Rules and regulations went into effect recently permitting truck configurations legally allowed on Maine state highways to operate on interstate highways in Maine during the period that the federal 100,000-pound pilot project is in effect.
The 20-year pilot project championed by Sen. Susan Collins, and finally signed by the President on November 18, 2011, contained a provision that permitted truck configurations legally allowed on Maine state highways to be allowed on interstate highways in Maine. In order for configurations other than the six-axle combination trucks at 100,000 pounds to operate on the interstate in Maine, state law had to be changed accordingly.
In the last session of the Legislature, MFPC, the Maine Motor Transport Association (MMTA) and others supported legislation that gave the commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) the authority to grant additional configurations the ability to operate on the interstate highway system. This legislation passed, and became law in 2012. Over the course of the last couple years, Maine DOT researched the issue from an engineering perspective and determined that the interstate roads and bridges were designed to accommodate the configurations allowed on Maine’s state highways.
“The trucking industry needs to be continually mindful that the ability to operate on the interstate at the more productive weight limits is a pilot project that is set to expire in 2031,” the MMTA said in a press release. “We need to continue to demonstrate every day that it is safe and effective. Working together, we have no doubt we can do so.”