Transportation officials hope that a new program increasing weight limits on semi trucks will improve efforts to transport goods in southern Arizona. It’s called the Interstate 19 Heavier Truck Pilot program.
Thousands of pounds of produce and other commodities travel from Mexico to Tucson every day.
“A lot of the freight that comes to the Port of Tucson comes on trains, where the weight limit is about 53,000 pounds,” said Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Hermann.
The freight is then loaded onto trucks, where it can be taken via Interstate 10 to points east and west.
“You combine that 53,000 pounds with the weight of a truck, and you’ve got about 83,000 pounds,” Hermann said. “Unfortunately, the limit on Interstate highways is 80,000 pounds.”
This pilot program would raise the weight limit to 83,000 pounds.
Hermann hopes the pilot program will make commercial traffic more efficient.
“Companies will be able to get a permit for the 83,000 pound limit on Interstate 10 in the Tucson and Marana areas, as well as on I-19 between Tucson and Nogales, and Business 19 in Nogales,” Hermann said. “They can use the 83,000-pound limit, and we can make sure that we have no impact on our roads and on our bridges.”
Hermann thinks the program will attract new commerce to southern Arizona. “This will be a boost for our state, as well as for the companies that are moving goods through our state,” he said. “We just want to make sure that there will be no impact
“This will be a boost for our state as well as for the companies that are moving goods through our state,” he said. “We just want to make sure that there will be no impact to our roadways, so that’s what we’ll be watching for the next year.”