Idaho bill expands heavy truck travel

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Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter recently signed a bill into law that opens more roads in Idaho to heavier trucks. Idaho’s current weight limit is 105,000 pounds; multiple trailer trucks with overweight permits can weigh up to 129,000 pounds under a 2003 pilot program to test the new weight limit on specified highways in the state.

The new law, which expands the program from 850 miles of roads to 1,200 miles, takes effect July 1. In the first three years of the pilot program, the state issued 24 permits for 369 trips by heavy trucks; sugar beet haulers accounted for 75 percent of the loads.

The program contains a sunset clause that will take the law off the books in 2013 unless the Idaho Legislature renews it.