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Georgia senators advance invoice permitting truck weight adjustments on highways

A plan to spice up weight limits for vehicles on Georgia state highways is proving a heavy raise in opposition to decided opposition.

After the scope of the invoice was reduce down earlier within the Home and nonetheless garnered barely sufficient votes to cross, the Senate Transportation Committee on Monday took a number of extra logs off the truck.

The committee, on a 7-Four vote, authorized a brand new model of Home Invoice 189 that will enable vehicles shifting agricultural and forestry commodities to hold as much as 88,000 kilos on state roads. Now, the restrict on state roads is 80,000 kilos, however vehicles are allowed a variance of as much as 84,000 kilos.

The invoice goes to the total Senate for extra debate. The Home must approve the adjustments.

The upper restrict would solely be good till July 1, 2024. Heavier vehicles would not be allowed in 13 core metro Atlanta counties, and native police and sheriff’s deputies might for the primary time write tickets for chubby vehicles. Now, solely the state Motor Service Compliance Division can write tickets.


By subsequent 12 months, senators stated, Georgia leaders have to attempt to discover methods to extend funding for the state’s transportation system. Lawmakers have been pushing for a statewide freight and logistics plan, however it will value one other $1 billion a 12 months, a minimum of, to pay for tasks together with wider highways, improved interchanges and expanded railroads.

“I feel it’s vital that this committee be engaged absolutely with the enterprise group, the ag group and in addition the Division of Transportation over the subsequent six to eight months,” stated Senate Majority Chief Steve Gooch, a Dahlonega Republican. “Now we have to get this freight and logistics plan carried out however we have now to have a number of cash to do it.”

A Home committee had initially sought to completely increase the load restrict to 90,000 kilos for all vehicles, earlier than voting 93-81 to permit that heavier weight for less than logging, farming and mining commodities. However Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Greg Dolezal, a Republican from Cumming, bluntly advised supporters “there should not the votes on this committee” to cross even the invoice the Home handed.

Metropolis and county governments and the Georgia Division of Transportation have ferociously opposed the rise, warning that heavier weights will trigger far more costly harm to roads and bridges. In addition they say many extra bridges must be posted as too weak to permit 88,000-pound vehicles, taking away a number of the benefits of the upper restrict. Different opponents warn heavier vehicles might trigger extra crashes due to elevated stopping distance.

Vehicles would stay restricted to 80,000 kilos on interstate highways.

Logging, farming and trucking teams have lengthy been in search of the rise, saying they may get monetary savings by hauling extra freight per journey. Loggers significantly argued that greater weight limits might make the distinction between revenue and loss of their low-margin trade.

Gov. Brian Kemp had been permitting heavy vehicles that get particular permits to haul as much as 95,000 kilos, below a provide chain emergency order that he repeatedly renewed. However that order lastly expired on March 11, decreasing the restrict to 84,000 kilos.

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