Residents react to possible weight limit increase for trucks

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Residents and local government officials have reaction to a possible increase in weight limit for trucks.

There biggest concern is possible road damage.

“It’s not fair for us to dump a bunch of money into roads just for a handful of trucks when we have other roads that have thousands of cars driving on them that we need to keep in shape,” explained Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns.

Senator Jon Ford wants to amend a 2013 bill that allows semi trucks to increase their weight load for steel and agriculture products by adding masonry products to the list.

“I’ve got in my district or very close three different masonry product manufacturers,” said Ford.

In Indiana, trucks cannot exceed 80,000 lbs. without a permit.

Resident Bill Verdeyen is worried this increase to 120,000 lbs. will come with a cost.

“When you do that you’re just going to tear up your roads. I used to work in Michigan and Michigan has excessive truck weights,” he explained. “Their roads end up with big grooves in all the roads.”

Verdeyen encouraged commissioners to voice their concerns to state representatives.

However there isn’t much commissioners can do to prevent the damage, according to Kearns.

“We can impose fees on them,” he said. “We can do permits on particular roads.”

Ford explained increasing the carrying limit could mean less truck traffic in the area.

“They could lower their truck usage by half or a quarter,” he said. “That’s less trucks that will be on the road.”

People who back the legislation said the increased weight wont damage roads due to the nine axle system on trucks.

Verdeyen said this bill would impact more than just masonry companies.

“It’s gonna tear your roads up. You’re gonna get away from paying the permit fee for overweight trucks,” he explained. “That’s gonna directly affect us because we’re gonna pay more in taxes to maintain the roads.”

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