Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tribune: ITD Panel to Take the Wheel This Summer on Big-Rig Debate

Posted By on Sat, May 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that a plan to let heavier trucks roll across Idaho has "entered a bureaucratic speed zone."

The Tribune's Bill Spence reports that the Idaho Transportation Board—a seven member panel of citizens—is expected to take up the issue, which was passed by the 2013 Idaho Legislature, allowing rigs as heavy as 129,000 pounds to move across more Gem State highways. The current weight limit on most Idaho roads is 80,000 pounds but a special permit can allow 105,500 pounds to roll across roads.

Trucking industry interests—backed by the Idaho Forest Group—say that 129,000-pound loads would help them cut costs by reducing the number of trips.

But those opposing the measure worry that local jurisdictions could be sued if a district opted not to allow heavy trucks on its roadways.

"It's anticipated the committee will make recommendations this summer," ITD spokesman Jeff Stratten told the Tribune. ""The goal is to have rules passed by the transportation board to allow for legislative review during the 2014 session."

When the proposed rules come before lawmakers in 2014, legislators will have the final say in approving or rejecting the guidelines.

The ITD board next meets in Pocatello Wednesday, May 22.

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