fall. Federal officials would then have to approve the state’s request to change the route if Congress passes legislation and is signed by the President, allowing the higher weights.
So far there has been little opposition to the plan.