The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will apply seasonal spring weight restrictions to its non-all-weather roads on Monday, March 7, at 6 a.m. The restrictions limit the amount of weight trucks can carry on the roads and are intended to minimize damage to the roads while the ground under the roads is thawing.
Anyone wanting an update on the status of the weight restrictions can call RCOC’s weight restrictions hotline at (248) 858-4765. Individuals can also sign up for Spring Weight Restriction notifications through the RCOC website, https://www.rcocweb.org/list.aspx. Subscribers will be notified in advance when the 2020 restrictions will be lifted.
Each spring, in accordance with state law, RCOC reduces the weight limits on its non-all-weather roads as temperatures begin to rise and the ground begins to thaw. “As the road subsurface thaws, the road’s ability to carry weight is reduced,” explained RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar. “That means that a weight that wouldn’t affect the road under normal conditions might now damage the road. These restrictions help to ensure that our roads last as long as possible with as few potholes as possible.”
The restrictions do not affect passenger vehicles but apply to commercial trucks. Weight restrictions are enforced by weighmasters employed by the Road Commission, the state, local communities or the Sheriff’s Department. Violation of the weight restrictions can result in a citation and fine.
David Czerniakowski, director of RCOC’s Department of Customer Services, said the timing of this year’s weight restrictions is fairly typical. “It is usually in late February or early March that the ground is thawing, and we must apply the restrictions,” he noted.
Czerniakowski will recommend that the restrictions be removed when he determines that the soil is no longer saturated and the frost has thawed. He noted that the weight restrictions have an impact on several industries including building construction, because it restricts companies’ ability to move heavy equipment.
“Weight restrictions do not prevent trucks from operating,” Czerniakowski said. “They may still operate on affected roads. They simply have to operate with a reduced load on those roads, though the width and length of the truck can also be a factor.”
A “truck operators’ map” is available from the Road Commission that shows which roads have weight restrictions. The map is available on RCOC’s web page at www.rcocweb.org, by calling RCOC’s Customer Services Dept. at (248) 858-4835 or by visiting the department’s offices at the RCOC facility at 2420 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township (office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.).
A listing of the affected roads is posted on the website as well.
For a statewide listing of which counties have imposed spring weight restrictions, visit the County Road Association of Michigan (CRA) Web site, www.micountyroads.org.