Minneapolis/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on February 22, 2024
Minnesota Begins Spring Load Restrictions on Roads in South, Southeast, and Metro AreasSource: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Minnesota roadways will soon put the brakes on heavy loads in certain areas, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announcing the start of spring load restrictions in the SOUTH, SOUTHEAST, and METRO frost zones beginning Monday, February 26, 2024, at 12:01 AM, as per an official announcement.

The MnDOT has called an end to winter load increases in these zones, while maps and detailed information on seasonal load limit zones and restricted routes are available on the MnDOT website, this move signals the beginning of the thaw season and is intended to prevent damage to roads compromised by the freezing and thawing cycle and it also reflects the agency's adaptation to the changing environment as temperatures rise.

Not all is lost for those needing to haul extra weight, as overweight permits for vehicles exceeding 80,000 pounds will still be issued provided they meet legal axle weight limits, MnDOT confirmed. These permits will be limited to interstate system travel during the restriction period. As the season progresses, middle-range and full-summer overweight permits will be phased in, becoming available two to three weeks following the lift of spring load restrictions.

The exact dates marking the end of these restrictions are not etched in stone, as they hinge on the whims of Minnesota's weather and its impact on road integrity; MinDOT has an automated message center that reports on these variables at 1-800-723-6543 for the U.S. and Canada, and at 651-366-5400 for the local Minneapolis/St. Paul area, drivers are urged to stay informed as the season progresses because the restrictions could be lifted earlier or extended depending on how the weather conditions affect the road strength.