The Honourable Steve Ashton

The Honourable Steve Ashton

Heavy truck loads will be allowed this spring in more areas of Manitoba as a result of upgrades to major highways and bridges, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced today.  

“Manitoba is a major trade route and our significant funding increases to upgrade our highways and bridges are now helping trucking firms, industries and farmers reduce hauling costs so they can operate more efficiently,” said Ashton. “The improvements also benefit all motorists using our highways.” 

When temperatures rise and the frost comes out of the ground, restrictions have to be placed on truck weight limits on some roads as the roadbed is not as strong during the spring and could be damaged by heavy loads. In addition, due to their age or initial design some roads cannot support heavy truck loads at any time. 

As part of Manitoba’s highway and bridge renewal strategy, increased funding has been directed toward highway and bridge upgrades, which now means greater weights can be allowed on a number of roads, Ashton said. As well, some roads that previously had weight restrictions in the spring will no longer have the reduced limits. 

Changes will be made later this spring to allow the heaviest truck loads year-round (RTAC loading) for: 

  • over 120 kilometres of PTH 68, from PTH 6 to PTH 5;
  • more than 110 kms of PTH 83, from Russell to south of Swan River; and
  • an additional 43 kms of PTH 8, from PR 229 to PTH 68 near Gimli, as soon as a construction project there is completed. 

As well, previous spring weight restrictions will be removed on: 

  • 26 kms of PTH 3, from Crystal City to La Rivière;
  • 21 kms of PTH 3, from Melita to Medora;
  • all of PTH 57; and
  • three kms of PR 264, from Rossburn to PR 577. 

“Our industry sees this as a positive step forward in renewing our infrastructure,” said Bob Dolyniuk, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. “These improvements will lower operating costs for our members and allow them to operate more efficiently and help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.  We look forward to further positive developments as Manitoba continues to renew its highways and bridges.” 

Major routes such as the Trans-Canada Highway, PTH 2, PTH 6, PTH 16 and PTH 75 continue to be able to accommodate the heaviest truck loads, year round. 

The minister noted that, in 2007, the province launched a $4-billion, 10-year highway renewal plan. In 2009, that plan saw the province set a new record for highway and bridge renewal with the annual budget of $545 million, up by over 50 per cent since 2006. Last year, over 50 bridge reconstruction or renewal projects were undertaken.  

Motorists are reminded to slow down and use caution when approaching any construction zone for their own safety and the safety of workers, the minister said. Updated information on road conditions and effective dates for spring weight restrictions is available at any time at www.manitoba.ca.