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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) seasonal weight restriction program allows for higher weight limits when roads are frozen, and therefore able to hold more weight without damage to the roads. Once the roads are declared thawed, the weight restriction is returned to the normal limit to protect the roads from excess damage.

Zone 1 Declared Frozen

Northern Wisconsin’s Zone 1, which covers roughly the top quarter of the state, officially falls under the frozen road law as of today, Dec. 30. Zone 1 is made up of all numbered state and federal highways north of and including US 8.

A road is deemed frozen when the ground underneath is frozen to a depth of at least 18 inches. This video from WisDOT shows how frost tubes are utilized in identifying when a road can be declared frozen.

The “Motor carrier/trucker” section of the WisDOT website has information regarding commercial motor vehicle operators which include weight restriction programs and frozen road declaration. A recorded message on the Frozen Road Hotline is also available by calling 608-266-8417. For those with specific questions can contact WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at 608-266-7320.


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