Minnesota has laid the groundwork for a significant change in state transportation policy which would benefit everyone from companies to commuters, says Fred Corrigan, executive director of the Aggregate & Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, in a column published by the Mesabi Daily News.
Currently, Minnesota businesses that haul construction materials are subject to restrictive truck weight limits in the Midwest, which means more truck trips, more emissions, more traffic, and more wear on roadways and bridge.
If signed into law this session, the new policy would bring Minnesota in line with neighboring states by allowing six-axle trucks to haul 90,000-pound loads and seven-axle trucks to haul 97,000-pound loads.
In the column, Corrigan explains that many of the state’s aggregate companies are responsible for building and maintaining roads for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, counties, and other local units of government, so the higher allowable weight for trucks hauling road construction material would mean lower transportation costs on most jobs, and significant taxpayer savings as a result.
Taking thousands of trucks off the roads would also mean a decrease in traffic and a notable reduction in emissions, as well as a reduction of wear on the infrastructure by reducing the number of vehicles using those roadways and bridges.