2020 Frost winter frost laws, thaw laws and weight restrictions.

2020-2021 Frost laws, thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions.

Frost/thaw damages to surface.

Frost/thaw damages to surface.

Learn the details of the winter frost laws, spring thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions. Details for the USA and Canada by State/Province. Many areas incorporate temporary special weight limits and restrictions (frost or thaw laws) during the winter and spring months of the year. These temporary restrictions are usually referred to as “frost laws” or “thaw laws” and implemented typically during the month or March and April. In some Northern States and Provinces frost laws can still be in effect in July as it’s much colder in the North. Since these restrictions are implemented on a “as needed” basis it is possible many of the official government websites may not have published this temporary restriction in a convenient place as frost laws are also subject to change at any moment based on the temperature of the roads core. You want to be certain to check with the appropriate officials to verify the latest changes in the laws.

2020-2021 United States: Restrictions on winter and spring seasonal weight laws.

Idaho Iowa Maine Michigan Minnesota  Montana Nevada  New Hampshire  New York North Dakota  Pennsylvania  South Dakota  Vermont Washington  Wisconsin  Wyoming

2020-2021 Canada: Restrictions on winter and spring seasonal weight laws.

Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick New Foundland & Labrador  Nova Scotia  Nunavut  Ontario  Prince Edward Island Quebec  Saskatchewan

Why we have these laws and must protect our roads and highways.

In order to keep the trucking industry operating the Northern US states and Canadian provinces rely on engineers and scientific data to determine which dates frost laws will be in effect. With fairly recent advances in science and technology, data is much more reliable. This helps with the implementation of “Frost Laws” or “Seasonal Weight Restrictions” ensuring they are not implemented to early or late. While no State or Province desires to delay the transportation of goods through their territory it is imperative public assets are protected.

In areas that constantly get negative (ie: -10 below zero) temperatures the amount of damages has forced Northern US States as well as Canadian Provinces to create and enact laws that restrict vehicle weights during the spring and winter months (specifically trucking companies) when the roads and bridges are thawing out. There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with different types of roads and pavements. For example the State of Michigan has implemented permanent frost laws that go into effect during the months of March through May (and in some cases even June). Some routes require legal axle weight limits be decreased by as much as 35%. Some areas and local governments may also limit heavy-haul vehicle speeds to a maximum of 35 miles per hour during frost/thaw law months regardless of posted limits.

One of many examples is in Southern Oregon on old US Highway 1 (which follows the coast line from Mexico to Canada) the road is as much as 16 feet thick as years of pavement (even bricks) has been laid down year after year since the early 1900’s. It should be noted that today’s technology is able to provide us with roads that are flexible due to the engineering of the construction process and the materials used. Excessive weight exerted by overloaded axles (or a weakened supporting base) can cause the pavement to bend or deform. The strength of the road combined with its resistance to bending determines the amount of weight the roadway can handle.

 

See also:

Tire chain laws.
Tire chain laws by location.
Trucking regulations.
Federal bridge formula.
Exemptions from seasonal restrictions.

North Dakota frost law restrictions

2020 North Dakota winter frost/spring thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions.

The North Dakota winter frost and spring thaw laws – seasonal weight restrictions. Seasonal weight restrictions are needed to protect the roads and highways during the winter months (usually between November 1 and April 1 each year but can extend towards the end of May) from being damaged by transporting heavy weights over them. While some of them are closed others remain open with weight limits significantly reduced in order to prevent damages. North Dakota implements protective measures to protect their infrastructure – and for a good reason.

North-Dakota-frost-thaw-map

Example of North Dakota frost and thaw law notification map for active months. Click to view their live version.

Make sure you’re educated on why the restrictions exist.

In most of North Dakota the colder winter temperatures cause the ground to freeze and become brittle. However, the earth underneath it is warmer and typically does not freeze so water exists in the roads aggregate when temperatures are frozen but not in the minus for long periods of time. What this does when large weights are transported over it is causes stress cracks and even buckling. These cracks lead to the deterioration of the road and eventually cause pot-holes as the ambient temperatures rise below thus expanding and pushing upward. The asphalt is then completely separated and a pot hole is created.

North Dakota spring thaw laws.

