Saskatchewan Gov. Relaxes Truck Weight Rules
REGINA, SK — The Saskatchewan provincial government announced Wednesday that it’s relaxing truck weight restrictions on rural highways in order to get farmers’ grain to ports because of the current grain movement crisis.
“Our government is committed to assisting farmers in getting their grain out of the bins and to market as quickly as possible,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris said. “While we will continue to protect our investment in highways during the spring thaw, we will allow for some exceptions to spring road bans to facilitate farmers’ urgent transportation needs.”
Shippers and farmers may apply to Ministry District Offices for permits that will allow for heavier than published spring weights.
Permits could be granted in situations where ministry staff determine that heavier loads will not cause undue road damage, or during colder than seasonal temperatures.
All haulers must hold a permit to access the heavier weights and the flexibility only applies to agricultural commodities.
The ministry is also launching two pilot projects this year that will see nearly 37 kilometres of rural highway upgraded to supergrids, which will allow for year-round heavy haul for shippers and farmers.
“Our supergrid pilot projects on Highways 361 and 47 will see low traffic volume, poor-condition roads upgraded to safer, full primary weight supergrids that are no longer subject to weight restrictions,” McMorris said.
Supergrids, at half of the cost of a primary weight pavement, have been used successfully in Alberta and other jurisdictions.
The two supergrid projects, which are planned for construction this year are:
- 31 km of Highway 361 from the junction of Highway 9 east to Alida
- 5.5 km of Highway 47, 20 km north of Stoughton
“We are pleased that the government recognized the need for improvements on Highway 361, and we look forward to the upgrades,” said Alida Mayor James Boettcher. “There is a tremendous amount of oil and gas activity in our area, but with that comes the need to upgrade the road system to accommodate heavy truck traffic.”