Vermont Agency of Transportation
officials announced last week that trucks carrying oversize loads will no
longer be allowed to use state roads if not part of their direct route. The
agency reviewed its policies following the breakdown in Bennington last month
of a 192-foot truck carrying a 72-ton nuclear reactor.
The load of low-level
radioactive waste took an out-of-the-way route on its way from Connecticut
to Utah. The rig traveled up Interstate 91, east to Vermont Route 103, then
south on U.S. Route 7 to New York state.
Although the shipment
was the largest and heaviest in the state's history, according to a published
report, it only required a $20 permit. Officials believe the load was routed
through Vermont because Massachusetts charges a higher amount.
Brain Searles, vowing to plug the gap "if we're becoming the route of
least resistance," said the state will now require that drivers of oversize
loads obtain a permit from the Vermont Motor Vehicles Department and can only
do so if Vermont roads are part of the direct route.