Road Weight Limit
Res #: 18-01A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Highways & Transportation
Resolution No. 18-01A
WHEREAS, the provincial secondary highways and Rural Municipal road infrastructure systems are deteriorating at an alarming rate due to the excessive weights allowed by provincial regulations; and
WHEREAS, the accelerated closure of more rural elevators has increased the volume of heavy truck traffic and, coupled with the lack of provincial funding for roads, has left many municipalities in a position where they are unable to maintain their existing roads to an acceptable safety level;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM petition the provincial government to impose an immediate 80,000 lb. load limit on all provincial secondary highways and rural municipal roads.
Response from Hon. Pat Atkinson:
The issue of weight is one that has been raised by numerous stakeholders over the past number of months. In addition to the resolutions and presentations that we have received on the issue of lowering weights, there have also been a number of stakeholders that have indicated that the existing weights on secondary highways presently pose a disincentive to their establishing new businesses in rural Saskatchewan. Imposing an 80,000 lb. load limit would exacerbate that problem.
The issue in reality is the balance between public infrastructure financial requirements and the service levels that the infrastructure provides for both social and economic purposes. The department will continue to work with SARM, individual municipalities, regional economic development authorities, and industry to maintain a manageable infrastructure and the opportunities for rural economic development.
The issues surrounding vehicle weight limits are part of Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation's major public policy, and require careful consideration from a province wide perspective. Vehicle weights and highway access have been identified as key factors for economic development in rural Saskatchewan. It is important to ensure that any program optimize local opportunities and enhance economic growth.
The department will soon undertake a system-wide review of vehicle weight limits that will involve discussions with SARM's Board of Directors. This review has been designated as a priority and will take six months to a year to complete.