Transporting emergency loads during a disaster can be slowed because states have different bridge weight limits and varying regulations.
The state departments of transportation comprising the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials have agreed to expedite the movement of emergency supplies across state lines during presidentially declared major disasters.
MAASTO-member states collaborated to identify acceptable emergency divisible load truck weights for disasters in the Midwest region. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin have agreed to the strategy. The policy expands emergency interstate truck weights from 80,000 pounds to a permitted weight of 88,000 pounds, with no more than a 10 percent increase per axle.
While this represents the base level for the region, individual states may allow heavier permitted weights.
This first-in-the-nation unified permitting approach enables better coordination of multistate transportation of critical loads, MAASTO officials said in a news release.
“We learned the importance of working regionally during the [COVID-19] pandemic and are using those lessons to be better prepared for the next disaster,” said Julie Lorenz, president of MAASTO and Kansas Secretary of Transportation. “We need to help truckers speed delivery to communities by setting the same emergency weight limits and cutting red tape before the disaster hits.”
Over $6 billion worth of goods move across MAASTO region’s freight corridors each year. By weight, 66% of all tonnage is moved on trucks across the MAASTO states, according to MAASTO.