Townships Passing Ordinances On Truck Routes To Help Streets

By Dean Cousino
Bedford Now

Summerfield and Whiteford townships are the first in Monroe County to pass ordinances designating specific routes for commercial trucks to follow.truckroute

The Monroe County Road Commission is hoping all townships eventually will approve of similar laws regulating where heavy trucks should go so as not to damage county roads.

“We have no countywide ordinance,” said Scott Assenmacher, county highway engineer for the road commission. “ Our concern is where through trucks should go, but we need to get all 15 townships to ( pass) an ordinance to make it successful. It’s all about protecting roads and making them last as long as possible and getting trucks on roads that can handle them.”

The trucks should be using Class A all- weather routes that are built for heavy truck traffic, Mr. Assenmacher said.

The road commission has a draft ordinance that townships or villages can use as a model to regulate truck traffic through their communities. Each community is different and its street restrictions may vary from one local government to another. Once a community passes an ordinance, the road commission will post signs designating which streets can be used by heavy trucks.

“ The signs need to be posted, but we’re not there yet,” Mr. Assenmacher said Monday. “ It’s going to take some time to post them. Right now we’re getting them approved in chunks of three or four at a time.”

In the past, the county posted weight restrictions on commercial trucks along some roads that could not handle the heavy loads.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing restrictions on truck traffic and can issue tickets to violators, he said. Michigan State Police patrol the roads primarily to watch for overweight trucks. “ The state police and magistrate’s office are in favor of this,” he said. The county gets about 20- 30 commercial trucks a day that come from Lenawee County, he said.

Frenchtown Township also is weighing an ordinance that would keep truck traffic off certain local roads that are vulnerable to breakup if heavy trucks use them.

Supervisor Jim McDevitt said the law is something new to the township and helpful to stop local streets from being harmed. He said the township gets “a lot of calls” with complaints about trucks bypassing weigh scales. “

The semis are on roads they shouldn’t be on,” Mr. McDevitt said. “ Stewart Rd. is not a Class A road. I stopped three trucks on Sandy Creek Rd. recently. These are not designated truck routes. We want to save our local roads.”
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