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Idaho will now let extra-heavy trucks roam the state’s non-freeway routes.
State Governor Otter has signed legislation approving the monster trucks, according to The Spokesman-Review.
He’s tossed a couple of caveats into the decisions, but nevertheless trucks closing in on 130,000 pounds can now use roads beyond their previously designated routes.
As you might expect, the push for approval was backed by a number of lobby groups and the opposition was pushed by other lobby groups. There are valid arguments coming from both camps.
But there surely can be no doubt that heavier trucks can do more damage. That would seem to be simple physics.
So the issue we need to address is this: If legislation is passed to allow heavier trucks – and this is an issue being discussed in other states and about Interstate trucking as well – can we be sure that the language of bills will address the needs of the road builders, repairers and maintainers as well as the two sides arguing about the Idaho law?
My concern is that “roads” could become something of an afterthought to any megatruck-approving legislation. This may lead to muddy or just plain inadequate wording in the legislation, leaving everyone from contractors to agencies that design and manage roads mired in processes that make their lives harder — and by extension making life harder (and more expensive) for all road users.