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Some want to raise weight limits on Idaho interstates

If some get their way, heavier trucks could soon be allowed to travel on Interstate 15 and other interstate highways in Idaho.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, recently proposed raising weight limits on Idaho interstates from 105,000 pounds to 129,000 pounds – roughly the weight of 32 average-sized cars.

While most of the 270 trucks at Doug Andrus Distributing’s Idaho Falls headquarters are well below the current weight limit, Jason Andrus said he’d like to have the option of hauling heavier loads.

“Once we’re able to haul more tons per load, then it’s fewer trucks needed to move the freight of Idaho and that’s less congestion on the roads, that’s lower freight costs to those who we’re hauling for,” said Andrus.

But critics say heavier trucks will take a heavy toll on roads.

Idaho Transportation Department officials said they aren’t particularly worried.

“As long as the truckers and trucks distribute the loads so that there’s 18,000 pounds per axle, then that’s manageable,” said ITD spokesman Bruce King.

Andrus said raising weight limits could even reduce wear and tear on roads.

“Those bigger trucks, even though they’re hauling more weight overall, because it’s spread over more axles, it puts less wear on the roads,” said Andrus.

Local News 8 contacted AAA Idaho, which has been critical of raising weight limits in the past, but they didn’t respond before airtime.

The proposal still has a ways to go before it reaches the House for a vote.

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