Spring road bans to slow grain movement across Prairies


CNS Canada –– Spring road bans are starting to be put into place across Western Canada as temperatures warm up in the Prairie provinces.

The annual restrictions set axle weight limits for vehicles moving on certain roads in an effort to reduce the damage heavier loads can cause during the spring thaw period.

Grain and equipment movement can both be affected by the spring road bans, as people may need to find alternate routes or haul smaller loads. The duration of the restrictions will depend on local weather conditions, but typically last through April and into May.

In Alberta, spring road bans ranging from 75 to 90 per cent of normal axle weights were put into place on Feb. 11 for numerous roads. The implementation was two weeks earlier than the previous year. Full details of the affected roads are available from the Alberta Ministry of Transportation.

In Saskatchewan, weight restrictions were implemented in the province’s southwest as of Feb. 22, and the zone will expand in the upcoming weeks. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure provides updates on a weekly basis for affected roadways.

In Manitoba, spring road bans are set to come into effect on March 11 and will remain in place until May 31.

Manitoba’s restrictions vary depending on the road, with Level 1 restrictions consisting of 90 per cent of normal loading and 65 per cent of normal on Level 2 affected roads. Full details are available through Manitoba’s Infrastructure and Transportation department.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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