First thing Thursday morning, drivers on rural roads in Sullivan County will be expected to adhere to brand-new road restrictions: a 10-ton weight limit.
“The state allows us to do this, I believe it’s a state law that says, ‘You may put a temporary, 10-ton weight limit on it,’” explained Benji Boyd, superintendent of the Sullivan County Highway Department.
Boyd said state law actually allows such restrictions to be in place up to 90 days, though he hopes to see the rule relaxed well before that.
The goal is to combat pricey potholes on the front-end.
“Well, this winter the freeze is so much deeper, and the water under the roads is frozen so much deeper that when it thaws out the problems become deeper,” Boyd said.
As necessary as the damage control measures are, Boyd admitted the lighter load limitation is tough to enforce – that it relies largely on the honor system.
What’s more, Boyd knows he cannot shut down the roads entirely.
“This is not my favorite time of the year, because people will be calling in here every morning saying, ‘Hey, I need a load of propane! Can I get it tomorrow? You know, I really have got to have it!’ And we’ll outline a good route for them to get in there!”