Seasonal Weight Restriction

Seasonal Weight Restrictions

One of the most common business interactions with a county road agency concerns seasonal weight restrictions – sometimes called “frost laws.” 

While roads are concrete and asphalt and look indestructible, they can actually be quite fragile in late winter as frost comes out of the ground.  Even strong late-winter sunlight on the dark paved surface has a significant impact on a road.

As frost melts beneath a paved road, the roadbed turns wet and spongy because water is trapped between the pavement and the remaining ice layer beneath.  When trucks and heavy equipment travel over a layer of concrete or asphalt that isn’t well supported beneath, lots of permanent cracks can occur.

 

Seasonal weight restrictions in effect.  Road commissions must strike a balance between “business as usual” and protecting the roads, and most of them employ licensed Professional Engineers (PEs) to make these decisions.  Most usually consult neighboring road agencies, as well.

By law, road agencies can enact weight restrictions on any roads not designed as “all season” roads.  All season roads are much thicker and designed to allow trucking year around.

Seasonal weight restrictions lower axle-loading limits and reduce maximum travel speeds for certain vehicles.  Click here for details about seasonal weight restrictions and their effect on axle loading and speed limits.

Note that some limited classes are exempt from these restrictions after a permit is filed.

For spring weight restriction bulletins from MDOT on the Trunkline System, click here.

Weight Restriction

Alcona Alger Allegan Alpena Antrim Arenac Baraga Barry Bay Benzie Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Charlevoix Cheboygan Chippewa Clare Clinton Crawford Delta Dickinson Eaton Emmet Genesee Gladwin Gogebic Grand Traverse Gratiot Hillsdale Houghton Huron Ingham Ionia Iosco Iron Isabella Jackson Kalamazoo Kalkaska Kent Keweenaw Lake Lapeer Leelanau Lenawee Livingston Luce Mackinac Macomb Manistee Marquette Mason Mecosta Menominee Midland Missaukee Monroe Montcalm Montmorency Muskegon Newaygo Oakland Oceana Ogemaw Ontonagon Osceola Oscoda Otsego Ottawa Presque Isle Roscommon Saginaw Sanilac Schoolcraft Shiawassee St. Clair St. Joseph Tuscola Van Buren Washtenaw Wayne Wexford
Green - no seasonal restrictions in effect
Red - indicates restrictions are in effect
Grey - restrictions are in effect in part of the county
Yellow - restriction status is unknown
County Name In Effect Roads
Alger No N/A
Alpena No N/A
Arenac No N/A
Barry No N/A
Benzie No N/A
Cass No N/A
Clare No N/A
Emmet No N/A
Huron Effective 1/30/2016 List
Ionia No N/A
Iron No N/A
Lapeer No N/A
Luce No N/A
Macomb No N/A
Monroe Until 2/15/2016 List
Oceana No N/A
Oscoda No N/A
Ottawa No N/A
Wayne No N/A