State Legislators Reconsidering Truck Weight Bills

Article excerpt

Associated Press

Oklahoma's transportation director said Thursday he expects a quick end to federal road funding sanctions triggered by the state's move to raise truck weight limits on state interstates.

"If everything stays the way it is and we continue to keep everything on a calm atmosphere, I think we'll start getting our money and get everything back on track in May," Jack Crowley said.

State legislators said Thursday they were reconsidering their contention that the federal government was unevenly applying an 80,000-pound weight limit, and said in the interim they would not push bills that would raise Oklahoma's truck weight limit to 90,000 pounds.

The federal Transportation Department reacted to those two bills last week by freezing Oklahoma's federal road funds.

The sanction forced the state to cancel most of its road projects for next month.

State legislators had argued the lower load limit would place Oklahoma's trucking industry at a disadvantage with those of other states.

Legislators cited comparisons supplied by the trucking industry that showed other states allowing loads of 100,000 pounds and beyond.

But Crowley told the House Transportation Committee on Thursday that the department's own review found all but three states complying with the 80,000-pound limit for single-trailer loads.

The higher weights cited for other states often were for unusually shaped or multiple trailer loads, transportation officials said. …