Truck traffic, axle weights among bills before Maine lawmakers

| 1/9/2007

Three bills of interest to truckers are under consideration in the Maine Legislature.

One bill would require the Maine Turnpike Authority to create incentives for trucks to use the toll road. Sponsored by Rep. Boyd Marley, D-Portland, the bill - LD19 - would direct the authority to consult with the state's Department of Transportation to develop strategies designed to divert large truck traffic from Interstate 295 and onto the Maine Turnpike.

Another measure offered by Marley is intended to make a portion of I-295 a little safer. That bill - LD6 - would direct the Maine DOT to inspect and improve guardrails along two stretches of the route through Portland.

One other bill would repeal a Sept. 15, 2007, sunset provision in the state's axle weight law. Sponsored by Rep. Douglas Thomas, R-Ripley, the bill - LD9 - would make permanent certain fine amounts for six-axle trucks hauling special commodities or forest products that violate axle weight limits.

It also would permanently eliminate axle weight fine violations during the months of January and February on most state roads.

The bills are in the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation.

- By Keith Goble, state legislative editor