Seasonal Weight Restriction

Seasonal Weight Restrictions

One of the most common business interactions with a county road agency concerns seasonal weight restrictions – sometimes called “frost laws.” 

While roads are concrete and asphalt and look indestructible, they can actually be quite fragile in late winter as frost comes out of the ground.  Even strong late-winter sunlight on the dark paved surface has a significant impact on a road.

As frost melts beneath a paved road, the roadbed turns wet and spongy because water is trapped between the pavement and the remaining ice layer beneath.  When trucks and heavy equipment travel over a layer of concrete or asphalt that isn’t well supported beneath, lots of permanent cracks can occur.

Seasonal weight restrictions in effect.  Road commissions must strike a balance between “business as usual” and protecting the roads, and most of them employ licensed Professional Engineers (PEs) to make these decisions.  Most usually consult neighboring road agencies, as well.

By law, road agencies can enact weight restrictions on any roads not designed as “all season” roads.  All season roads are much thicker and designed to allow trucking year around.

Seasonal weight restrictions lower axle-loading limits and reduce maximum travel speeds for certain vehicles.  Click here for details about seasonal weight restrictions and their effect on axle loading and speed limits.

Note that some limited classes are exempt from these restrictions after a permit is filed.

For spring weight restriction bulletins from MDOT on the Trunkline System, click here.

For MDOT's information resource for commercial trucking, click here.

Weight Restriction

Alcona Alger Allegan Alpena Antrim Arenac Baraga Barry Bay Benzie Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Charlevoix Cheboygan Chippewa Clare Clinton Crawford Delta Dickinson Eaton Emmet Genesee Gladwin Gogebic Grand Traverse Gratiot Hillsdale Houghton Huron Ingham Ionia Iosco Iron Isabella Jackson Kalamazoo Kalkaska Kent Keweenaw Lake Lapeer Leelanau Lenawee Livingston Luce Mackinac Macomb Manistee Marquette Mason Mecosta Menominee Midland Missaukee Monroe Montcalm Montmorency Muskegon Newaygo Oakland Oceana Ogemaw Ontonagon Osceola Oscoda Otsego Ottawa Presque Isle Roscommon Saginaw Sanilac Schoolcraft Shiawassee St. Clair St. Joseph Tuscola Van Buren Washtenaw Wayne Wexford
Green - no seasonal restrictions in effect
Red - indicates restrictions are in effect
Grey - restrictions are in effect in part of the county
Yellow - restriction status is unknown
County Name In Effect Roads Last Updated
Alcona Until 4/12/2017 Online 4/10/2017
Alger Until 5/1/2017 Online 4/25/2017
Alpena Until 4/13/2017 Online 4/12/2017
Antrim No Online 4/10/2017
Arenac No Online 4/4/2017
Baraga No N/A 7/19/2017
Barry No Online 4/4/2017
Bay No Online 4/4/2017
Benzie No Online 4/11/2017
Berrien No Online 2/21/2017
Branch No List 4/4/2017
Cass No N/A 1/1/2016
Cheboygan No N/A 4/13/2017
Chippewa Until 4/24/2017 N/A 4/21/2017
Clare No Online 4/4/2017
Crawford No N/A 4/12/2017
Delta Until 5/1/2017 List 4/27/2017
Dickinson No Online 5/8/2017
Eaton No Online 4/4/2017
Emmet No List 4/4/2017
Genesee No List 4/4/2017
Gladwin No List 4/4/2017
Grand Traverse Until 4/5/2017 Online 4/3/2017
Hillsdale No Online 3/6/2017
Houghton No N/A 7/19/2017
Huron Until 4/8/2017 Online 4/3/2017
Ingham No Online 3/10/2017
Ionia No Online 4/4/2017
Iosco Until 4/10/2017 Online 4/4/2017
Iron No Online 5/12/2017
Jackson No Online 4/4/2017
Kalkaska Until 4/10/2017 Online 4/5/2017
Kent No Online 4/4/2017
Keweenaw No List 5/15/2017
Lake No N/A 4/4/2017
Lapeer No Online 4/4/2017
Lenawee No Online 4/4/2017
Livingston No N/A 3/21/2017
Luce No List 5/15/2017
Mackinac No List 4/24/2017
Macomb No List 4/4/2017
Manistee Until 4/10/2017 List 4/4/2017
Marquette No Online 5/16/2017
Mason No Online 4/4/2017
Mecosta No Online 4/4/2017
Menominee Until 4/24/2017 List 4/21/2017
Midland No N/A 4/4/2017
Monroe No List 4/4/2017
Montmorency Until 4/10/2017 List 4/6/2017
Muskegon No N/A 4/4/2017
Newaygo No List 4/4/2017
Oakland No N/A 4/4/2017
Oceana No Online 4/4/2017
Ogemaw Until 4/10/2017 List 4/3/2017
Ontonagon No N/A 5/15/2017
Osceola No List 4/3/2017
Oscoda No Online 4/12/2017
Otsego Until 4/12/2017 List 4/12/2017
Ottawa No N/A 4/4/2017
Roscommon Until 4/10/2017 Online 4/7/2017
Saginaw No N/A 4/4/2017
Sanilac No N/A 4/4/2017
Shiawassee No Online 3/27/2017
St. Clair No N/A 3/29/2017
St. Joseph No Online 3/14/2017
Tuscola No List 4/4/2017
Van Buren No Online 4/4/2017
Wayne No N/A 1/1/2016
Wexford Until 4/10/2017 Online 4/4/2017

Click here for a list of contact information for county road agencies.