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Simpson Secures Idaho Truck Weight Language

Idaho Congressman’s language creates a level playing field with neighboring states which will result in a boost to Idaho’s economic activity

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has once again secured language in the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill to allow trucks weighing up to 129,000 pounds on Idaho Interstates.

The current weight limit in Idaho of 105,500 pounds blocks trucks from entering the Interstate system, instead, relegating them to certain state highways or outside of Idaho completely.  Idaho’s neighbors Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada all allow higher weights than Idaho, putting Idaho’s most important job creators, particularly agriculture, at a competitive disadvantage.

“My language, which I first introduced in 2008, has been sought by the State of Idaho for years, and I am pleased to see it included in the House draft today,” said Simpson. “It would simply put Idaho on a level playing field with its neighbors and at the same time be a major generator of economic activity.  I am thankful to THUD Appropriations Chairman Diaz-Balart for including this provision in the bill.”

Simpson’s 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 affect the structural soundness of Idaho’s bridges or pavement.  In fact, heavier trucks have more axels than traditional trucks, distributing the weight in such a way that it has less impact on the roadway and allows the truck to brake more efficiently and stop more abruptly if needed.  The weight increase would also take one of five trucks off the road.

“I am well aware that when people hear that there will be heavier trucks on the highway they become concerned.  It seems logical that a heavier truck would be more dangerous.  However, that is not the case,” said Simpson. “These heavier trucks have been proven to be safe in Idaho. They are already using our state highways today.  This language will simply allow these same trucks to use the Interstate. It takes them off of smaller roadways and out of communities and puts them on the Interstate, where they belong.

The THUD bill will be marked up by the THUD subcommittee this week, and will then go to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration, before going to the House floor.  Last year, the bill, with Simpson’s Idaho language included, passed in the House of Representatives, but it did not survive negotiations with the Senate.