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Prince Edward Island Frost Laws

2020 Prince Edward Island frost laws, seasonal load weight and speed 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

Learn about frost laws in other Canadian provinces.

Please share your knowledge with others by commenting below:

Ontario Frost Laws

2020 Ontario frost laws, seasonal load weight and speed restrictions.

Frost - thaw laws Ontario.

Restrictions on permits during frost or 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 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 public investment in the roadways.

Learn about frost laws in other Canadian provinces.
Learn about shipping regulations in Ontario.

Please share your knowledge with others by commenting below:

British Columbia Frost Laws

2020 British Columbia frost laws, seasonal load weight and speed restrictions.

2020 Seasonal Load 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

Learn about frost laws in other Canadian provinces.

Please share your knowledge with others by commenting below:

 

2020 Frost laws introduction and overview.

2020 Frost laws introduction and overview.

Frost/thaw damages to surface.

Frost/thaw damages to surface.

2020 frost laws, seasonal load weight and speed restrictions by State/Province (USA and Canada).

Section 1. The United States: Restrictions and guidance on seasonal weight restriction laws.

Many states incorporate temporary special weight limits and restrictions (frost laws) during the spring months of the year. These temporary restrictions are usually referred to as “frost 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 department officials to verify the latest changes in the laws.

It is very typical for States and Provinces to not be clear about their exact weight requirements during frost law season. This gives them the opportunity to examine each proposal individually on a case-by-case basis to determine if any damages may occur at the time should the shipment be approved. Information may only be available by contacting the SPECIFIC DEPARTMENT. The axle weight limits and spacings are determined by many factors including road conditions, temperature, moisture content in the soil, etc. Note multiple weight limits can be in effect at the exact same time in different parts of the region due to temperature as well as the actual construction of the road.

Visit any of the links below to view state frost laws:

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

Section 2. Canada: Restrictions and guidance on seasonal weight restriction laws.

Many Canadian provinces issue spring frost law weight restrictions in the month of March and current Province websites may not be all inclusive of temporary changes in their laws. It is wise to check with the province’s DOT office (or appropriate department) for the most current and latest frost law information.

Visit any of the links below to view province frost laws:

Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Nova Scotia  Ontario  Prince Edward Island Quebec  Saskatchewan

Protection of our roads and highways.

There’s a delicate balance between protecting roadways during the spring thaw. 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 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 spring months (specifically trucking companies), when the roads and bridges are thawing. 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 the legal axle weight limits be decreased by as much as 35%. Some States and local governments may also limit heavy-haul vehicle speeds to a maximum of 35 miles per hour during the frost law months regardless of posted limits.

Most major highways are constructed in 3 layers. The top layer you see or the pavement usually averages about 4″ to 6″ in thickness depending on it’s age. This layer of pavement is supported by 2 more layers. One is called the base layer and the other a sub-base layer. Together these three layers are typically at least 36″ in depth with most much more thicker. For instance in Southern Oregon on old US Highway 1 which follows the coast line from Mexico to Canada the road is a much as 16 feet thick as years of pavement has been laid. 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.

Road building technology has improved significantly during the last decade. The most obvious winter damage is the occurrence of potholes that are the result of moisture in the pavement freezing and weakening the top layer of the road. However, modern road building materials significantly reduce the amount of moister retained in the top layers, reducing the occurrence of pot holes. The base and sub-base however are still subject varying amounts of moisture that is influenced by rain, run-off and general moisture content during the spring months.

Roadways are built to carry normal maximum axle and gross weights based a certain level of residual moisture in the layers of the road bed. During the normal winters in the northern states and Canadian provinces, water in the soil typically freezes down to depths of a meter or more, preventing excess water from escaping. In fact, some areas in Canada allow up to a 25% increase in axle and gross weights because the solidly frozen base layers strengthen the road structure. During the spring thaw, however, axle and gross weights may be reduced by as much as 35%.

What exactly are frost laws?

Frost laws are seasonal restrictions on traffic weight limits and speeds on roadways subject to thaw weakening.

During the spring thaw, the roadbed is softened by trapped moisture beneath the pavement, reducing the supporting strength of the road to less than the original construction strengths. As the excess moisture evaporates or drains away, the road bed will stabilize and return to normal design strengths.

Because of the variability of temperatures each year States and Provinces must manage maximum weight and speed restrictions on a seasonal basis to both protect and preserve roads and ensure maximum access to trucking interests.

“Seasonal weight restrictions” typically start in early March and continue through mid-June. Since conditions vary from year to year, from below-normal to above-normal temperatures, most states and provinces reserve the authority to adjust spring load restrictions based on observed seasonal rain and temperature conditions, weather forecasts, as well as soil moisture sampling, to determine the dates for setting and removing weight restrictions. Weight restrictions remain in effect until sufficient moisture has escaped and the roadbeds regain stability. The most significant pavement damage occurs during the first four weeks after the onset of spring thaw.

Some states plan seasonal weight restrictions. For example, Pennsylvania schedules restrictions from February 15th to April 15th based on years of weather data. However, they reserve the authority to post additional restrictions due to unforeseen severe weather conditions.

The State of North Dakota has taken a much more different approach. They utilize temperature probes in the base layer sections, long range temperature forecasts, and sensors in the pavement to evaluate the strength of roadway bases to forecast when load restrictions should be imposed or removed.

A review of transportation  departments indicates 16 states have implemented frost laws or seasonal load restrictions. In many states, seasonal weight restrictions are managed by local governments or jurisdictions. Most Canadian provinces also have established spring thaw speed and weight laws.

Note: The strength of a roadway is affected by moisture in the base materials supporting the roadway. The condition of road surface—moisture or frost on the roadway—does not affect roadway strength.

In general, during the spring thaw, maximum axle weights and gross vehicle weights will be reduced as much as 35%. Each state or province has established maximum axle and gross vehicle weights for key national and state trucking routes.

Because these spring load restrictions will vary so widely by state, and even within a state and because seasonal restrictions may be posted on short notice, it is best to check each state’s freeze/thaw laws prior to each trip. Links to seasonal restriction information for each US state or Canadian province are posted above.

Frost laws are created for the States and Providences in the USA and Canada that experience very low temperatures in the winter months frost laws may be enacted.  These frost laws have been created to protect the State of Providences from highway and road damage caused by the surface cracking which is a direct result of too much weight being placed on the pavement which causes stress cracks thus damaging it.  Also, when the freezing temperatures start to thaw out at times the water can not escape quickly which will cause the water to build up which can weaken the base structure of the road or highway which again causes damages the the pavement.  Damages from thawing are just as severe if not even more extreme than frozen damages as they occur to the upper structure of the pavement rather than the base structure.  In some areas during the winter months actual federal weight limits for the trucking industry (80,000 pounds gross) have been reduced with a reduction in driving speeds as well.  This reduction has been observed as high as 35% in weight and even more in maximum speeds.  Some States and Providences close winter and spring travel in certain areas.

It is very important that managers of trucking and transportation companies are aware of the open and closed months, days and times these particular laws are in effect as you can’t make an arrangement with a customer to ship their item if the state will not let you ship it due to frost or thaw laws being in effect. We are creating a contact list (EDIT ADD LINK)  of each state that has frost laws enacted for the trucking industry for you to contact for further information.

It is important for you to check with the DOT, DMV, Port of entry or governing office of that particular area for clarification of the specific rules and regulations.