This is where any damages from driving over the roads during the winter frost months becomes evident. As the outside ambient temperature begins to rise so does the earths core. Since the asphalt is dense it takes it longer to thaw out. This is where buckling starts to take place as the warm earth expands and puts pressure on the asphalt to move upwards. This upward force causes the road to either buckle or pot holes start to develop from the millions of cracks that were created ultimately causing the public property to require maintenance which is a huge burden to the state and tax payers.

So North Dakota implements travel restrictions to prevent this.

With changing temperatures and built-up moisture in the pavement, roads are weakened as spring begins. Putting extra weight on the roads during this critical time can lead to even more issues. To prevent excessive damage to roads and highways, many states have enacted frost laws that go into effect during the early months of spring. These laws are designed to help protect the roads in areas with frigid winters.

Frost laws require that large vehicles carry a reduced load while driving on any posted or restricted roads. Also, heavy vehicles must lower their speed as the change in seasons takes place. This helps to cut down on the road damage that occurs as spring arrives each year

 

LoadPassPermits.com is the notification system for North Dakota road closures.

North Dakota frost law Notification system and travel map.

 

See also:

Tire chain laws.
Tire chain laws by location.
Trucking regulations.
Federal bridge formula.
Exemptions from seasonal restrictions.

 

Prince Edward Island Frost Laws

2020 Prince Edward Island winter frost/spring thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions.

Spring frost laws and weight restrictions for Island roads will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 15, 2020.

Frost/thaw law for PEI.

For Prince Edward Island all weather roads, such as routes 1 and 2: Vehicles may carry up to their maximum allowable weight with no overweight exceptions permitted. Other roads: Vehicles may carry 75 percent of their maximum allowable weight during frost law (thaw law) season. Only the road’s posted weight limit is permitted and if the laws are not observed a fine may be levied.

It is important for truck drivers and trucking company dispatchers to make certain they are operating in accordance with the Prince Edward Island posted frost laws, seasonal load weight and speed restrictions that are posted. Changes to these restrictions is subject to change hourly during the winter and spring months. You are expected to be aware of these changes and operate accordingly. It is possible that heavy fines may be levied as well as your truck being ordered out of service and not permitted to travel. We suggest you bookmark this page for future reference.

Seasonal weight restrictions limit the maximum weight of vehicles allowed to travel on certain roads as a way to help prevent damage and protect investment in the roadways.

Late winter and early spring driving in this province has its own set of challenges. Previously frozen roads become more vulnerable to damage as they thaw out and soften. Heavy vehicles travelling over paved roads can make it worse by causing the pavement to crack and break up.

What is frost law and why are they necessary?

When pavement thaws during the daytime and freezes at night it is potentially damaging to the road. In order to prevent this “frost laws” are implemented in order to prevent costly damages to the road.

How are roads damaged by frost thawing or the road freezing?

Water from melted ice and snow seeps into cracks in the pavement and softens the gravel underneath. When the water beneath the surface freezes again, it expands and breaks the pavement, causing potholes. If ice continues to form under the pavement from a steady supply of water, it can push the entire surface of the road upward causing the washboard like unevenness (ripple) known as “frost heaving.” These damages are permanent and costly to repair.

Why are Prince Edward Island roads more vulnerable to seasonal damage?

Prince Edward Island consists of a high concentration of silty soil which collects and holds more water beneath the roadway surfaces, making the roads more susceptible to frost heaving and potholes despite any drainage measures that have been put into place.

What are the classifications of roads under weight restrictions?

  • All-weather roads, such as routes 1 and 2: Vehicles may carry up to their maximum allowable weight – with no overweight exceptions permitted.
  • Other roads: Vehicles may carry 75 percent of their maximum allowable weight.
  • Posted weight limits: Only the road’s posted weight limit is allowed.

Contact information:

Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy
3rd Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street,
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5100
Fax: 902-368-5395

If you have questions about the frost/thaw laws as well as any other road related inquiries send a e-mail to: roads@gov.pe.ca

Prince Edward Island seasonal weight restrictions:

https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/transportation-infrastructure-and-energy/seasonal-weight-restrictions

See also:

Please share your knowledge with others by commenting below:

Ontario Frost Laws

2020 Ontario winter frost/spring thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions.

Frost - thaw laws Ontario.

Restrictions during winter frost and spring thaw law months.

