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News Release

February 24 , 2004

Mn/DOT Ends Winter Weight Increases
Restricts Axle Load limits in 3 Highway Frost Zones

ST. PAUL, Minn. - With the onset of warmer temperatures, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will end winter axle load increases in the southern, southeastern and eight-county Twin Cities metro area frost zones on Feb. 26 at 12:01 a.m.; the department will put spring weight restrictions in effect in those zones at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 27.

Winter load increases remain in effect for the central, north-central and north frost zones.

The end of winter weight increases and start of spring road restrictions are based on how weather conditions affect roadway strength.

Maps indicating the location of weight-restricted routes and those state highways open to maximum 10-ton axle weights are listed on Mn/DOT's Office of Materials Web site: http://www.mrr.dot.state.mn.us. In addition to the Web site, Mn/DOT provides a recorded message giving the starting and ending dates by calling 1-800/723-6543 (toll-free) or 651/747-2253.

Mn/DOT officials advise truckers and shippers of changes now in effect for this season:

1. The former northern frost zone is now divided into two zones: the north zone and the north-central zone
2. The boundary between the north-central zone and the central zone has been slightly modified
3. The boundaries of the Twin Cities metro area, southern and southeastern zones remain essentially unchanged but include minor clarifications
4. The same zone boundaries will apply to both winter load increases and spring load restrictions
5. Vehicles with the proper permits will be allowed to operate at 10 percent above the standard maximum load on both 10- and 9-ton routes during the winter load increase period.

The new zones are based on the results of an advisory task force established by the Legislature.

Too Fast. Too Close. Too Late.
See ORANGE.

We’re in the WORK ZONE Together

For statewide up-to-date traveler information, Minnesotans are now able to access weather-related road conditions, construction and congestion by dialing 511 or by logging on to www.511mn.org

District 7, Mankato/Windom
501 S. Victory Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001-5302
Tel: 800/657-3747
Fax: 507/389-6281

Contact:
Rebecca Arndt
Public Affairs Coordinator
507/389-6883