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169.87 Seasonal load restriction; route designation.

Subdivision 1. Optional power. (a) Local authorities, with respect to highways under their jurisdiction, may prohibit the operation of vehicles upon any such highway or impose restrictions as to the weight of vehicles to be operated upon any such highway, whenever any such highway, by reason of deterioration, rain, snow, or other climatic conditions, will be seriously damaged or destroyed unless the use of vehicles thereon is prohibited or the permissible weights thereof reduced.

(b) The local authority enacting any such prohibition or restriction shall erect or cause to be erected and maintained signs plainly indicating the prohibition or restriction at each end of that portion of any highway affected thereby, and the prohibition or restriction shall not be effective unless and until such signs are erected and maintained.

(c) Municipalities, with respect to highways under their jurisdiction, may also, by ordinance, prohibit the operation of trucks or other commercial vehicles, or may impose limitations as to the weight thereof, on designated highways, which prohibitions and limitations shall be designated by appropriate signs placed on such highways.

(d) The commissioner shall likewise have authority, as hereinabove granted to local authorities, to determine and to impose prohibitions or restrictions as to the weight of vehicles operated upon any highway under the jurisdiction of the commissioner, and such restrictions shall be effective when signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the highway or portion of any highway affected by such action.

(e) When a local authority petitions the commissioner to establish a truck route for travel into, through, or out of the territory under its jurisdiction, the commissioner shall investigate the matter. If the commissioner determines from investigation that the operation of trucks into, through, or out of the territory involves unusual hazards because of any or all of the following factors; load carried, type of truck used, or topographic or weather conditions, the commissioner may, by order, designate certain highways under the commissioner's jurisdiction as truck routes into, through, or out of such territory. When these highways have been marked as truck routes pursuant to the order, trucks traveling into, through, or out of the territory shall comply with the order.

Subd. 2. Seasonal load restriction. Except for portland cement concrete roads, between the dates set by the commissioner of transportation each year, the weight on any single axle shall not exceed five tons on a county highway, town road, or city street that has not been restricted as provided in subdivision 1. The gross weight on consecutive axles shall not exceed the gross weight allowed in section 169.825 multiplied by a factor of five divided by nine. This reduction shall not apply to the gross vehicle weight.

Subd. 3. School bus and Head Start bus. Weight restrictions imposed pursuant to subdivisions 1 and 2 do not apply to a school bus or Head Start bus transporting students, Head Start children, or Head Start parents when the gross weight on a single axle of the school bus or Head Start bus does not exceed 14,000 pounds; provided that, road authorities may restrict any highway under their jurisdiction to a lesser axle weight by written order to school boards and Head Start grantees 24 hours in advance of required compliance with such reduced axle weight.

Subd. 4. Vehicle transporting milk. Until June 1, 2003, a weight restriction imposed under subdivision 1 by the commissioner of transportation or a local road authority, or imposed by subdivision 2, does not apply to a vehicle transporting milk from the point of production to the point of first processing if, at the time the weight restriction is exceeded, the vehicle is carrying milk loaded at only one point of production. This subdivision does not authorize a vehicle described in this subdivision to exceed a weight restriction of five tons per axle by more than two tons per axle.

Subd. 5. Utility vehicles. (a) Weight restrictions imposed by the commissioner under subdivision 1 do not apply to a two-axle or three-axle utility vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 20,000 pounds per single axle and 36,000 pounds gross vehicle weight for a two-axle vehicle or 48,000 pounds gross vehicle weight for a three-axle vehicle, if the vehicle is owned by:

(1) a public utility as defined in section 216B.02;

(2) a municipality or municipal utility that operates the vehicle for its municipal electric, gas, or water system; or

(3) a cooperative electric association organized under chapter 308A.

(b) The exemption in this subdivision applies only when the vehicle is performing service restoration or other work necessary to prevent an imminent loss of service.

Subd. 6. Recycling vehicles. Weight restrictions imposed under subdivisions 1 and 2 do not apply to a two-axle vehicle that does not exceed 20,000 pounds per single axle and is used exclusively for recycling, while engaged in recycling in a political subdivision that mandates curbside recycling pickup.

HIST: (2720-279) 1937 c 464 s 129; 1947 c 505 s 1; 1949 c 695 s 1; 1951 c 445 s 1; 1967 c 12 s 1; 1967 c 467 s 1; 1973 c 85 s 1; 1981 c 321 s 9; 1982 c 617 s 15; 1986 c 444; 1994 c 603 s 15; 1999 c 154 s 2; 1999 c 230 s 16; 2000 c 433 s 2,3

* NOTE: Subdivisions 5 and 6, as added by Laws 2000, chapter *433, sections 2 and 3, are repealed June 1, 2003. Laws 2000, *chapter 433, section 4.

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