All annual and project heavy haul trucking permits are not valid on any highways unless otherwise specified on the permit during frost or thaw months:

  • March and April in Southern Ontario
  • March, April and May in Northern Ontario

For the purposes of this restriction the Province of Ontario is divided, west to east, by:

  • A line formed by the Severn River to Regional Rd. 169
  • Regional Rd. 169 from Washago to Hwy. 12
  • Hwy. 12, from Regional Rd. 169 to Hwy. 7, north of Sunderland
  • Hwy. 7, from Hwy. 12 to Regional Rd. 7B at Carleton Place
  • Regional Rd. 7B to Hwy. 15
  • Regional Rd. 29 to Arnprior

Single trip permits for transporting heavy haul shipments on highways not designated in Schedules 1, 2 and 3, may be issued but are subject to axle weight controls established by the Ministry of Transportation.

Pursuant to The Highway Traffic Act, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation will impose reduced load weight limits for designated parts of the provincial highways between March 1 and April 30, for Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 roadways, and from March 1 to June 30 for Schedule 3 roadways.

Spring frost/thaw law weight maximums (restrictions) for Ontario:

Reduced loads.

Schedule 1.

Pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act, the ministry will impose reduced load limits for those designated parts of the King’s Highways listed in Schedule 1, when appropriate, between March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020: Verification.

Schedule 2.

Pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act, the ministry will impose reduced load limits for those designated parts of the King’s Highways listed in Schedule 2, when appropriate, between March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

When signs are posted, the following Highways will have a Reduced Load Limit for their ENTIRE length: Verification.

Schedule 3.

Pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act, the ministry will impose reduced load limits for those designated parts of the King’s Highways/Roads listed in Schedule 3, when appropriate, between March 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

When signs are posted, the Highway/Roads within the following Territories will have a Reduced Load Limit: Verification.

Source: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/load-restrictions.shtml

It is important for truck drivers and trucking company dispatchers to make certain they are operating in accordance with the Ontario posted frost/thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions. Changes to these restrictions is subject to change hourly during the winter and spring months. You are expected to be aware of these changes and operate accordingly. It is possible that heavy fines may be levied as well as your truck being ordered out of service and not permitted to travel. We suggest you bookmark this page for future reference.

Seasonal weight restrictions limit the maximum weight of vehicles allowed to travel on certain roads as a way to help prevent damages to public assets and protect public investment in the roadways.

Please share your knowledge with others by commenting below:

British Columbia Frost Laws

2020 British Columbia winter frost/spring thaw laws and seasonal weight restrictions.

2020 Seasonal frost and thaw law restrictions.

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure maintains an frequently updated database that posts frost law notices and seasonal load restrictions by region. Depending on the region weight restrictions may already be in place while others are scheduled to take place imminently.

NEW: Get on the e-mail notification list to be notified of seasonal load restriction changes for the following areas in British Columbia:

The link below includes an interactive map with links to 28 regions. Each region posts its current road conditions and any weight restrictions imposed. The current map indicates restrictions from “no weight restrictions” to “50%” of rated axle weights restrictions. It also includes access to recently updated load restrictions and road reports. British Columbia is excellent about providing up to date information about their frost laws and when they are in effect. It is important for truck drivers and trucking company dispatchers to make certain they are operating in accordance with the posted frost laws, seasonal load weight and speed restrictions that are posted. Changes to these restrictions is subject to change hourly during the winter and spring months. You are expected to be aware of these changes and operate accordingly. It is possible that heavy fines may be levied as well as your truck being ordered out of service and not permitted to travel. We suggest you bookmark this page for future reference.

  • South Vancouver Island.
  • Central Vancouver Island.
  • North Vancouver Island.
  • Howe Sound,
  • Sunshine Coast.
  • Lower Mainland.
  • Fraser Valley.
  • South Okanagan.
  • Kootenay Boundary.
  • Central Kootenay.
  • East Kootenay.
  • Selkirk.
  • Okanagan-Shuswap.
  • Nicola.
  • Thompson.
  • South Cariboo.
  • Central Cariboo.
  • North Cariboo.
  • Fort George.
  • Robson.
  • South Peace.
  • North Peace.
  • Nechako.
  • Lakes.
  • Bulkley Nass.
  • Skeena.
  • North Coast.
  • Stikine.

 

British Columbia:

http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/roadreports/RRMonitor.aspx

http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/bchighways/loadrestrictions/loadrestrictions.htm

See also:

Tire chain laws.
Tire chain laws by location.
Trucking regulations.
Trucking regulations in British Columbia.
Federal bridge formula.

Please share your knowledge with others by commenting below: