Truck weight proposal worries Baldwin County officials

Legislature considers allowing heavier log trucks to roll across the state

Guy Busby
Government Editor
guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 11/9/22

DAPHNE — A proposed change in logging truck weight limits could increase demands on Baldwin County roads and bridges and create more safety problems, county officials said.Joey Nunnally, county …

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Truck weight proposal worries Baldwin County officials

Legislature considers allowing heavier log trucks to roll across the state

Posted

DAPHNE — A proposed change in logging truck weight limits could increase demands on Baldwin County roads and bridges and create more safety problems, county officials said.

Joey Nunnally, county engineer, told members of the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization, that highway officials expect a bill to be filed in the Alabama Legislature that would increase the weight limit for logging trucks from 80,000 to 100,000 pounds.

"Currently, the logging trucks or any truck is allowed to carry about 80,000 pounds," Nunnally said. "With a 10% overage, where they're allowed 10% more, that would put us up to about 88,000 pounds. They're argument is that they can't load their trucks in a fashion to where they're not going to be getting some overweight tickets. That 88,000-pound threshold is kind of hard to hit. So, they want to up this to about 100,000 pounds. If that happens, it has a huge impact on our road structures. It has a huge
impact on our bridge structures and our asphalt paving structures."

Nunnally said increased weight limits could require the county to impose weight restrictions on more than 400 bridges. He said the county would also have to add between a half-inch and 1 inch of asphalt on many roads to accommodate the extra weight.

"That means, to us, we're not going to be able to resurface as many miles of road every year because we've got to account for the additional buildup of asphalt for the additional loading," Nunnally said.

County Commissioner Matt McKenzie, a retired state trooper, said he was also concerned about the hazards of heavier trucks on the roads.

"I would think it would be more of a safety issue than anything," McKenzie said. "You've got a log truck up to 100,000 pounds, at 80,000, 88,000, they can't even stop. So, I don't think with my experience and if you've ever rode in the back of the woods in the rural counties, you'll see the roads where they've got a big impact where they've ridden on them so much. It's just dangerous. I think it's too much."

Brian Aaron, assistant regional engineer with the Alabama Department of Transportation, said the state also opposes the bill.

"It has effects on all of our state routes and bridges as well," Aaron said.

Loxley Mayor Richard Teal said heavy logging trucks already create problems and increased weight limits would put more stress on municipal roads and bridges.

"The city of Loxley would oppose this," Teal said. "We're fixing roads, mostly roads up in the north part, from log trucks up there, so we do have experience with some of those."

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