Concerns arise following proposed weight limit tolerance for far - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Concerns arise following proposed weight limit tolerance for farming vehicles and tractor trailers

Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT
Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT
Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT
Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature. Source: WLBT
JACKSON METRO AREA, MS (WLBT) -

Some central Mississippi elected officials are uncertain about a Senate bill currently in the Mississippi Legislature.

Senate Bill 2418 proposed an increase in the allotted axle weight limits for farming vehicles and other vehicles used at state ports.

Clinton Mayor Phil Fisher shared his concerns about the bill Monday afternoon and how it could affect local infrastructure.

Fisher said the current harvest permit variance is 5 percent and abides by the weight limits set my the National Bridge Design Code.

However, he feels if the weight limit is increased to 10 percent as SB 2418 proposed, the condition of bridges in local communities will deteriorate.

Fisher said excessive axle weight can cause bridges to fail, but signs of deterioration can often be detected sooner because of overload.

“Increasing the variance to 10 percent will require both MDOT and state aid; the money counties get to re-analyze all the bridges in each system," said Fisher. "This will result in an estimated cost of $28.5 million with the largest burden placed upon the counties.”

Fisher said MDOT could be required to post at least 80 bridges on the state system and counties would be required to post 1,400 bridges on the local system, resulting in a 65 percent increase in bridge postings statewide.

“This would also increase the amount of money spent on bridge signage statewide,” Fisher said. “New signs would have to be installed ahead of posted bridges in order to give trucks enough time to stop and turn around if they are overweight.”

Fisher said posted bridges could also negatively impact the routes of school buses as the Office of State Aid Road Construction or the county is not legally required to notify schools about posted bridges.

Fisher said SB 2418 will not provide counties with money to deal with the aftermath of increased weight limits.

The City of Clinton is already dealing with deteriorating bridges, they currently have $2 million set aside from their budget to complete repairs to a bridge on Pinehaven Road, Fisher said they also spent about $38,000 on repairs to a bridge on Cynthia Street, and have recently lowered the weight on a bridge on Kickapoo Road from ten tons to five tons.

To help tackle the cost of the bridge projects, Fisher said the city asked the legislature for a one cent sales tax increase, raising it from seven cents to eight cents.

“This will generate $17,500,000 over five years and we plan to take that money for infrastructure,” Fisher said. “Our plan was to use it for four lane roads and that is our plan but we’re going to need tremendous amounts of money.”

Jim Richards, president and CEO of KLLM Transport Services said his company is also opposed to the proposed weight limits.

“As you know, our infrastructure is in tough enough shape as it is,” Richards said. “Until our infrastructure is addressed, we certainly feel that any increase in weight limits will further deteriorate our already tough situation.”

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly