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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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HORTMAN OPPOSES TRUCK WEIGHT INCREASE

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Assistant Majority Leader Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) issued the following statement about the proposal to increase the weight limits for trucks on Minnesota highways. "Each year our transportations system is short over a billion dollars. That's one billion dollars of repairs and reconstruction that is not being done due to lack of funds. But you don't need to tell Minnesotans that. They see it, or more accurately, they feel it everyday in their commutes as the pop from one pot hole to another. "That’s why it makes no sense to increase the weight of the trucks traveling on our highways. Heavier trucks mean more wear and tear on our roads and bridges. An article in Governing magazine noted that increasing a truck's weight to 90,000 pounds results in a 42 percent increase in road wear. That means that pavement designed to last twenty years will wear out in seven. MNDOT reported just two years ago that a 20% increase in truck weight would almost double fatigue damage to bridge decks, beams and trusses. "This proposal attempts to dramatically increase the amount of repairs we must make each year at a time when our transportation system is bursting under the stress of current usage. This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time." -30-