Bill would allow heavier containers on some Texas roads

| 4/26/2005

The Texas House Transportation Committee has approved a bill that would authorize the state highway department to increase the weight on some sealed ocean containers by 10,000 pounds.

Lawmakers voted 6-1 earlier this month to move the bill to the Calendars Committee, where it must clear before moving on to the full House.

HB1882, sponsored by Rep. Peggy Hamric, R-Houston, would require the Texas Transportation Commission to establish, by rule, procedures to issue annual permits and single-trip permits for transporting 90,000-pound sealed ocean containers over a state highway if the containers are used to pack, ship, move or transport plastic pellets or paper.

The bill also would tie the movement of the containers to 75 miles from the point of loading to a container port or intermodal rail yard in the state, as well as allow counties to designate the route these vehicles would be allowed to travel.

According to the Texas Legislature’s Web site, TxDOT estimates 70 of these permits would be issued annually for tri-axle trucks to transport the loads, which would generate approximately $140,000 in revenue for the state Highway Fund.