Area County Roads and Highways Could Be Subject to Excessive Weighted Trucks

The Iowa Legislature is considering legislation that would allow vehicles over 100,000 pounds to travel over area bridges only designed to carry 80,000 pounds. Area county supervisors are strongly encouraging the Legislature to rethink the bill which made it out of a Senate Committee and now goes to the Iowa Senate floor.

Essentially, the legislation allows the Iowa Department of Transportation to permit trucks, particularly log haulers to drive on county roads and bridges. Some of these trucks could weigh as much as 130,000 pounds according to officials in Winnebago County.

The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors visited with Winnebago County Engineer Scott Meinders about the impacts to county roads and bridges in a meeting on Tuesday. Meinders made it clear that this was not a good situation for counties like Winnebago.

Currently many bridges in Winnebago County do not have weight limit signs, because they meet current maximum of 80,000 pound tolerances according to Winnebago Supervisor Bill Jensvold.

The result would have to be that the county would have to evaluate each bridge for weight tolerance, and then place signage on each bridge specifying the tolerance. This would end up costing several thousands of dollars to the county taxpayers to benefit one or more trucking companies in the state.

Supervisor Terry Durby thought that the legislation should change to reflect home rule. In other words, the county could issue the permit and not the state.

Currently, a form of that is being done according to Meinders.

Senate Study Bill 1045 is now being considered on the Iowa Senate Floor.