Maine Highway Weight Plan OK’d

Fri August 14, 2009 - Northeast Edition

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) Gov. John Baldacci said he’s pleased by a U.S. Senate panel’s approval of a plan to temporarily lift federal truck weight limits in Maine.

The Appropriations subcommittee on transportation on July 29 approved Sen. Susan Collins’ plan for a one-year pilot project exempting Maine’s highways from the 80,000-lb. (36,287 kg) federal truck weight limit.

Collins, R-Maine, said the current weight limit disparity on various segments of Maine’s interstate highways is an impediment to commerce, increases wear-and-tear on the state’s secondary roads and puts residents at risk.

Maine’s Congressional delegation has been working since 1994 to change a law that forces northbound trucks weighing more than 80,000 lbs. off Interstate 95 in Augusta. That’s forced heavy trucks traveling I-95 to Houlton onto smaller, secondary roads that pass through cities, towns and villages.