Thursday, May 10, 2018

MHBA and Connecticut Move Forward in Modular Traffic Situation

News from the MHBA's Executive Director:

After Twenty-Five Years, Industry Makes Progress on Daytime Oversize Loads in Connecticut

The State of Connecticut has long been the outlier in terms of state transportation regulations among the northeastern states. While other industries transport oversize loads during the day, our industry must transport during the night, from midnight to 5:00 a.m. Monday – Thursday.

For the past two years, MHBA has introduced legislation to require the state to treat our industry in a similar manner that it treats others in terms of oversized loads. And for the past two years the CTDOT opposed our bill and killed it.

This year is different. With the support of the State Troopers Association and the backing of CT Transportation Committee Chairman Antonio Guerrera, we found a sliver of light and grabbed it! The DOT was adamantly opposed to any changes again this year. But the State Troopers Association pushed back. Chairman Guerrera basically got MHBA, the State Troopers, and CTDOT in a room and said figure something out.

And that’s what happened. The House bill recently passed the Assembly with the following terms:

One-year pilot program effective from passage date.

Oversized loads (14 feet wide but less than 16 feet) will be permitted to travel during the day with the following limitations – only one per day, Monday through Thursday, accompanied by three troopers.

These day loads will only be permitted on CT highways, meaning only units passing through the state and not delivered to the state will be able to use the day time slots.

State Troopers WILL measure the loads!

The DOT held firm that with the construction activity, oversize loads would be dangerous on smaller side roads in CT during the day. And unfortunately for us, the State Troopers agreed.

We realize that these changes would not help our members and projects going into the state, so we asked for one more concession – move the allowable nighttime moves up to shorten the time shipments sit idle on the NY/CT border. The DOT agreed to this change, but it will happen outside of the legislation, with nighttime moves for oversize loads beginning earlier (details still pending).

While this certainly was not everything we asked for, it represents real progress and a starting point. We felt it was critical to make some progress on daytime moves given that nothing has happened in the last twenty-five years. If there are no accidents or incidents during the pilot program, we have a strong chance of expanding the terms after the one-year pilot program.

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