Seasonal Weight Restrictions Return

If this warm weather isn't sign enough that spring is right around the corner, check out this press release from the County Road Association of Michigan.

Lansing, Mich. – The County Road Association of Michigan (CRAM) announced today that counties are beginning to enact seasonal weight restrictions. The return of seasonal weight restrictions is an indication that spring- pothole season- is coming to Michigan.

"Although warmer weather is welcome after the subzero temperatures last week, the freeze thaw cycle makes road surfaces more susceptible to damage," Association Director, John Niemela said. "Even with weight restrictions our roads take a big hit each year."

Michigan's county road agencies are working to improve roads to accommodate commercial vehicles, but increasing costs and declining revenues delay these costly improvements.

The enforcement of seasonal weight restrictions, commonly known as frost laws, is vital to minimizing damage to Michigan's local road system. On average road commission weight restrictions last 5 to 6 weeks, between March and May.

By law, Michigan’s state and local road agencies may enact seasonal weight restrictions when ever conditions warrant. Weight restrictions are traditionally enacted each spring to minimize road damage caused by even legal load limit commercial vehicles during the freeze-thaw cycle of spring.

As the ground thaws, water is forced toward the surface exerting pressure under the pavement. This causes weak spots in the pavement and makes the road surface more prone to damage. The heavier the vehicle, the greater the probability of causing harm to roads. During the weight restriction period, trucks traveling on "posted/restricted" roads must carry lighter loads (legal load limit reduced by 25 to 35 percent) and travel at slower speeds.

CRAM offers a convenient Web resource for information on all county seasonal weight restrictions, simply visit and click seasonal weight restrictions.

Most northern states and all Canadian Provinces allow road agencies to impose seasonal weight restrictions. The CRAM Web site is continually updated as counties change their restrictions and provides commercial truck operators the information they need to comply with these temporary restrictions.

The County Road Association of Michigan represents the state’s 83 county road agencies that are responsible for 75 percent of Michigan’s road system, representing more than 90,000 miles of roads and 5,600 bridges- the fourth largest local road system in the nation.