Board approves temporary weight limit increase for Arsenal Road
Keeps trucks flowing into intermodals, economic engine humming
"Commerce across the country and throughout the world depends on the flow of goods through Will County," said Speaker Jim Moustis. "We have one of the largest inland ports in the country that creates and sustains thousands of jobs for our area, and we are a major agricultural exporter. We need to maintain the necessary infrastructure to support this economic engine. This action is a short-term solution, and I look forward to working with officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation to determine a permanent one."
The board also approved a new permit fee structure for overweight trucks traveling on Arsenal Road. The new structure replaces per-trip charges with a $50 daily permit, $250 weekly permit, and a $500 monthly permit. The county hopes the new structure significantly reduces the amount of permit processing. In the first 11 days following the shutdown of the Walter Strawn Drive entrance, the county issued 7,300 overweight permits compared to 14,000 permits for all of 2014.
Beyond the temporary weight limit increase, officials warned prolonged overweight truck traffic on Arsenal Road could result in serious maintenance issues and costs. The county will spend the next three months working with the state and local stakeholders to try and approve a long-term remedy to keep commerce safely flowing through the region.
"Arsenal Road will require significantly more maintenance if these increased weight loads are allowed over an extended period," said County Engineer Bruce Gould. "Will County simply can't charge enough for permits to offset the damage done to our roadway infrastructure."