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Weight Exemption
On the h
to Cut Fuel Use
and Pollution
Maine’s interstates to expand O
100,000-lb GVw
By Rw Staff conservation and emission reductions
could be advanced by allowing
Maine to apply state weight laws to
Expanding the federal 100,000-pound
its interstate highways,” Mike Card,
gross vehicle weight exemption
president of Combined Transport,
to additional portions of Maine’s
Inc. and a member of ATRI’s board of
interstates would cut fuel use
directors, sad in a statement.
and greenhouse gas emissions,
according to a study by the American ATRI conducted the study for the
Transportation research Institute. Maine Department of Transportation.
While trucks are limited to 80,000
Maine Senator Susan Collins ( R )
pounds on most Interstate
is backing a provision in the U.S.
highways across the country, Maine
Department of Transportation’s
has an exemption that allows
budget for fiscal 2010 that would
100,000-pound trucks on a small
allow the larger trucks to run on the
segment of Interstate. The American
entire Maine interstate system for a
Transportation Research Institute
year as a test.
(ATRI) has released the findings of its
analysis on the potential energy and
Massachusetts and New Hampshire
emissions impacts of expanding the
allow 99,000pound trucks, said Dale
federal gross vehicle weight (GVW)
Hanington, president of the Maine
exemption to additional portions Motor Transport Association.
of the Maine Interstate system. As
part of TEA-21, the Maine Turnpike
If larger trucks were allowed to run
and a portion of I-95 in Kittery were
from those states through Maine to
provided an exemption from the
Canada, they would not have to leave
federal weight limit.
I-95 and travel on Maine’s smaller
state highways as they do now,
Released on November 19, the he said.
ATRI study said its state-of-the-art
simulation modeling showed that
It’s an economic issue. It’s a
traveling a slightly longer route that
safety issue. It’s an energy issue,”
allowed for higher average speeds
Hanington said of the desired weight
cut more fuel and emissions than
traveling on a route with lower
average speeds, traffic signals and
Once the larger trucks reach the end
varying speed zones.
of the turnpike at Augusta, instead of
being able to drive straight on I-95
“An expansion of the GVW exemption
and north to Canada, Hanington said,
could result in daily fuel savings of
they must get on local roads.
194 gallons, CO2 emission reductions
of 2 metric tons,” particulate matter
“When you have to make the
reductions of 12 grams, and nitrogen
trip Augusta to Houlton on back
oxide and non-methane hydrocarbon
highways, you’re going through 300-
emissions reductions of 60 pounds,
plus intersections, many traffic lights,
the ATRI study said.
by schools, by fire departments,”
Hanington said. “I mean you’re
“This research quantifies how right out with pedestrians and
the mutual goals of resource everything else.”
Roadwise | FebRuaRy/MaRch 2010 | 11
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