Simpson Secures Language Increasing Truck Weight Limits in Idaho
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, a new member of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, has secured language in the Fiscal Year 2015 THUD Bill to allow trucks weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Idaho Interstates.
This increase, up from the current allowance of 105,500 pounds, would put Idaho in line with neighboring states and with Idaho’s state highways, which currently allow trucks up to 129,000 pounds. This language comes after completion of a ten-year comprehensive Idaho study which found the weight increase would have no significant impact on roadway safety, nor would it significantly impact the structural soundness of Idaho’s bridges or pavement.
“I am pleased to see this important language included in the House bill today. This increase has long been sought by the State of Idaho because it would remove the competitive disadvantage the state currently faces,” said Simpson. “This will be a major generator of economic activity in Idaho, and I am thankful that THUD Appropriations Chairman Latham included this provision in the bill.”
Idaho’s current allowed weight of 105,500 pounds is significantly less than neighboring states like Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. This has made it difficult for Idaho producers to ship goods to, from, and through the state.
A higher weight limit means trucks will have more axels than traditional trucks, distributing the weight in such a way that there is less weight on each axel than a standard truck. It also would reduce the number of trucks on the road.
“For centuries, our transportation system has been the backbone of our economy. Our ability to move goods and people safely and efficiently across the country has made our economy the greatest in world history. But today that system is aging, reaching the end of its life in many cases or being stretched beyond what was originally intended. We need to implement common sense reforms to extend our system’s life by making it work even better. This language does that,” Said Simpson. “By ensuring that Idaho’s vehicle laws match those of its neighboring states, Idaho can more efficiently play a larger role in transferring goods without impacting safety.”
The bill will be marked up by the THUD subcommittee on Wednesday, and will then go to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration, before going to the House floor.