Interstate Hauling Moves Forward In Arkansas
Arkansas Act 711, previously SB 494, has passed in both legislative chambers and is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. This pending new law compels the Director of State Highways and Transportation to request that the Congress of the U.S. amend 23 U.S.C. § 127 concerning the vehicle weight limitations on the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways to allow logging/fiber trucks to haul 85,000 lbs. on a segment of the interstate highways no more than 20 miles. A permit would have to be obtained from the Arkansas Highway Police Division of the Arkansas Department of Transportation before traveling on the interstate.
Currently, haulers are not permitted to travel on the federal interstate system in Arkansas with the 85,000 lbs. legal weight limit (state), because it exceeds the federally-established weight limits on those roadways. This means log trucks traveling to mills are traveling through communities, passing businesses and pedestrians, including grade schools, high schools, and colleges. These trucks also have to negotiate roundabouts and difficult turns.
Rerouting trucks to the interstate system is a solution in addressing issues and concerns for safety. There are also economic and efficiency implications as well, as utilization of the highway system versus using alternate rural routes and community roads can reduce travel and delivery times. Keeping large trucks out of community neighborhoods also means mitigating truck noise and exhaust.
In a recent report in the Texas Logger newsletter from the Texas Logging Council, the state Texas Forest Service (TFS) noted rates of state timber harvesting Best Management Practices (BMPs) compliance, officials with the Texas Forest Service say…
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