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.

Download the new CRA Seasonal Weight Restrictions app for Android or iOS!

Take CRA’s Seasonal Weight Restrictions dashboard on the go with our new mobile apps!

Things look a little different around here. What’s new with CRA’s Seasonal Weight Restrictions tool?

  • Updated color-coded map with brighter colors;
  • Map pop-up window with county road agency with weight restriction info including:
  • A list of restricted roads by county;
  • A list of all-season roads by county;
  • Date when info was last updated;
  • The ability to pull a permit online, directly from Oxcart (for participating counties);
  • A sign-up form to receive email notifications when counties make updates.
  • An all-new table view with the features from the updated map.

Click the links below to download to your device today!

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.

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