Maine officials are urging Congress to change a law that bars trucks heavier than 80,000 pounds from some federal highways.
The city of Freeport is leading an effort of U.S. 1 towns to ask Congress to exempt the state from the federal law that forces heavy trucks off the Interstates and onto secondary roads. Officials are warning that “It’s a nightmare waiting to happen," the Times Record newspaper reported.
Congress passed a law in 1956 that prohibited vehicles weighing more than 40 tons from using the Interstate system. All New England states except Maine were exempt from the law because they already had interstate highways in place, meaning Maine is the only state in the Northeast where heavy trucks have to take secondary roads. Officials from communities along U.S. Route 1 are pushing for a congressional exemption that would allow heavy trucks onto Interstate 95.
The Maine Municipal Association has been lobbying for years to get a waiver for Maine, but has not been successful.