Manitoba farmers planning to truck grain and livestock out of flood-prone areas this spring can apply for exemptions from the province’s usual springtime restrictions on truck axle loads.
The province’s spring flood outlook, released earlier this week, forecasts water levels likely near those seen in 2006 or 1979 in the Red River Valley south of Winnipeg. The 1979 flood saw water levels ranging from one to four feet below those seen in the valley’s 1997 “flood of the century.”
Thus the provincial government said Thursday it will offer a “special permit” to farmers to haul grain and livestock on Manitoba highways while spring road restrictions are in effect.
“Each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, ensuring the integrity of Manitoba highways is protected,” Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Ron Lemieux said in a release.
“Farmers and grain companies are working diligently to move grains and oilseeds out of these areas and it is important to our government to see this work continue,” Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in the same release.
“It is our hope that, by enabling producers to be eligible for these special permits, it will give them the time they need to complete the work that needs to be done.”
Spring road restrictions for Manitoba’s Zone 1 were to take effect on March 18 but now have been postponed until March 23, the province said Thursday. Spring road restrictions for Zone 2 are to take effect on March 25.
Zone 1 extends south of the line that includes Highway 77, going east to include PR 513 (Gypsumville) and the northern tip of Black Island, southeast to the north junction of Highway 11 and PR 304 and east to the Ontario border. Zone 2 extends to the north of the Zone 1 designated area.