New bridge weight regulations go into effect

New weight regulations went into effect on Mississippi bridges this summer

New bridge weight regulations go into effect

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - State officials lowered the weight limit for people who have harvest permits, but there was confusion in the trucking industry about whether that actually gave them fewer restrictions.

A special meeting was held at the Mississippi Department of Transportation to clear up confusion about new weight restrictions on bridges.

New bridge weight regulations go into effect. Source: WLBT
New bridge weight regulations go into effect. Source: WLBT

The new law actually gave truckers a thousand pounds of weight on the limit, but now it's being measured on their axle, and not their truck bed.

“It was never intended to add additional weight to a truck,” said Mike McCormick. “It’s just that sometimes when you’re sight loading a log on a truck, that log could roll one way or another and it doesn’t take much to add an extra ton on that axle.”

“We have to anazlyze an engineer analysis of each bridge based off legal weight and when you do that, it shifts," said Melinda McGrath. "In the past if they were already hauling this weight, it was illegal.”

Truckers wanted to make sure they knew the law, to avoid fines.

They’re already having to navigate a minefield of closed bridges and more miles means more cuts to their bottom line.

“It puts more trucks on the roads," said McCormick. "It puts them on there for a longer amount of time which becomes a safety issue as well as an issue from a profit standpoint. The profit margin in logging, farming these days are razor thin.”

State officials expect to close even more in the next round of inspections.

About 300 bridges were posted with the new axle weight limits.

Harvest permits allow up to 84,000 pounds

Copyright 2018 WLBT. All rights reserved.